A scent of France. Possibly, this film developed the basic scheme of "Infernal Affairs".
The decadence. Intuitive and subjective expressions. The fall of a policeman hiding the evil. And the peace for a gangster living in the honesty. "Infernal Affairs" has the reverse scheme of this lesser-known "Cop on a Mission" which was released preceding one year. Coincidence: the undercover cop story, Eric Tsang as a big boss of Mafia. This unique film should be praised along with "Infernal Affairs".
Awakening of the evil
Infernal Affairs shows the philosophy. The eternal conflict between the vice and the virtue. A lie makes another lie, a violence calls another violence even though it is done for a peace of life. Then, this "Cop on a Mission" simply shows the decadence by the cynical expressions.
The story focuses into the introspection of the protagonist "Mike" by Daniel Wu. Mike is a policeman who admits his nature, evil. At his first murder albeit it was a legitimate self-defence, the evil inside him awakes. This is a dramatic departure of the story, Daniel Wu shows us the intense expressions with his eyes. From there, I already got a conviction that this film is a masterpiece.
The descriptions on "Cop on a Mission" are raw. I feel that the film has the scent of a film français. The expression is often intuitive and subjective. And the story advances into the nihilism. "Cop on a Mission" is lesser-known. This unique French flavoured Hong Kong film should be praised.
"Infernal Affairs" over Mike
Over Mike, I find the basic scheme of "Infernal Affairs". Mike can be "Chen Wing-yan" (Tony Leung). If Chen Wing-yan loses his heart and become a betrayer, he will be Mike. Alternatively, if Mike had been living in justice, he could be Chen Wing-yan. Chen Wing-yan is the light side of Mike.
Simply switching the profession of Mike from the policeman to the gangster, the story of "Lau Kin-ming" (Andy Lau) is another good ending of Mike. Furthermore, the unreleased bad ending of Lau Kin-ming reminds of the dead-end of Mike. And the burying alive reminds me Mad Detective. "Cop on a Mission" could influenced several famous films.
An unforgettable scene. Mike secretly watches "Pauline" changing her clothes. Then, he is obsessed by her phantasm in a bathroom and reached orgasm… impressive and immoral. The reality and the fiction merge into the strong fascination of Suki Kwan.
Suki Kwan is 35 years old in this film. Matured beauty. She has been called as 性感女神 (Sex Goddess) along with Chingmy Yau, Ellen Chan and Athena Chu.
The big man
Eric Tsang appears as "Yum King-tin", the strongest boss of Hong Kong Mafia. We find a resemblance between Yum King-tin and "Hon Sam" of "Infernal Affairs". Notably on the characteristic, he is always sensible, magnanimous and smiley, but when his anger reached maximum, he suddenly turns into a savage.
We know well that Eric Tsang as the greatest comedian from a dozen of films or Super Trio series, so that the personage hiding the madness behind his smile can be done. Note that this new type of Mafia personage which became one of the standard roles of Eric Tsang, was initially developed on "Cop on a Mission".
It’s interesting that Yum King-tin acquires his success of life. He is a man of the underworld, but he was honest. Conversely, Mike was a policeman, but he betrayed everything and got a misery. We find the same twist in "Infernal Affairs". "Infernal Affairs" has the reverse scheme of "Cop on a Mission".
At the scene where Yum King-tin reveals his deep love to Pauline, I shed the tears. A memorable scene, it’s so strong. Eric Tsang is surely more big than we’re supposing. Otherwise, this scene wasn’t such emotional. The acting comes from the personality of the actor. Eric Tsang is great.
Since Inspector Chang of Gen-X Cops, Eric Tsang is often a good boss of the young generation. I would love to see a film where Eric Tsang takes a place of hero like Nicholas Tse. A Wuxia film can be exciting! And a romantic comedy like Needing You… will surely be marvellous.
Looking for Anya
Besides Suki Kwan, we find another beautiful woman, an ex-DJ Taiwanese and Canadian actress Anya. She is known by starring Naked Weapon (2002).
I saw her initially in For Bad Boys Only (2000). An awful film with hundreds of Shu Qi despite the really gorgeous casts. Anya appears as a DJ. In this film, there is a line that Japanese can’t forget. Mark Cheng plays a guy named 板本, not 坂本（Itamoto, obviously the misunderstanding of Sakamoto). He says:
If you know Japanese, you see that’s something… too edgy.
Anyway, Anya was so cute that I watched her cinema debut title Born to Be King (2000) in which she plays a sad Japanese girl. This Teddyboy based film was too dark to me. I saw The Era of Vampires (2003) too. I found her also in 2002 as Fire Ghost. 2002 is a film of Wilson Yip, it’s rather an experimental work.
These films were made under the transition from 20th to 21st century. We see some fresh ideas inside regardless of if it’s interesting or not.
Karel Wong, the warning sign!
Karel Wong is also my favourite actor. He appears as a short temper gangster as usual. When we saw him, we know that there will be a danger. For example, Off Track.
If you don’t know his name, but you already saw him. He appears in several famous films such as Fight Back to School of Stephen Chow or The Conman of Andy Lau. These are "Must-See".
I saw him initially in 唐山猛龍 (2001). He appears as a gambling holic brother of 張寶雯. His acting was impressive. This film is worth seeing. The heroine, 張寶雯 is a strong and cute martial arts actress of Mainland. She is my very favourite.
The other good casts.
Chung-zai was an impressive supporting character. I will check out the filmography of David Lee. He is a great actor. Lam Suet, always a comic relief, but he is a little violent this time. He has his own story of revenge, the director perfectly completed this side plot. Frankie Ng as Fei Lung (Dragon in English version), a familar face, regular actor of Andy Lau films. He is one of my favourite actors.