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Infernal Affairs (2002)

Mou gaan dou (original title)
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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:

Wai-Keung Lau (as Andrew Lau), Alan Mak

Writers:

Alan Mak, Felix Chong
23 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Lau ... Inspector Lau Kin Ming
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Chen Wing Yan (as Tony Leung)
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong ... SP Wong Chi Shing (as Anthony Wong)
Eric Tsang ... Hon Sam
Kelly Chen ... Dr. Lee Sum Yee
Sammi Cheng ... Mary
Edison Chen ... Young Lau Kin Ming
Shawn Yue ... Young Chan Wing Yan
Elva Hsiao ... May
Chapman To ... Tsui Wai-keung
Ka Tung Lam ... Inspector B (as Lam Ka Tung)
Ting Yip Ng ... Inspector Cheung (as Ng Ting Yip)
Dion Lam Dion Lam ... Del Piero
Chi Keung Wan Chi Keung Wan ... Officer Leung (as Wan Chi Keung)
Hui Kam Fung Hui Kam Fung ... Cadet School Principal
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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:

". . . choose how to live the rest of your life.: Inspector Lau Min Ming See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | English | Thai

Release Date:

12 December 2002 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Infernal Affairs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,428,966 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,680, 26 September 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$169,659

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,708,932, 21 October 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yan and SP Wong briefly enter a stairwell before Wong takes the elevator. The number "4" is visible on the far wall, which is bad luck in China and Hong Kong as has been mentioned before. See more »

Goofs

When Lau goes to listen to the "sampler" CD that's been dropped off for him, he presses the button on the player and we see the CD drawer close twice - first in the long-shot, and then in a close-up that starts from a fully-open position on the drawer. See more »

Quotes

SP Wong: Let me tell you a story. Two men need an organ transplant, but there's only one organ. So they play a game. They each put a card in their pocket. Whoever can guess the other's card wins the organ.
Sam: You know I can see your card.
SP Wong: I see yours as well.
See more »

Alternate Versions

For the Chinese version an alternate ("politically correct") ending was used. In it, Lau gets arrested when he leaves the elevator. See more »

Connections

References Eight Legged Freaks (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Infernal Affairs
Composed & Arranged by Ronald Ng
Performed by Andy Lau and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung (as Tony Leung)
Produced by Ronald Ng and Kwok-Leung Chan
O.P. BMG Music Publishing Hong Kong, Ltd./Catchy Music Publishing, Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

At it's heart, a gripping cop thriller
2 March 2004 | by bob the mooSee 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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