Infernal Affairs III (Director’s Cut) (2003)

We’re at the last part of the Infernal Affairs trilogy!

How are you feeling about it so far? I’d have to say that the first two was a decent run.  Obviously, nothing quite beats the genius in the first one but the second was surprisingly well done.  Lets move along to the third one.  I have nothing much to say about it.  Only that, when I saw it a few years back when it first came out, this one confused me so much to the point that I wasn’t too happy with it.  But with an open mind, I walked right back in fully positive that this time around I was going to understand what was going on. Lets see if that did happen 😉

**If you haven’t seen the first one, please stop right here if you intend to see these.  The description will have spoilers regarding the first one.**

infernal affairs 3Director: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak

Cast: Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Leon Lai, Daoming Chen, Kelly Chen, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang

Six months after the events of Infernal Affairs, Inspector Lau Kin Ming (Andy Lau) is finally finished the arduous investigation on the events that happened resulting in the deaths of Yan (Tony Leung) and the mole. Resuming his position in Internal Affairs, he catches news that there was 5 moles seeped in from Sam’s triad organization and in the past six months, they have been dying one by one.  It is suspected that Sam has another internal man who was asked to kill off all of them in case of his death.  Fearing for his life, Lau starts to suspect the Security unit chief, Inspector Yeung (Leon Lai). At the same time, the story flips back to Yan finally penetrating Sam’s triad and having his first mission with the Mainland China connections for their future illegal practices with their leader (Daoming Chen).

infernal affairs 3

First things first, I know you are all wondering the same thing: Did I get it this time? The answer is that: I kept myself very much awake and since my mom was watching this without watching the first one, she was all full of questions and after explaining things to her during the movie, it all clicked together. At least one goal was achieved.

Infernal Affairs 3

Now, the second thing  I have to talk about is how I felt.  I took a few days to sit back and let it sink in a little because this one is very confusing and for some, they even find its a pretty unnecessary addition.  If they had stopped it at the first one or even the second one, it would have been perfectly fine.  With that, I pretty much agree. If you watch the theatrical version, its even more confusing.  I think its because I watched the extended Director’s Cut that it adds in parts that link things together in a better way.

Infernal Affairs 3

The concept behind it was okay.  Its a follow-through with a nice twist at the end.  Its just that it kind of does raise some questions as in: why is the psychiatrist suddenly so trusting of Ming? If Sam was dead, why would someone still answer his orders to kill off the moles? And these sort of story flow questions keep coming up.  I can’t remember them all and I’m sure I’ll hit some spoiler territory. Honestly, I can’t get too detail with anything because I feel like it does lead to the big finale and that was the best part of the movie even if the pieces before it wasn’t all too memorable.

Infernal Affairs 3

However, there are some notable additions.  This one does add the guy up there: a very talented Chinese actor Daoming Chen.  I first saw this guy in a historical drama about one of the emperors and I’m not much of historical stuff but he was so awesome.  That gave Infernal Affairs 3 extra points. Although I honestly felt like his character was a bit fuzzy and could have been done better but the runtime is already pretty intense.  On the note of actors, in the second picture we have Leon Lai (who I don’t like very much) but surprisingly, I was pretty impressed with his whole act.  It kept me guessing whether he was a good or bad guy the whole way. Andy Lau delivers a fine performance and Tony Leung does well also.  Kelly Chen is still rather green as an actress as she is primarily a singer that went into acting.

Overall, Infernal Affairs 3 is unnecessary and confusing.  I didn’t get a chance to watch both director’s and theatrical to compare but since I did watch director’s cut this time, I’d suggest watching that so you get a better idea.  There are still all around notable performances from the original cast and the new additions along with some surprises.  The plot was a bit too much for its own good but they did give a really decent ending to pull everything together.  Its worth a watch if you’ve already gone through the first two but I wouldn’t say its necessary to rush to see it either.

Have you seen the Infernal Affairs trilogy? What do you think of it? Was this sequel necessary? 

Infernal Affairs II (2003)

For last month’s Genre Grandeur at MovieRob’s site, I revisited Infernal Affairs and showed how I have very deep appreciation for that one.  You can check it out HERE! That brought on my desire to continue watching the trilogy.  So thats what we’re going to do for the next few days 🙂 I believe Infernal Affairs 2 & 3 are not very popular outside of Hong Kong.  I’m not even sure if they were popular within Hong Kong. But it is in fact a trilogy and therefore, it just seems right to finish it off in style.

