Culture Magazine

Franchise Weekend – Infernal Affairs (2002)

By Newguy

infernalDirector: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak

Writer: Alan Mak, Felix Chong (Screenplay)

Starring: Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue

Plot: A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Suspense Thriller

Story: Infernal Affairs starts with the training of Lau Kin Ming (Lau) who goes undercover in the police force for the Triads and Chen Wing Yan (Leung) who is forced to go undercover as an officers and become a Triad. After they have both found their places in both sides of the battle they are called upon by both their superiors to find out who the mole is in both organisation leading to the tense race against time to uncover each other’s true identity before the other.

Infernal Affairs is the film that famously got remade into ‘The Departed’ and with this original we get the core story with the intensity we have learnt to love. If you haven’t seen either version, this will keep you guessing to what will happen next but even when I knew the basic storyline I was still on the edge of my seat waiting for things to unfold. This is how you should make a thriller keeping us guessing from start to finish.

Actor Review

Andy Lau: Inspector Lau Kin Ming is trained by the Triads to go undercover as a police officers to help get them early tip off when it comes to the arrests and busts. When he discovers a mole within the Triads he must uncover the mole before his identity is discovered by the mole. Andy is great in this role playing both sides of the fence.


Tony Leung: Chen Wing Yan is the trained cop who has to go undercover with the Triads, he gets push to his limits while undercover having to commit crimes to show his loyalty, but finds himself being hunted down by the mole as he looks for the mole himself. Tony also does a great job in this role and is easily on the same level as DiCaprio is in the remake.


Anthony Wong: SP Wong Chi Shing is the only man who knows about the undercover officers and liaise with him for updates. He works with the mole within the department without even knowing their identity all to bring down the Triads. Anthony does great in this role but it would be fair to say we would have liked to see more from him,

Eric Tsang: Hon Sam is the leader of the Triads who puts Lau with in the police department but doesn’t see Yan being a cop himself as he lets him enter into the higher up ranks of the Triad empire. He wants the mole gone but his seasoned battle against SP Wong could be his downfall. Eric is good in this role but much like SP Wong doesn’t get enough screen time.

Support Cast: Infernal Affairs has a great supporting cast that all play their roles in where the film ends up going.

Director Review: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan MakThe pair bring us one of the best crime thrillers of all time.

Crime: Infernal Affairs is a great crime thriller showing how both sides are trying to stop the other having the upper hand.

Mystery: Infernal Affairs gives us a mystery to how they are going to expose each other.

Thriller: Infernal Affairs brings you to the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Settings: Infernal Affairs uses the settings to show which character is on the line of the law and each location shows where they can be themselves or undercover selves.

Suggestion: Infernal Affairs is one to watch even if you have seen the remake you should go back and see this too. (Watch)

Best Part: Rooftop scene.

Worst Part: Slightly not enough use of supporting characters.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Part one of 3

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Departed

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: Loyalty. Honor. Betrayal.

Overall: One of the best crime thrillers ever made



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