Just saw Infernal Affairs. It's hard for me to say that the original is better, having seen the US remake first. But having seen them both, the US is leaps and bounds better. No comparison.
All in all, the US version plays out nearly identical to the HK one. Even down to the comedic gags. They went really simple on the original. No subplots and kept the pace at a break-neck speed. The love triangle is completely fabricated for the US one, simply because you can't have a movie anymore without a female lead. In the original, the women are like the cars over there... fast and furious. They serve no purpose in furthering the story other than letting us know that the male characters get laid once in a while.
It can be a bit confusing at times, but for me, it was kept grounded only because I knew the US version and what was "supposed" to be going on. The beginning specifically. I can instantly recognize that Damon and Leo are two different characters. But in the HK version, they cast two nearly identical actors to play the leads, so I was having trouble figuring out was who. While I am hinting at the fact that all Asians look alike, it's more akin to a foreigner watching a movie starring Johnny Depp and Skeet Ulrich or Glenn Close and Meryl Streep.
It's a pretty good flick, but no way would I recommend it to a typical American who says they want to watch some foreign cinema. It wouldn't even come close to the top of that list. So what makes the US version so great? Marty, marty, marty. He meticulously builds a castle using playing cards by keeping the tension at the forefront knowing it can collapse at any given moment. That's completely missing from the original.
The cool thing having seen both are the different endings. I honestly hope Marty doesn't punk out and release the HK original ending in theaters instead.
Joe, holla at me if you want me to burn you a copy before I return it today. I've got the HK sequel coming in this week also.