(aka "Mou Gaan Dou 2" or "Wu Jian Dao 2")

 

directed by Andrew Lau Wai Keung and Alan Mak Siu Fai
Hong Kong 2003

 

After Infernal Affairs basically revived Hong-Kong cinema single-handedly, the moviemakers announced that they would produce two more movies. Since the backstory involving the two moles was as fascinating as what they did in the “present”, Infernal Affairs 2 was drafted as a prequel. Infernal Affairs 3 details events following what happened in the first Infernal Affairs. Not only did these decisions provide a before-and-after appraisal of the characters’ lives, they also gave the characters a defining sense of closure. By the end of the trilogy, everyone related in some way to the two main undercover moles is either dead or has nothing left to do but mourn the dead. Perhaps the sense of finality is too pat and neat for some viewers, though the resolutions reflect the movies’ insistent references to Buddhist teachings about karma and fate.

Infernal Affairs 2 can be understood as a stand-alone movie, and you can watch the movies in narrative order without undesired side effects. (In fact, the R0 Hong Kong Limited Edition from Media Asia even includes a five-hour cut that arranges ALL of the movies’ scenes into strict chronological order.) Obviously, the three movies enrich each other, though taken individually, I think that Infernal Affairs 2 is the best of the bunch.

Infernal Affairs and Infernal Affairs 3 are focused on two themes--people smoking out other people and psychological disintegration. Infernal Affairs 2 places the moles’ story in the context of Hong Kong’s return to China. Since the moles are young men during the 1991-1997 period, they are actually small cogs in a war between the police and an ambitious triad boss who is determined to become the Chief Executive of Hong Kong after the territory’s handover. Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang reprise their roles as a mentor in the police force and a gangster, but as terrific as they are, they are overshadowed by Francis Ng, who plays the ambitious triad boss.

Superstars Andy Lau and Tony Leung Chiu-wai don’t appear in Infernal Affairs 2, but one never misses them. The young actors who play Lau and Leung’s roles--Edison Chen and Shawn Yue, respectively--initially look generic attractive models and pop singers (which they are). However, the script gives Chen and Yue many different shadings, which allows them to amplify the empathy that viewers felt for the characters in the first movie. Before Infernal Affairs became a phenomenon, the movie was just another job for Andy Lau and Tony Leung. Therefore, although the movie is much-celebrated, Lau and Leung don’t completely own their characters. However, Chen and Yue knew that Infernal Affairs 2 would define their careers, so they inhabited their roles with so much conviction and authority that I hoped that the third movie would feature them instead of Lau and Leung.

Yunda Eddie Feng

Poster

Theatrical Release: 1 October 2003

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Yunda Eddie Feng for all the Screen Caps!

(Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

OUT-OF-PRINT

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Distribution

Genius Products/The Weinstein Company

Region 1 - NTSC

Media Asia
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 119 119
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Genius Products/The Weinstein Company

 

Bitrate:

 

Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set)

 

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese Chinese, Dolby Digital 2.0 surround English

DD 5.1 Cantonese Chinese, DD 5.1 Mandarin Chinese, DTS 5.1 Cantonese Chinese

Subtitles Optional English and Spanish Optional Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English
Features Release Information:
Studio: Genius Products/The Weinstein Company

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• audio commentary by members of the cast and crew (in Cantonese with optional English subtitles)
• deleted scenes
• The Making of Infernal Affairs 2
• Confidential File (behind-the-scenes footage)
• trailers for Infernal Affairs 2 and other movies

DVD Release Date: 13 Feb 2007
keepcase

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Media Asia

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• audio commentary by members of the cast and crew (in Cantonese with optional traditional/simplified
• The Story (plot synopsis)
• deleted scenes
• The Making of Infernal Affairs 2
• Confidential File (behind-the-scenes footage)
• trailers for the series
• music video
• Cast and Credits (including mini-biographies)
• Photo Gallery
• Easter Egg

 

DVD Release Date: 2004
keepcase inside custom box

Chapters 20

 

 

Comments:

Video:
R1 Genius
The R1 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture looks like it has a little more information on the sides than the R0 transfer. Otherwise, it has noticeable halos and mosquito noise. I assume the problems arise from the comparatively low bit rate.

R0 Media Asia
The R0 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen image is generally much stronger than what you get with the R1 disc, though for some reason, a lot of text looks very soft. Also, the R0 is slightly windowboxed.

Audio:
R1 Genius
The R1 Genius disc offers a Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese Chinese track and a DD 2.0 surround English dub track. The DD 5.1 Cantonese track seems very similar to the 5.1 tracks on the R0 release.

Optional English and Spanish subtitles support the audio.

R0 Media Asia
The R0 Media Asia disc offers Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese Chinese, Dolby Digital 5.1 Mandarin Chinese dub, and DTS 5.1 Cantonese Chinese tracks. Although the poignant and tense music cues are spread fairly wide across the front soundstage, the rears don’t have much activity since this is a dialogue-heavy drama. Nevertheless, there are deep bass extensions when appropriate.

Optional Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and English subtitles support the audio.

Extras:
R1 Genius
The movie-pertinent R1 extras are included in the R0 mega box set, though the reverse is not true. The R1 disc also has trailers for other Dragon-Dynasty DVDs.

R0 Media Asia
The eight-DVD box set devotes two discs to each movie and includes a five-hour chronological cut spread across another two discs. You can watch Infernal Affairs 2 with the audio commentary (this time with optional traditional/simplified Chinese subtitles). On the bonus disc for the movie, you get “The Story” (plot synopsis), deleted scenes, “The Making of Infernal Affairs 2”, Confidential File, trailers for various movies in the series, a music video, Cast and Credits (text pages with info about the moviemakers), a Photo Gallery, and an Easter Egg with some flubbed takes if you use the remote control to underline the title (look on the right-hand side of the fifth menu screen capture)..

Summary:
The R1 discs from Genius Products/The Weinstein Company are commendable editions, and the R1 Infernal Affairs 2 DVD even has optional English subtitles for the Cantonese Chinese audio commentary. However, the R0 releases from Media Asia have all of the R1 extras and additional audio options. The R0 Limited Edition also has the aforementioned five-hour chronological edit, though the LE is usually difficult to find. The R1 products are for casual fans or curious viewers; otherwise, die-hards should get one of the R0 box sets (8-disc or 6-disc) from Media Asia.

*Note: The Buena Vista R1 Infernal Affairs DVD is still the only official DVD release for that movie in the United States. The trilogy box set from The Weinstein Company includes a copy of the Buena Vista disc, but Weinstein is not offering its own stand-alone version of the first movie.

 - Yunda Eddie Feng



DVD Menus
(
Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Media Asia (Limited Edition Trilogy Box Set) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

R0 Media Asia

Sound:

R0 Media Asia

Extras: R0 Media Asia
Menu: R0 Media Asia

 
DVD Box Covers

 

OUT-OF-PRINT

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Genius Products/The Weinstein Company

Region 1 - NTSC

Media Asia
Region 0 - NTSC




 

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