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Infernal Affairs (2002)
"Mou gaan dou" (original title)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 80,394 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 178 user | 162 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop.

Directors:

(as Andrew Lau) ,

Writers:

,
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Title: Infernal Affairs (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Chen Wing Yan (as Tony Leung)
...
SP Wong Chi Shing (as Anthony Wong)
...
Kelly Chen ...
...
...
...
Elva Hsiao ...
May
...
Ka Tung Lam ...
Inspector B (as Lam Ka Tung)
Ting Yip Ng ...
Inspector Cheung (as Ng Ting Yip)
Dion Lam ...
Chi Keung Wan ...
Officer Leung (as Wan Chi Keung)
Hui Kam Fung ...
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Storyline

Chan Wing Yan, a young police officer, has been sent undercover as a mole in the local mafia. Lau Kin Ming, a young mafia member, infiltrates the police force. Years later, their older counterparts, Chen Wing Yan and Inspector Lau Kin Ming, respectively, race against time to expose the mole within their midst. Written by Aya

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Loyalty. Honor. Betrayal. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 December 2002 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Infernal Affairs  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$179,789 (Japan) (24 October 2003)

Gross:

$89,594 (USA) (15 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The English title is a play on words mixing Ming's job in the IA, the infernal nature of both characters' double lives, and finally Dante's Inferno, relating to the original Cantonese title. See more »

Goofs

Changes in the time on the clock in the living room when the cop is listening to the CD that's been dropped off for him. See more »

Quotes

Chan Wing Yan: Should I salute you?
Lau Kin Ming: No, don't. How long have you been an undercover?
Chan Wing Yan: I've followed Sam for 3 years; I had several other bosses before. All together, it's been 10 years
Lau Kin Ming: 10 years? I should salute you, instead.
Chan Wing Yan: I just want an identity. I want to be a normal man.
Lau Kin Ming: Getting tired?
Chan Wing Yan: You've never been a mole. You won't understand. Too bad I still can't find the stooge. I'll take him down if I've found him.
Lau Kin Ming: Don't worry. Let me give you back your identity, I'll open your file, but I don't have the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Followed by Infernal Affairs 2 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Forgotten Time
Composed by Chen Hong Ming
Lyrics by Chen Hong Ming
Performed by Tsai Chin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

At it's heart, a gripping cop thriller
2 March 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As cadets, Lau and Chan both show promise as police officers. However, Chan is removed from the training and send to be a long-term undercover in Sam's gang. However, unbeknownst to the police, Lau is also a long-term mole who is feeding information back to Sam. When Sam and police chief SP Wong both have their operations scuppered, each realises the other has a mole and sets out to uncover each. With each other's lives at risk, Lau and Chan must be the first to uncover the other.

I decided to see this after hearing good things about it but I was conscious that often foreign films can be given more leniency than Western films doing the same thing. After a slightly confusing opening few moments as characters settle down (not helped by using completely different actors for characters at late teens and late 20's - do people change that much?) the film immediately becomes gripping. The plot may well have the occasional hole and have unnecessary personal details (Lau's girlfriend and Chan's ex weren't really needed) but the central story is well written and told with such urgency that it is hard not to be totally engaged.

The film doesn't have many massive shoot outs or action scenes but it has a pretty consistent sense of tension that is enjoyable right up to a typical but impacting ending. The direction is stylish and only occasionally overuses the slow-mo jump cuts. It may owe more to American cinema than that of the Orient but it is still a very good film and I hope the inevitable remake will be as good.

The cast don't need to do that much apart from look intense and portray the tension of the story in a realistic fashion - something that they do well. At times the lead two actors are pushed out of this by the personal asides but they happily keep things on track. Both Lau and Leung play it very well

  • it never came down to good guy/bad guy and the audience was pretty well


split. Wong is a solid officer while Tsang is good as Sam. Chen and Cheng may not have a great deal to do apart from slowing the film but they both look good doing it.

Overall this is a solidly enjoyable cop thriller, regardless of what country it comes from. It will eventually be remade I imagine and when it is I hope that it manages to retain it's consistent sense of tension, double-edged characters and a real tight hold on it's audience just as this did here.


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