So a funny thing happened when I watched Infernal Affairs II... I had no god damn clue what was going on. I want to put my notes on the film up following my notes from the first one, but given this little deficiency I'm not sure if I can provide the deep analysis (musings?) that I like to provide.

The movie was a prequel, using different actors, so I had no clue who was who, and I in fact didn't really even get that it was a prequel until later when I realized that the actors were the same as the flashbacks from the first one. The plot is labyrinthine, the cops and the thugs from the first movie team up to kill some thugs from another movie, the gangster who joined the police force from the first film, falls in love with/kills the crime boss' wife (all men kill the things they love), other than the vaguely similar characters its connection to the first movie is rather sparse. There is a lot of conspiring between the police chief and the crime boss, to do some sort of manipulation of the underworld. Its all set to the end of the British occupation in Hong Kong, and that whole "end of an era" feel.

I did enjoy this film though, the acting, as is usual for this series, was all superb, and I have a certain affection for labyrinthine plots (Raymond Chandleresque, not films that don't make any sense, like the matrix). I also like that it reworked the "cops vs. thugs" story to a cops with thugs story. A much different version of the "if all these radios go of" monologue from the Asphalt Jungle.

The real problem with the story is that nothing in it is really developed fully enough. Even the driving force of the film, the relationship between the police chief and the gang boss is only moderately developed, the plot is too complex to interesting as anything but a backdrop (as in a Raymond Chandler story), and the characters you are attached too from the first film are mostly absent. The film is filled with charming moments. Anything with the gang boss is lovely, and the undercover cop does does nice things, but its not enough to the film focused. The only thing that really grabs the attention and holds it, is the affair between the undercover thug and the crime boss' wife... which is beautiful

Basically I'm saying, its worth watching, quite worth watching actually, enjoyable to watch even, but not for the story. Just for the way people move.

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