Infernal Affairs II: Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s prequel foregoes the simple purity of the cat-and-mouse game of the first film for the complex saga of succession in a crime empire, as it also displays the formative years of the previously known characters. The focus falls on different people this time, supporting characters from the first film, allowing the viewer to get a more complete picture of the universe as a whole. Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang, who repeat their roles, are again fine and do well with the extra time and development of their characters; Edison Chen and Shawn Yue (who technically also repeat their roles, but they are not the face of the characters for most of the first entry) are not as interesting as their more seniors castmates; Carina Lau and Francis Ng are good additions, particularly Ng as the main villain. Editors Pang Ching Hei and Danny Pang’s work is peculiar: the film feels longer than it is, but it’s never badly paced or dull. Composer Chan Kwong Wing’s musical score is unusual for the genre, as it gives the movie a romantic bent.
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