Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Infernal Affairs 2 (4 Stars)

This isn't a sequel to "Infernal Affairs", it's a prequel, so if it had been an American film it would have been called "Infernal Affairs 0". In the first film we met Lau and Chan, who have been undercover operatives for ten years in the police force and a criminal gang respectively. This film deals with the first six years of their undercover operations, from 1991 to 1997. We see the slow advance of the two men in power, while also seeing more of the relationship between the emerging crime boss Sam and the police. An important background to the film is the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China in 1997. This development means big changes not only for the police force, but also for the crime lords.

I read reviews comparing the Infernal Affairs trilogy to the Godfather trilogy. After I watched the first film I thought this comparison was silly, because it didn't have anything in common with "The Godfather". The second film, however, is closer to the Godfather films, since it shows more of the power struggles and internal politics of crime families.

While watching the first film I was confused by Buddhist undertones that seemed to have nothing to do with the film itself. In the second film Buddhism plays an even stronger role, in words at least. I still don't understand the relevance. Maybe one of my readers can explain it to me.

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