Infernal Affairs 2

Starring: Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang and Carina Lau
Tartan Asia Extreme
RRP: 19.99
TVD 3508
Certificate: 15
Available 03 January 2005

Inspector Wong and Sam, bitter enemies from the first film, behave like old friends. Yan is embroiled in the family saga of a Triad cartel inextricably tied to his old origins, while Ming is enmeshed in an oedipal fixation with his boss' wife...

Set between the years 1991 and 1997, Internal Affairs 2 begins 10 years before the events told in Infernal Affairs. The young Yan and Ming (played by Shawn Yue and Edison Chen respectively) are just starting out in their roles as police stooge and Triad mole. Expanding considerably upon the now legendary original, this acclaimed prequel develops the mythic feel of the saga. Friendships fracture, foes join forces and nothing is as it appears to be.

The first Infernal Affairs film was a huge success in its native China and enjoyed a reasonable amount of success here in the UK due to good marketing and a limited cinema release. It is a very good film following the exploits of two men, one in the police force and one in a triad gang. But underneath the covers they are both the opposite of who they appear to be. The film ended with a very definite climax and left you wondering whether or not the good side had won.

This prequel goes into the depths of how these two men became who they are. Also how the characters they share the screen with have evolved and changed as well. But sadly this does pose one major problem for this film. If you did not enjoy the first film, then this really isn't for you. Same as if you enjoyed the first film and felt that everything was wrapped up nice and tidy then this really isn't for you. But if you do want to know how the two leads came about then I cannot recommend this enough.

The acting and direction of this film is very tight and has just the right amount of balance to it. Although this isn't an all out action film, it isn't a boring floppy drama either. By the end of it you really do care about the characters and it does make you sad when you remember the events of the first film.

The DVD itself includes a lovely DTS audio track and a couple of short documentaries. Not a great selection, but the film makes up for it. Just you wait till number three comes out.

Simon Lee

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