This fantastic-looking prequel is the second instalment of the Hong Kong corrupt-cop trilogy that began with 2002's Infernal Affairs. Dealing with the early lives of Yan (Shawn Yue) and Ming (Edison Chen), moles in the Triads and police respectively, Infernal Affairs 2 gives the pair a touch of Godfather-style grandeur.
With Yue and Chen impressing as younger versions of characters made famous by Tony Leung and Andy Lau, returning directors Wai Keung Lau and Siu Fai Mak widen the story to explore each man's rise to power. Their ascent coincides with a bloody-but-cinematic seven-year gang war that begins when Ming secretly assassinates a Triad boss...
With bravura set-pieces and double-crosses galore, No2 retains the flavour of the original without dishing up more of the same. The result is an urban epic in which the political handover of Hong Kong provides a neat parallel to the Triads' changing fortunes and loyalties. Let's hear it for Affairs 3 - and the mooted Scorsese remake.