Director: Andrew Lau & Alan Mak
Cast: Tony Leung, Andy Lau, Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang
This past weekend featured the long-awaited US theatrical bow of the first of Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Hong Kong trilogy, thriller Infernal Affairs. Far from the usual by-the-numbers Hong Kong shoot 'em up, Messers Lau and Mak have crafted a taut and suspenseful crime thriller from a smart screenplay by co-director Mak and Felix Chong.
Story revolves around two Hong Kong police officers, friends as cadets, with two very different undercover assignments. Chan (Tony Leung) is a brilliant police cadet assigned to a deep undercover life as a member of Hong Kong's triads while Lau (Andy Lau) is a gang member undercover as a mole on the police force. Both actors are brilliant in their portrayal of men so deep into their false lives that they have trouble separating them from their real roles. Lines begin to blur as phrases such as "honor among thieves" and "the brotherhood of police" start to take on real meaning for both Chan and Lau.
Leung, well known for his roles in Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood For Love (best actor, Cannes 2000) and the lead role in the current hit Hero is particularly engaging as the cop who has been undercover in the mob since his cadet days, with only one superior officer knowing his true identity and assignment.
Overall, this is a compelling crime thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you interested, excellent acting and stunning photography. An absolute must for fans of smart, well-made thrillers. Don't forget, there are two more where this one came from!
Photo ©Miramax Films