INFERNAL AFFAIRS

Intense Intrigue

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: September 17, 2004

Starring: Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony
Wong, Eric Tsang, Sammi Cheng,
and Kelly Chen

Genre: Police Thriller

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: R for some violence

Runtime: 101 minutes

Distributor: Miramax Films/Buena Vista
(Walt Disney Company)

Director: Andrew Lau and Alan
Mak PRODUCERS: Nansun Shi and
John Chong

Executive Producer:

Producer: Nansun Shi and John
Chong EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
Andrew Lau and Fred Tsui

Writer: Alan Mak and Felix Chong BASED
ON THE NOVEL/PLAY BY: N/A

Address Comments To:

Bob and Harvey Weinstein
Co-Chairmen
Miramax Films
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (323) 822-4100 and (212) 941-3800
Fax: (212) 941-3846
Website: www.miramax.com

Content:

(Pa, C, B, L, VVV, S, N, A, DD, M) Light Buddhist pagan worldview mentions eternal hell although "hell" is not a Buddhist concept, has man lifting his hands in prayer to Buddha and contains light redemptive and moral elements; seven mostly light obscenities (no “f” words) and no profanities; brief very strong violence includes man shot in head, sounds of gunfire, images of dead bodies, body suddenly crashes on roof of car, car crashes into ditch, gunfight breaks out, and man holds another man’s extremely bloody belly wound to stem the flow; lightly implied fornication when man stays overnight with woman; upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking, man snorts cocaine to test its potency, and gangsters try to smuggle cocaine into Hong Kong; and, gangsters eventually caught, crime boss inserts spies into police department, and cynicism.

GENRE: Police Thriller

Summary:

INFERNAL AFFAIRS is a popular police thriller from Hong Kong about an undercover cop named Yan working for a drug trafficker and a detective named Lau who secretly works for the same crime boss. A few silly references to Buddha and some brief R-rated violence don’t destroy the effectiveness of this intense Asian thriller.

Review:

INFERNAL AFFAIRS was such a big hit in Hong Kong two years ago that they made two sequels. The first movie, which won five Hong Kong Film Awards, is just hitting North American shores in the fall of 2004.

In the story, an undercover cop, Chan Yan, complains to his boss, Superintendent Wong, about being undercover for 10 years. Yan is beginning to crack under the strain and wants out. Wong has one more job for Yan, however – to help stop the cocaine traffic between a crime boss known as Sam and some smugglers from Thailand.

The bust goes wrong, however, because one of Wong’s lieutenants, Lau Ming, is actually a mole, or spy, working for Sam. Sam figures out he has his own mole, so Yan volunteers to find the spy. Meanwhile, Superintendent Wong asks Lau to find the mole working in his team of police detectives. A tense game of cat and mouse ensues.

INFERNAL AFFAIRS is a well-crafted, psychological police thriller, although the beginning part is a little confusing. The drama soon kicks into high gear.

Despite brief R-rated violence, INFERNAL AFFAIRS is a relatively clean movie, compared to contemporary American police thrillers. Eventually, Lau becomes disturbed by how brutally his crime boss handles the situation. He tries to repent, but that is easier said than done. His clumsy attempt to change ends in tragedy.

INFERNAL AFFAIRS opens and closes with quotes from Buddha about living in continuous or eternal hell, but hell in Buddhism is different from what hell in Christianity is. Ironically, in an early scene with the crime boss at a Buddhist temple, the crime boss says how glad he is that his prayers to Buddha have been answered by his survival, even though many of his brothers in the crime syndicate have died. That will soon change for him, however. As Isaiah 40 says, “All flesh is grass. . . . The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

In Brief:

INFERNAL AFFAIRS is a popular police thriller from Hong Kong about an undercover cop named Yan working for a drug trafficker and a detective named Lau who secretly works for the same crime boss. The crime boss figures out he has his own mole, so Yan volunteers to find the spy. Meanwhile, Superintendent Wong, the only one who knows about Yan, asks Lau to find the mole working in his team of police detectives. A tense game of cat and mouse ensues.

INFERNAL AFFAIRS is a well-crafted, psychological police thriller, although the beginning is a little confusing. The drama soon kicks into high gear. Despite brief R-rated violence, INFERNAL AFFAIRS is a relatively clean movie, compared to contemporary American thrillers. Eventually, Lau becomes disturbed by how brutally his crime boss handles the situation. He tries to repent, but that is easier said than done. His clumsy attempt to change ends in tragedy. INFERNAL AFFAIRS opens and closes with quotes from Buddha about living in continuous or eternal hell, but hell in Buddhism is different from what hell in Christianity is. The silly references to Buddha don’t destroy the effectiveness of this intense thriller, however.