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Infernal Affairs II Reviews

Page 1 of 33

Super Reviewer

April 19, 2007
Set during the years leading up to the British hand over of Hong Kong to China, a police inspector attempts to overthrow a Triad gang and leave it in the hands of less violent and ruthless successor. The sequel to Infernal Affairs is actually more of a prequel, fleshing out the characters and events that led up to the time of the original. It's a beautifully made and intelligent gangster movie that reveals the various shades of grey within the characters; none can really be seen as totally "good" or "bad", particularly considering Inspector Wong's manipulation of events that lead to unexpected consequences. The only real problem is the fact that it's more of a companion piece to the original than a self-contained story and as such I think anyone who watched this without having seen the original will struggle to see the significance of the events as they unfold here. But to fans of the original film it's an excellent prequel that skillfully fleshes out the story and characters with a much broader palette, making the first film an all the more satisfying experience.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

February 7, 2012
Prequel for Infernal Affairs. Not quite as good. As a matter of fact, I found it much harder to follow. Well done, but the style, and intrigue, that attracted me to the first one was missing in this one. Too bad...
Lady D

Super Reviewer

November 21, 2006
Despite not working out that this was a prequel and not a sequel until half way through, the film impacted hard with natural, gritty performances, a gripping storyline and some wonderful music to accompany those powerful scenes, impressive second installment.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

November 26, 2010
Set before events in Wu Jian Dao, the murder of the head of the Ngai family see his son, Hau, stepping up ? immediately upsetting the power balance in the region. Small time boss Sam has a close relationship with officer SP Wong both of whom wish to see the Ngai family removed from the scene. Meanwhile, triad Lau Kin Ming is sent to infiltrate the police force and gradually work his way up with help from Sam while Wong sanctions Chen Wing Yan (the half brother of the Hgai family) to infiltrate the triads and work his way up to Hau.

I approached this film wondering what it would do ? how would it manage to be interesting given that we already know (from part 1) how it goes. I also expected it to be roughly the same as the first film in terms of being an enjoyable thriller ? however this was not the case and it was hard to get into the film for what it was. The story is not really about Yan and Ming so much as it is about the leading figures behind them ? this film belongs to Sam, Wong and Hau and this was a bit of a surprise but one I was able to get over quickly and settle into a pretty interesting story where we see the shift of power in the HK crime families ? unsurprisingly framed by the shift of political power from Britain to China. However interesting it is the film lacks in several areas. Firstly the praise for the first film seems to have got to the makers' heads and part 2 is a much more overblown affair that injects every scene with a sense of overblown drama that it tries to create as oppose to earn. This is a little tiring as it seems to be forcing us to accept the film as some sort of epic where it would have been much more effective to underplay the story and let it stand on its own. Making this more annoying is the fact that the script doesn't really help the audience much and only the sharpest viewer will make it through the first 20 minutes without struggling to get hold of the story and work out who everybody is.

In stark contrast to the tight thriller of part 1, this film is a much bigger story and, as such, occasionally struggled to keep me emotionally involved. Sure, the politics of crime were interesting and produced plenty of good stuff but only occasionally did I get behind the characters and struggle to know who to support like I had in part 1 ? in fact the film could have easily lost Yan and Ming without losing much story. However it is still worth seeing as it does manage as a bit of a twisty crime story (but not a thriller) but even as this it doesn't really stand out as being that great. The loss of the great performances from Lau and Leung is a massive hole that neither Chen or Yue ever get close to filling ? the fact that the material gives them no help either is not their fault. As before, Wong and Tsang are both good and they benefit from being the focus of the prequel. Ng is a good addition as Hau and he is suitably professional, cold and has a powerful presence suiting his character ? it also helps that he was very easy on the eye too! As with the prequel, the female parts are pretty thin and the potential to use Lau's Mary better is not taken.

