Infernal Affairs II is Proud to be a Local Genre Film



Infernal Affairs is a genre film. It belongs to the undercover genre that local cinema never gets tired of, and with an international standard package. It makes Hong Kong people proud, because it is just as good as any Hollywood productions.

Infernal Affairs II is also a genre film. It is a consolidation of the twenty years of local gangster genre, and a satire of the current situation through the format and even scenes "borrowed" from The Godfather. It makes western fans of Hong Kong cinema proud because it dares to challenge The Godfather.

At the end of the day, it is getting what you want. We want others' level of production; others want our genre-breaking charm. Copycat/ look alike/ inspired by/paying tribute to...... is not necessarily bad. The point is whether it is used right.

A genre only comes into being after there is an accumulation of history, which is also the history of the place. Respecting genre films is the respect for history. Genre films are exclusive to countries with a massive film industry. If we are proud of once being on par with Hollywood and Bollywood, then we should respect our genre films.

Infernal Affairs II poses some reading difficulties because it consolidates three local genres, represented by its three leads. Hon Sam represents the hero genre, Wong Chi-shing the mob boss genre and Ngai Wing-hau the gangster genre. The part of Lau Kin-ming and Mary in the refuge is reminiscent of Days of Being Wild and the showdown between Hon Sam and Ngai Wing-hau not unlike show hand on the gambling table. Then there is the Young and Dangerous style of shooting amid the crowd. It challenges the audience's genre knowledge and understanding of multi-lateral development.

So please don't over-hype it as some art film, and don't sell it short as just a copycat of The Godfather. Infernal Affairs II, simply put, is a local genre film, and proud of it.

By Athena Tsui

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