Infernal Affairs II

2003 [CN]

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

Plot summary

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1.07 GB
Chinese 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 59 min
P/S 0 / 5
2.2 GB
Chinese 5.1
24 fps
1 hr 59 min
P/S 1 / 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer6 / 10

"Evil prevails. Only the good die young."

"Infernal Affairs 2" was a completely unnecessary prequel to the fantastic Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs". While the story is quite good, it suffers in many ways. First, the two leads from the original film are not in this film (though many of the other actors are). Second, because you've already seen "Infernal Affairs" there is no sense of suspense and you KNOW how the big battle between the mob bosses must end. And, third, it does nothing to further the story from the first film---just fill in some missing pieces that were just as well left missing.

This story picks up as the two leads from the first film, Inspector Lau Kin Ming and Chen Yan, enter the academy. However, Inspector Lau Kin Ming is NOT a major player in the film at all...he's there in a few scenes but not much more. Instead, it follows the path of Chen through the mob and shows the big shakeup that leaves Hon Sam in charge (as he was in the first film). The only really interesting element is how Superintendent Wong Chi Shing mistakenly thought he could work with Hon Sam....something he'd regret by the end of the film.

So, you have an interesting story that is completely unnecessary if you've seen the previous film (which almost all viewers probably have). It's well written and an interesting gangster saga....but I can't see how it was necessary for anything other than to suck more money out of the public who loved the first film. Perhaps I'll think more of the third film, as it picks up just after the first--a much more logical place to begin.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca5 / 10

Solid but unspectacular follow-up

INFERNAL AFFAIRS II is a prequel to the smash-hit movie about undercover operatives and their parallel lives in the Hong Kong police and Triads. This one explores the early lives of the characters played by Tony Leung and Andy Lau in the original, the actors replaced by newcomers Shawn Yue and Edison Chen respectively (Yue and Chen had bit parts in INFERNAL AFFAIRS).

The problem with this prequel is that it feels hurried and unnecessary, lacking almost all the qualities that made the first film so good. Leung and Lau were engaging actors who brought subtle nuances to their roles, but Chen and Yue feel bland and too fresh-faced in comparison. Realising this, the film-makers spend a lot of screen time with rivals Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang instead, but you can't help feel but the plotting in this one is redundant in contrast to the life-or-death stakes of the gripping original.

There's a distinct lack of emotional involvement in the film as the story develops, and although the technical qualities are strong, the twisty-turny plotting isn't. There are the requisite betrayals, executions and bombings, but they have a slightly tired quality to them. This isn't a bad film by any means, but it's one that's easily lost and indistinguishable during a decade in which Johnnie To made seemingly endless variants on similar themes.

Reviewed by Tweekums8 / 10

A gripping prequel

Although this is the second film in the trilogy it is not necessary to have seen the first instalment to enjoy this, as it is a prequel. Set in the years leading up to the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China we are shown how each of the protagonists from the first film got to where they were in that film. Of course this means we know that everything will work out for them; it doesn't mean this film is without its tense moments though as there are plenty of new characters; not all of whom survive. While the two main characters from the earlier film feature prominently it is their bosses who are the protagonists this time. We see how Triad member Sam rises to the top while most of his contemporaries and seniors end up dead and policeman Inspector Wong Chi Shing manages to advance despite being implicated in a murder several years previously.

While this film missed the two main stars of the first film it was still well acted and the characters were just as believable. I had been worried that it would suffer from the problem that all prequels face; namely that anybody who has seen the first film will know who will survive, amazingly this managed to convince me that at least one character who I knew should have survived died; I assumed I'd been confused about who was who till we later learnt what had happened. There is plenty of action and anybody who enjoyed the first film is likely to like this too; I'd certainly recommend it to fans of action films in general and Hong Kong films in particular.

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