When I decided to watch Infernal Affairs 2 I was half thinking it was going to be a cheap sequel to make the Hong Kong film makers extra money. After all, if Hollywood makes money spinning out sequels all the time then why not other countries?
Also I knew there was a 3rd film in the series, which screamed of even more of a money grab, so my expectations were mixed going into this film as very rarely do follow ups live up to their originals.
Not only that but it was going to be a prequel, so I was wondering how you can make a story interesting when you already know what happens to the characters much later on in their lives. It’s not like a character can suddenly die in this prequel because they need to be around for the next film!
Infernal Affairs 2 follows more closely the respective bosses from the first film, Inspector Wong Chi-Shing and gang boss leader Hon Sam, but because of the 11 year time difference between the two films, both men are further down the chain of command than we knew them to be in the first film. Not only do we get to see their younger selves but we find out that they were good friends, despite both being on opposite sides of the law.
Although this story focuses on Wong Chi-Shing and Hon Sam, you also gain a better understanding of the early lives of the two other main characters from the first film, but at much younger ages. You get to see how they were living when they were first put into their undercover roles and how their lives will eventually come crashing together.
With the reservations I had going into this film, I was really happy when it was able to keep me riveted from the beginning. The story, like the first film, was interwoven and complicated but I never really found myself confused – well maybe I was just a couple of times!
Not only that, but I found the pay off at the end to be very satisfying having already seen the first film and knowing what these characters end up doing.
All in all I would just about say I liked this film more than the first one. However, it could be because I already knew what happened in the initial film, and I had already seen The Departed first. Then again, perhaps it was the brand new story that appealed to me, but all up I’m more than happy to give the two films the same score.
8.5 out of 10 from me!!!