Mou gaan dou [Infernal Affairs] (2002)

(On DVD, March 2005) Hong-Hong crime cinema’s traditional fascination for the criminal/policeman duality here finds its masterpiece. Tony Leung and Andy Lau play polar opposites as (respectively) an undercover policeman infiltrating criminal gangs and a criminal infiltrating the ranks of the police forces. After an effective opening sequence, the cards are on the table for all to see and the game begins as to which man will uncover the other before he is himself discovered. But the plot is only half the story as this tense crime drama is developed with great skill and grace. The direction is fluid and the suspense runs high. While some leads go nowhere, the film a s a whole is a superior cops-and-criminals drama in much of the same vein as Heat or L.A. Confidential. This is world cinema at its accessible best.

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