Monday, September 20, 2004

Infernal Affairs

Finally saw parts 2 and 3. They were quite good. 2 was similar to 1, plot and pacing every bit as good as in 1, acting not quite as good due to having worse actors. 3 was a bit different due to jumping in time (it's an immediate prequel and sequel to 1, describing various events of the same year, and it's not always easy to figure out what happened before and what after 1) and also due to the fact that some of the events happen only in characters' heads. 3 had the same actors as 1 (Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Andy Lau) and in addition to that Chen Daoming and Leon Lai, who is a noticeably weaker actor than the other three, and it showed.

2 works perfectly fine even if you haven't seen 1. 3 relies heavily on 1 and has some references to 2.

The worse mistake of the whole trilogy was to get young actors (Edison Chen and Shawn Yue) to play young Ming and Yan. This is somewhat annoying in 1 and severely annoying in 2; in 3, thank god, we don't see them much. To begin with, Chen and Yue don't look anything like Lau and Leung. Makeup technology is fairly good now; you should not have to get different actors to play characters when they are only 10 years younger than in part 1. I think the problem might be that Ming and Yan are supposed to be much younger than their respective actors, Lau and Leung, even in part 1 - for example Ming and Yan are in their early thirties, they are played by actors in their early forties, but the makers of the movie don't quite have the nerve to make the same actors play them in their early twenties. Sorry, but if your actors are that much younger than their characters, you should either make the characters older or get younger actors. As it is, it looked horrible. I would much rather suspend my disbelief in pretending that Leung and Lau are 20 in a proper light and makeup, than suspend my disbelief in pretending that Yan in 2002 can be played by Leung (looking his own age) and Yan in 1997 can be played by Yue (also looking his own age, which is 20 years younger) who does not resemble Leung in any way.

Well, that's it for the rant. Chen and Yue are not bad as such, especially Chen. They are not nearly as good as the big actors, but they'll learn.

Chen Daoming was a very nice surprise, as was Carina Lau. I can't remember the last time I saw her not wielding a sword or some other sharp implement.

Hollywood is remaking Infernal Affairs (1, I assume) with white people, so that poor little audiences wouldn't have to look at Asians, especially Cantonese-speaking ones. An R&A guy was spreading a rumor that Pitt and DiCaprio were offered roles but couldn't manage divide them since both wanted to play Yan and neither wanted to play Ming, and Pitt left. Don't know if the rumor is true, but at least it's funny, so here.

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