Synopsis by Robert Firsching
Hong Kong filmmaker Lawrence Ah Mon directed this fascinating action film which, despite its fairly conventional genre story line, is unusual in its serious and unglamorized presentation of the sport of free-fighting (kickboxing) as an important social and cultural Asian tradition. The story line centers on a group of young men called the Fighting Eagles, who seek to recapture their school's legendary past and return it to a position of prominence in the sport. The film focuses primarily on two of the Eagles, Yip Chi-ming (Jackie Lui) and Law Yat-tak (To Siu-chun). Yip is the dedicated champion, who had won all of his previous matches and -- after a loss -- goes to Thailand to improve himself through rigorous training. The Thai sequences, directed by Apple Kwan, emphasize the sport's importance both socially and economically to the nation, and Yip's training scenes are among the film's most compelling. Law Yat-tak is the novice, who keeps his dreams a secret from his overbearing father (Lau Kong) and at first balks at the brutal training regimen necessary to succeed. As the film progresses, both Yip and Law mature and redouble their efforts, as Yip extends his training stay in Thailand and Law increasingly dedicates himself to his own training in order to succeed in his first competitive tournament. Rain Lau co-stars with Lam King-kong and Chan Tak-hing.