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Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | The follow-ups that achieve greatness in their own right

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Infernal Affairs II
DIRECTED BY ANDREW LAU WAI-KEUNG, ALAN MAK
RELEASED: 2003

Why's it so good? Both cops and Triads are struggling against a new crime lord in town in this prequel to the original film, amid political manoeuvrings and back-alley deals between opposing sides. This plot is so intricate that it makes the previous one look positively anaemic, but it's meaty rather than tangled when you sink your teeth in.

Infernal Affairs II Infernal Affairs II
How does it stack up to the original? After the elegant dilemma of the first film - an undercover cop in the Triads and an undercover Triad among the cops seek each other out - this more conventional crime thriller may seem lacking, but there's still a heck of a story here. And Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang, whose police Inspector and small-time crime boss Sam provide the focus here, are both on excellent form.

Glaring error: This is set during the Hong Kong handover, dating it a mere 5 years before the original film, but apparently original leads Yan and Ming changed vastly in that time, because here they look like completely different people.


GAP BETWEEN SEQUEL AND ORIGINAL: 10 MONTHS


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