No, it isn’t in any way, shape or form related to the 2002 Hong Kong action thriller ‘Infernal Affairs’. Its one letter off and anyway, that movie was remade as The Departed, so do your fucking research.
Anyway, sorry about that. I had a sudden inclination to do a review of this movie because its another one that holds a special nostalgia for me, going back to the days of rifling through my old man’s VHS collection (my childhood is a foreign country and I urge you to never visit). Its another one of those gems where superficially the plot is about as imaginative as U2’s impending next album, but the qualities that constitute it’s excellence are some outstanding fucking performances, tons of naturalistic subtlety and nuance, and a way of pulling off a glossy and sleazy 80’s atmosphere that actually comes across as menacing and disturbing instead of all gay, like Miami Vice or something.
Andy Garcia stars as Raymond Avilla, a tempestuous yet likeable and charismatic new addition to the L.A.P.D.’s Internal Affairs Division. He’s got looks, charisma, an admirable tenacity that thankfully falls short of young-upstart-cocksure-douchebaggery, and some rocking shades.
Come on ladies, eh? Eh?
It isn’t too long into Raymond’s exciting new adventures that he crosses paths with one of cinema’s most frightening dickheads, Dennis Peck, played by good old Richard Gere. Now, I know Richard Gere isn’t a name that reaches out and grabs most people by the throat, but forget Officer & A Gentleman and Pretty Woman and all of that shite for a moment, because this is his one and only role as the bad guy, and jesus christ does he deliver the goods tenfold. Also, being Richard Gere, he can’t stop doing stuff like this:
Dennis is, as one character puts it, ”one of the most productive officers on the entire force”. He is also a huge douchebag, a sleazy, evil sociopath of a cop with his fingers in many dirty pies (figuratively and literally) and a complete lack of conscience that allows him to make supplementary income in the most deplorable ways possible. Raymond becomes wise to Dennis’ hijinks and it all starts getting luridly disturbing. Whilst this may be packaged like your typical late 80’s/early 90’s made-for-tv crime thriller shit, its actually rather draining. A truly disgusting antagonist and extremely cruel mind games abound, you will want to shower after watching it. I highly recommend this one as a great, nihilistic cat-and-mouse thriller. Its not even really dated all that much. 9/10.