**A word of advice: If you HAVE NOT seen the first one, you might want to check it out before blindly moving into the following two.**

Let’s check it out!

infernal affairs 2 posterDirector: Wai-Keung Lau & Alan Mak

Cast: Eric Tsang, Anthony Wong, Carina Lau, Francis Ng, Shawn Yue, Edison Chen, Jun Hu

Rewinding back 12 years before the events of Infernal Affairs, Yan (Shawn Yue) is expelled from the police academy due to his family background.  Despite wanting to distance himself, to the point of using his mom’s last name, it still caused him have that result.  However, all is not lost, Superintendant Wong (Anthony Wong) offers him a chance to be an undercover and try to get involved with his family after the sudden murder of his father by helping out his half brother, Hau (Francis Ng). On the other hand, Sam (Eric Tsang) has sent in Ming (Edison Chen) to be the mole at the police department without knowing that his wife Mary (Carina Lau) had secretly asked him to take out Ngai, the big boss of the triad and also Hau’s father. As both the police and triad have been infiltrated with each other’s men, how long could their secrets be locked up?

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. We all climb towards heaven. We all fall towards hell. – Infernal Affairs 2

Infernal Affairs 2 starts with that quote up there before anything happens.  As the scene rolls in, it lets you know right away that we’ve turned back time to see how young Yan (Shawn Yue) and young Ming (Edison Chen) got to where they were in the first part.  All these events correlate in a certain way and if you paid enough attention in the first one, you’ll see the links.  I thought that was very well pieced together.

infernal affairs 2 yan and hau

Although, Shawn and Edison are both rather green actors when this movie came out, they were surrounded by a stellar cast.  Before I go and talk about the rest of the cast, I do believe that I think, despite them not having a whole lot of screen time (surprising for the purpose of this movie), their roles were enforced enough to make the story strong enough to make us understand how the events had spiraled into Infernal Affairs.  In the first one, even the grown up Yan and Ming are not particularly talkative but more analytical and therefore, they didn’t have much dialogue either.  Many times, silence can enhance the atmosphere of a movie, especially ones that keeps the audience guessing. I honestly think this was just to mask their lack of ability to act but it kind of did work decently.

Infernal Affairs 2

In the first Infernal Affairs, I already talked about the awesomeness with Eric Tsang as Sam and Anthony Wong as SP Wong. So I’m not going to be back to that.  With these two, the quality is always almost insured (at least I can’t remember anything bad from then right now).  However, the role of same did change a little as did their chemistry.  So I’m going to talk about Francis Ng, who plays the calm businessman type of triad leader Hau (some would compare him to Michael Corleone). He has a silent violent personality which we don’t quite see till the finale.  He knows how to get dirt on the people around him as he  has eyes everywhere. His story is the one that causes all the effects here by means creating subplots. So in this one, the chemistry between Anthony Wong’s SP Wong and his are the ones that spark some intense chemistry.

Infernal Affairs 2Another person worth mentioning is Carina Lau who plays Mary, the beautiful soft-spoken wife of Sam.  Her main goal is to help her husband move up from where he is and one day be the boss and not the minion to protect him.  With the help of young Ming, who she brought into the triad business, he has a certain dedication to her.  Her character is actually quite honorable and by far, one of my favorite roles that she’s been in.  Don’t get me wrong, Carina Lau is a wonderful actress and I’ve seen her across many genres but this role was really impressive.  The chemistry between her character Mary with Sam are limited as they have very little screen time together but in turn, we see her true colors in her interactions with the Young Ming.

Infernal Affairs 2 This is the second time I’m watching Infernal Affairs 2.  I watched this back in 2004 or so after the trilogy had been released.  Back then, I found this pretty good.  This time around, I found it still pretty good because it creates a nice vibe even though the purpose of the movie promoted wasn’t exactly what really happened as the focus was not on young Ming and Yan but rather on the people around them. However, it starts feeling really long when I started realizing how many subplots they had stuff in it.  I’m not saying its not necessary but at a certain point, it feels like it drags a little before it hits the big finale and things pick up a little again.

Overall, Infernal Affairs is worth a watch.  It gives some stellar performances and it does set up the partial backstage for what does happen in Infernal Affairs.  The audience gets an idea as to not only where young Ming and Yan come from but also the people around them who influenced them more in depth especially SP Wong, Sam and the additional characters with Ngai and Mary. Although the length is my biggest complaint, this one is worth a watch.  It sets up the stage for maybe the anticipation of the third movie.

Have you seen Infernal Affairs 2? Are you familiar with the actors/actresses in this one?