This ex-boss is Superintendent of Security Yeung (Leon Lai). His role as a crooked cop is solidified before Ming begins to suspect him. Yeung is connected to Mainland China boss Shen (Hero’s Emperor Chen Daoming) and later revealed to be Sam’s informant. Shen is Sam’s opportunity to enter the Mainland narcotics market. All of this requires a flashback story. Thus, the departed characters of Infernal Affairs have been resurrected: SP Wong (Anthony Wong), Sam (Eric Tsang), Yan and his superior Keung (Chapman To). Police psychiatrist Dr. Lee (Kelly Chen) is also included to create some romantic tension with Yan and possibly Ming.
Although Ming is supposedly the center of the drama, Yan gets more attention. His violent behavior – from wrecking a masseuse parlor to attacking Shen’s younger brother - prompts SP Wong to send him for mandatory psychiatric therapy (to avoid jail time), from which a series of sessions follows to further his relationship/romance with Dr. Lee. Much of these must serve to romanticize Yan at the expense of Ming since they are distracting and have little to do with Ming’s investigation of Yeung. The concluding scene showing Yeung, Yan and Shen in a chummy interaction can still stand even with the ‘legend of Yan’ angle trimmed significantly.
Consequently, Ming’s investigation of Yeung drives him towards desperate measures. He steals Dr. Lee’s computer to access Yan’s medical dossier, plants video cameras to spy on Yeung at his office, and an early shot indicts him for killing off the rest of Sam’s moles. In addition, his wife Mary is divorcing him and taking the baby with her. Herein lies a plothole. Infernal Affairs takes place during the course of the week prior to Yan’s death. In III, Ming mentions Mary’s pregnancy as early as three months before that. But that is neither spoken nor shown in Infernal Affairs.
The incoherence just keeps coming. Ming begins to envision himself as Yan – the advanced stage of Continuous Hell. It is apparently set off upon reading Dr. Lee’s dossier on Yan. The motivation is his desire to be righteous but it is hastily constructed. Subsequent scenes reinforce Ming’s schizophrenia via visuals of Yan for Ming to play into. The finale confrontation between Ming and Yeung delivers a series of tacked-ons. Ming’s connection to Sam is recorded on tape, the scene of his last message to Dr. Lee suggests a possible romance. Shen is either a cop or a freelance spook, and aside from his Mainland status – he still speaks Mandarin - his true identity is not well-established.
As for Yeung’s bullet-to-the-forehead exit – complete with the melancholy female ballad from the two previous Infernal Affairs’ finale confrontations where they end with someone getting shot in the forehead - it is old and in his case pointless. It worked for Yan (in Infernal Affairs) and Hau (in II) because they became sympathetic characters by the time of their deaths. Yeung has nothing to sympathize with. The total sum of his screen time reveal nothing more than what has already been established at the start, that he is a dubious but crooked cop.
Leung, Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang are as solid as ever. Lau, despite a credible effort, seems to be waning. Leon Lai is unsurprisingly casual and distant. His character is already hard to connect with, and his acting is not making it any better. Kelly Chen gives the most heartfelt performance as the grief-stricken Dr. Lee.
Ironically, III ends where Infernal Affairs begins. Ming enters a radio store looking to buy a stereo and is being helped by Yan, only this time we know why Yan is there. I supposed Infernal Affairs III can be aptly described as a movie that goes full circle. Since it loses direction by the half-way point, the only recourse is going back to start.
What do you think of Infernal Affairs 3 (Director's Cut)
Share your opinions on our forum