This was a pretty basic but decent Hong Kong crime flick. Filmed back to back with its sequel, the film is basically a setup for the more explosive (and better) second part. Still, with actors like Yun-Fat Chow and Andy Lau running around and Taylor Wong behind the camera, I expected a bit more.
I had already seen the sequel (not knowing it was a sequel, for some reason the English title is Tragic Hero), but that rarely matters with films like these. The plot and stories are pretty much always the same anyway. Crime bosses fighting for survival, young kids rising through the ranks, a bit of betrayal and some hefty shootouts.
Performances are solid, though Lau steals the show. The action is decent but there isn't too much of it. And Taylor Wong plays nice, keeping his tendency to go over-the-top under wraps. The film's a bit long maybe, especially as it doesn't offer much in the way of originality, overall though it was pretty solid filler.