The critically acclaimed Hong Kong crime film was remade as the Oscar-winning movie “The Departed”, and spawned two sequels.
The story is focused and simple, with themes of duality and trickery. The actors do a sterling job presenting the two moles each losing himself to the role he plays, each influenced by his handler/father-figure.
The second movie was unfortunately a prequel, with a modicum of story continuity but not thematic continuity. Yan is much more important than his treatment in the first movie implies, and Lau is sidelined in subplots to keep him from meeting most of the cast. What happens to Luk’s is very predictable, and what happens to Sam in Thailand isn’t explained properly. I did like the evil glasses guy, and that Sam wasn’t the person I expected him to be.
I had far too much trouble following the timeline-jumping narration of Infernal Affairs 3, and once again the first movie is given a huge amount of weight. I did like that it told a new story rather than retreading characters’ pasts, but Yan’s relationship with Sam grew even more confusing. I did like the resolution with Lau.