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For 10 years now, cop Yan (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) has been working as an
undercover agent inside the triads - which is totally ruining his life &
which is why he tells superintendent Wong (Anthony Wong), the only man who
knows his ture identity, he wants out ... but the superintendent tells him to
do one more job ... give them sufficient information about a drugdeal between
some Thais & Yan's triad boss Sam (Eric Tsang) to finally capture Sam &
his whole gang.
Yan is of course on the job, but what nobody in the police
force knows is that they have a mole in their midst as well, the ambitious cop
Lau (Andy Lau). So the whole operation becomes a big game of cat-&-mouse
when Lau gives Sam all the relevant informations & warning with state of
the art communications equipment, while Yan gives his boss Wong the information
via & old fashioned microphone & morsecode. The situation ends in a
stalemate though when the gangsters, just in time beore the police arrives, can
destroy the drugs (& with it the evidence) - hence no drugs, but also no
Now though, both sides are desperate to find the mole in their midst
- & for some reason both sides think that Lau is the man for the job, so
Lau has to not only find out the identity of Yan, but also works for internal
affairs to find the mole inside the force - which incidentlyis himself.
though has the good idea to have the superintendent - as mentioned, the only
man who knows the identity of the undercover cop -, & almost, Sam'S men are
able to capture Yan ... but as he escapes, if only just, they decide to torture
his name out of the superintendent, & when he doesn't talk, throw him off
the roof of a high building ...
Shocked by this development, & by
the fact that his colleagues inside the force hold him responsible for the
superintendents death, Lau is no longer sure where his allegiances lie, &
tries to establish contact with Yan on his own ... & when he gets the
relevant information about hte next drugdeal, he mercilessly comes down on
Sam's gang, & when he at this event, manages to catch Sam alone, shoots him
in cold blood.
Lau has now become the pride of the force, & in his office
he finds Yan, desperate to get his identity back ... to which Lau happily
agrees, but then Yan finds evidence of Lau being the triad's mole, & flees
the office with the evidence.
On a rooftop he meets up again with Lau, not
only to get his identity back but also to hand him over to the authorities - if
necessary at gunpoint. But when the 2 of them have almost come to an agreement,
a fellow police officer guns down Yan in cold blood ... as it turns out he too
was on Sam's payroll & wanted to save his colleague. Overcome by a mixture
of shock, grief & righteousness, Lau shoots the officer, & on his
request, Yan get's a hero's burial ...
A very fine
cops-&-robbers thriller that doesn't rely on a simple good-vs-evil-cliché
like your average American thriller does but ever so often blurs the thin line
between the 2 extremes, leaving many points open to think about without ever
becoming preachy or peposterous, & never forgetting to entertain the
That this movie will be another victim of the American remake
machine sounds like a terrible idea though, even though (or even because) the
director will be Martin Scorsese.