Sunday, October 08, 2006


Good Chinese crime drama that they later copied into an American crime drama

Before you head out to the theater this weekend to see the new Scorsese film, The Departed, check out the original Chinese version of that movie. If you've never experienced any of the Hong Kong new wave of cinema, this is a good place to start.

I shouldn't have to tell you the plot. You can get that from the link above. I will say that there are plenty of surprises, plot twists and good old-fashioned edge of your seat suspense. Hitchcock would be proud. It's an hour and a half (or so) of pure cat and mouse, cops and robbers, spy and counter-spy drama - but with cell phones. The characters are very strong. The two lead actors are perfectly cast. And the story is expertly presented. A perfect gangster film, a la Martin Scorsese. It's no wonder that they chose him to direct the remake.

I haven't seen The Departed yet, but I have a lot of faith in Scorsese's ability to pull it off. And although I've been told differently, my only doubt is in the casting of Leonardo DiCaprio as the mole (I'm not giving anything away here - you are told this up front). I think he's a very fine actor, but after seeing the role in INFERNAL AFFAIRS, I have my doubts.

I know many of you will go see The Departed at the theater. Here's why you should also see (either before you see The Departed at the theater - or after) this week's movie INFERNAL AFFAIRS.
  1. It scores slightly higher than "The Departed" on the tomatometer.
  2. Hong Kong mobsters are "bad-ass".
  3. You can say, "Nayh, nayh. I saw the original!"
  4. If you liked Donnie Brasco, this is like two Donnie Brasco's - in the same movie.
  5. I failed at predicting the ending. There are pleasant twists and surprises that you may not expect.
  6. Although Chinese, it's very American in feel (except for the language). It's fairly easy for Americans to like.
  7. Doesn't need to resort to excessive profanity to intensify the dialog. Of course, I could be wrong. I should say - Excessive profanity doesn't appear in the subtitles. There's some - just not a lot (as in the American remake).
  8. Also, there isn't as much violence in this version. Some - just not as much. More than anything else, it's a psychological thriller.
  9. Although set in Boston, "The Departed" was mostly filmed in New York (you know - where the Yankees come from). However, INFERNAL AFFAIRS is set in Hong Kong, and was actually filmed in Hong Kong. So there.
  10. This film might not have Jack Nicholson playing Whitey Bulger, but it does have Tony Leung Chiu Wai. Huh? Huh? In Hong Kong, you don't get much bigger than that.


At 10:25 PM, Anonymous JOE_C said...

An excellent choice as usual. Interesting ending, trapped like a RAT !!!

Keep up the good work on an excellent site. I like you, you are a nice man.


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