The second installment of Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Hong Kong-based trilogy is a prequel that brings two of the previous film's characters, police inspector Wong (Anthony Wong) and triad underboss Sam (Eric Tsang), to the forefront, revealing how their guarded respect for each other deteriorated into a bitter personal feud. The original film's two protagonists—Yan, a cop working as a mole in the triad, and Ming, a triad member working as a mole in the police department—are also back (played by younger actors). The film doesn't have quite the taut suspense of its predecessor, overreaching at times in attempts at epic grandeur. But it's still pretty lively and features charismatic performances from Wong and Tsang. Highly recommended to fans of the first film, though newcomers are likely to be confused since there's virtually no recapping. In Cantonese and Mandarin with subtitles. 109 min.