Wu jian dao (2002)

Remade by Martin Scorsese as The Departed (2006), this is a sophisticated Hong Kong thriller about an undercover cop and his opposite number in the criminal fraternity.

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Film details

Alternative titles

  • Mou gaan dou Alternative Cantonese (Chinese)
  • Infernal Affairs Alternative
  • Wujian dao Alternative Mandarin (Chinese)
  • Miu gaan diy Alternative Cantonese (Chinese)

Introduction

“An immensely stylish affair... One may discern shades of Michael Mann’s Heat, an ambitious template but one which this movie... lives up to quite handsomely.”
Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 2004

This tale of two moles – a gangster (Andy Lau) posing as a cop, and a cop (Tony Leung) who has infiltrated the Triads – is a brisk, effective policier with moments of emotional complexity, such as the moving scene in which the cop who has sacrificed a decade of his life to undercover work gives a clandestine salute to the passing funeral procession of a colleague.

When the film was released in Hong Kong in late 2002, its success gave an unexpected boost to the down-in-the-dumps film industry. Two further instalments followed in 2003 – a prequel (Infernal Affairs II) and a sequel (Infernal Affairs III) – before Martin Scorsese remade it as The Departed (2006), with Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg.

Not to be confused with Internal Affairs (1990), Mike Figgis’s equally dark and stylish take on police corruption.

Cast & Credits

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