Monday, January 16, 2006

Infernal Affairs III

2003, Hong Kong, directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak

A disappointing conclusion to the Infernal Affairs trilogy: the drop-off from the creditable second installment is precipitous despite the return of the key actors from the first film. The taut action scenes and narrative economy are replaced here by an interminable series of scenes designed to add 'surprises' to the original plot, with some of the developments just plain confusing, even by the standards of this complex series. The greater sins, however, are the insistence on punctuating what minimal tension is created by constantly cutting between plots (skipping months and even years in the process), as well as leaving outstanding supporting players like Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang with so little to do this time around. The slick style of the picture outweighs the much more acute sense of the bustle and drama of Hong Kong that was such an integral part of the first two movies.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States