Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Home Video: Infernal Affairs

Infernal Affairs
Directed by Wai Keung Lau and Siu Fai Mak
Released September 24, 2004

This sleek and stylized Hong Kong thriller was the inspiration for the recent huge hit "The Departed". Much of the plot is the same, but this is a very different movie. It is less about the characters themselves and more about the grand opposition of moles within the entities that are the gangs and the police. "Infernal Affairs" clocks in at an hour less than the runtime of "The Departed", but tells a story just as compelling. The performances are great, and Andy Lau and Tony Leung infuse the central characters with humanity and personality despite their limited character development. Anthony Wong is also fantastic as SP Wong, the police officer in charge of handling the mole in the gangs (Martin Sheen's part in "The Departed"), and gives a minor role a memorable performance. I personally liked "The Departed" better, but I think I am inclined to do so because I am more accustomed to American filmmaking tendencies. I applaud the creators of "The Departed" for taking an already great movie and crafting into something just as good, and in my opinion better, much like the American version of "The Office". I am also impressed with the creation of Dignum, Mark Wahlberg's character, featured solely in "The Departed".

The Departed: A
Infernal Affairs: B+

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