This has been a long time coming... Back in 2003, I guess, I heard a lot of buzz about a film that was about to revitalize the Hong Kong movie scene, which had been flagging after a flurry of interest in its "heroic bloodshed" genre in the early 90s, thanks largely to much name-checking from the likes of Quentin Tarantino.
The film that was set to have us all stoked up again was called Infernal Affairs. At the time I heard about it, it had done great things in China but was awaiting release in the UK, so I ordered the DVD straight from the Orient. In truth, I was underwhelmed. It was good, sure; but it was no A Better Tomorrow II, no Hard Boiled, no God of Gamblers...
Then a while later I heard it was going to be remade by Martin Scorsese. I groaned. Not because I dislike Marty -- that would be ridiculous -- but because I dislike remakes.
The Departed arrived in cinemas, and very little was seemingly said about its origins in Hong Kong. That annoyed me. I ignored the movie. It arrived on DVD. I ignored it. Last week, it finally came to terrestrial, or network, TV, so I figured, "What the hell?"
A cop goes deep undercover in a criminal organization. Another cop with close ties to said organization works his way to the top of the team investigating it. A mole on each side.
The premise is great -- just as it was in the Hong Kong original. But truthfully, I was unmoved by any of the relationships. And I despised Jack Nicholson as the "big boss". Man, he's such an old ham! Some of the other performances were okay, once you overlooked the odd accents, but I was just not interested. It was just blah.
Oh, and that terrible song that kept playing, about "Sailor Peg and I lost my leg". Jesus Christ on a bike... Give it a rest.
On the plus side, it did make me want to watch Infernal Affairs again, so...
I give The Departed 50 out of 100 and wish I'd departed before I got to the end.