Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This Chinese action drama is based on a popular novel Storm on the Tong River by Sima Wensen, and is the sequel to the movie Huanle Yingxiong, or The Joyous Heroes. In Fujian province in the 1930s, three rival gangs battle for control of the region. In the earlier film, the communist Liu came home from overseas to find chaos at home and abroad. The leader of one of the gangs is his brother in law, and is more moderate than the others and tries unsucessfully to find a peaceful solution to their conflicts. For most of the film, the gang leaders scheme, plot, and battle each other bloodily, but when they have almost wiped each other out, they begin to feel that they have been manipulated from the beginning by the Nationalists, and it appears that rather than fighting each other further, they may join together to fight them.