Infernal Affairs

Title: Mou gaan dou
Year: 2002 (Hong Kong), 2004 (US)
Directors: Wai-keung Lau & Alan Mak
Writers: Alan Mak & Felix Chong
Starring: Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Music: Kwong Wing Chan
Distinctions: currently #245 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: the police and a gang both have moles from each other, and both know it
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), April 2008
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay).
Objective Rating: 6/10 (points off for characters, dialog, pacing, and music) c. 2.4/4 (Okay).

A neat idea. When it’s good, it’s good, and when it’s bad, it’s funny. The whole thing is way too damn fast. And yet the director still felt the need to include occasional black and white recaps, as if you’d forgotten what happened twenty minutes ago. The characters develop, and they’re sufficiently deep for the story, but they’re not really interesting. The music is unintentionally hilarious. It was remade as Scorsese’s The Departed, which I haven’t seen yet; it’ll be interesting to see what a (usually) good filmmaker can do with this concept.


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