Reviews

Infernal Affairs

3

This Asian thriller takes John Woo's Face/Off back to its Hong Kong roots for a delirious, overblown tale of two warring cops forced to hunt each other down.

Detective Ming (Andy Lau) is a bent cop, feeding inside information to a crime syndicate where Detective Yan (Tony Leung) is a deep-cover operative. Neither man knows the other's identity, but each is determined to expose the other first...

Phenomenally successful in Asia, Infernal Affairs ditches everything Western audiences have come to expect from Eastern action movies - - it's goodbye gunplay and bye-bye balletic slow-mo - - in favour of delivering a lean, mean thrill machine. Even better, it's psychologically astute (not something you can normally say about the genre), only losing points for failing to achieve the heights of mythic resonance that the filmmakers are obviously striving for. This may be an epic conflict between polar opposites (the Ming and Yan of law enforcement), but something appears to have been lost in translation.

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: February 27th 2004