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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2306)

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Infernal Affairs ( Mou gaan dou ) 
"Infernal Affairs" by Yojimbo
3/4 stars

Two cops face off against each other in a race against time to discover their respective identities; one honest, working within a drug runner's gang and the other corrupt, working for the criminals. The inspiration for The Departed, this is one of the seminal Asian crime dramas of the last few years. Well, ever, in fact. My main problem with it is that I REALLY wish I'd seen it first. The difference between this and The Departed highlights the difference between HK and US movie-making in general; The Departed was full of colourful language, brutal violence and macho posturing, while this is a far more understated affair. Unfortunately this means it is far more reliant on the twists and turns of the very cleverly written plot, and so anyone who has seen The Departed already will know what's going to happen in advance. If viewed the other way round, one can still enjoy Scorsese's reinterpretation of events with his colourful and characterful fleshing out of the story. It is a quality piece of film-making, but I would seriously suggest to anyone who has seen neither to go for this one first.


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