Overall this is not a bad film by any means; in fact it is an OK story of crime between the ruling families (as shown by a few individuals) however the film hurts itself by trying to force itself into the shape of a 'sprawling crime epic' when nothing in the material actually justifies this aim. The poor use of Yan and Ming is a problem that is only slightly helped by the increased focus on Sam and SP Wong. An OK film but not a scratch on the original and not even necessary viewing to enjoy that better film.
Al S

Super Reviewer

November 8, 2007
Echos of The Godfather. An awsome movie which shows the background to the original. It's gripping, dazzeling and electrifying. Shocking and breathtaking. A full-clip of explosive action and searing suspense. An outstanding and fantastic cast. Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang are brilliant. Wickedy cool and riveting. It's raw, enthralling and fabulous. Complex characters, hard-hitting drama and a great story. An adreniline-rush in amasing doses. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Super Reviewer

March 12, 2007
This tense prequel made us have a whole picture of the trilogy!
Marcus W

Super Reviewer

May 22, 2009
Personally, I don't believe Infernal Affairs needed a sequel, but nonetheless...a prequel was the best way to go, showing the audience the rise to power of the four main characters - yet this also kills some of the tension: more than once Sam is in danger, but you already know he survives. There's still a few surprises, and if you loved the first one it's worth a watch.
Christopher B

Super Reviewer

February 24, 2007
When I first saw this I liked it more than the first one. Time has passed and now it's just a notch below, but this film does have a more epic feel with amazing performances from Wong and Logan. I hate prequels for the most part, but this is a great one.
August 1, 2012
Dare I bring up Godfather II references? This is the best in the series that The Departed was based on and bests the original Infernal Affairs. The evil boss is a revelation as the "bad guy". If you liked The Departed quickly watch Infernal Affairs I and II and then, just like the Godfather, Aliens, and countless other sequels done too many times pretend that III never happened.
February 23, 2007
what happened before infernal affairs? this movie. overall gave great information on the rise of sam through the triads and the early days of our two moles working up the ladder of the traids and police. must see if fan of series. this series is almost like the modern Hong Kong version of the Godfather and this is almost like the Godfather 2 with nice character background and a bloody massacre on how all the characters ended up the way they did in the first film. Not as good as the first one, but still incredibly awesome.
October 2, 2008
If you dig The Departed, you owe it to these brilliant filmmakers to watch the films that movie was based on like the Infernal Affairs series.
February 23, 2008
A very interesting prequel to the original Infernal Affairs/Mou Gaan Dou that makes me want to watch the original movie of this trilogy all over again.
March 28, 2008
A worthy sequel to Infernal Affairs that sheds more light onto the characters of the first movie. It shows you a lot more of the backstory of the characters, and you see what drives these characters to be what they are in the first IA movie. There are adequate performances all around, but Francis Ng and Anthony Wong really steal the show here.

What's so interesting about the Infernal Affairs trilogy is how different they are (well, I've now seen the first two, so I can't judge the last movie quite yet). But from what I've seen, the first one is an intense, cat-and-mouse thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. This second movie was more of a character-driven, plot-centered gangster/cop movie. The movie, "The Godfather", definitely comes to mind as a similar movie. It's interesting to see how they glue different styles of movies to form a trilogy. Usually, a trilogy consists of the same style of movie 3 times in a row. This is not the case here.

It's original and dominates the screen on all fronts. Keeps you entertained, keeps you excited, keeps you thinking. What else could you ask from a movie?

The Infernal Affairs trilogy: good stuff.
January 28, 2008
Good background on Yan, liked what they did with Sam and SP Wong, and Lau...didn't like what they did with him. Overall it was a decent movie.
October 5, 2007
The midpoint, which tones down the drama of the first a bit and simplifies the story to more of a crime roller coaster, where you're not so worried about the fate of the characters as you are how the action is going to pan out. It's an interesting sequel definitely worth checking out.
April 17, 2007
What more can you ask for... all the good stuff from IA I, but throw in liberal doses of Shawn Yue and Edison Chen
March 12, 2007
A sub story with the younger characters just out of cadet training... provides more backdrop for part three...
February 12, 2007
One to best movie. Great action, story and acting. The orignal Departed, American just f it up when they remade it.
March 7, 2013
3/5 I watched Infernal Affairs 1 a long time ago and loved it. I also think it was better than the remake. I just watched part 2, the prequel, meh, nowhere near as good as part 1.
January 31, 2013
Francis Ng contributed his best performance, as a gangster.
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