Friday, May 2, 2008

Infernal Affairs (2002)

Scorsese's best picture-winning The Departed is based on this Hong Kong cop thriller. I had always assumed that it was just loosely based on it but The Departed follows Infernal Affairs (kind of a lame title, yes, but the actual translation is something like "Non-stop Way") nearly scene for scene. The only major differences are the incredibly quick introduction and the ending. A few minutes into the film we are shown both main characters with the words "UNDERCOVER COP" and "GANG MOLE" superimposed on them, which makes it a fast-forwarded version of the first 30 minutes or so of The Departed. The ending perhaps makes more sense for a Chinese/Buddhist audience than the Mark Wahlberg revenge scene that is so satisfying for the western audience. But whichever ending you prefer, you have to admit that Scorsese's gimmicky rat on the balcony is pretty weak.

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