Great gangster film, very underrated. It has the quirks of a typical Chinese film that might appall some western viewers, but it also contains the beautiful Chinese style color grading ,Cinematography and highly detailed art direction that captures the Asian way of life. Great film in my opinion.
Reminds me a bit of Sergio Leone's "Once upon a time in America", but lacks its complexity and is sometimes a little bit too melodramatic (also with use of slow motion). And the music is mimicking Ennio Morricone's score for Leone's movie - without ever reaching it.
This film depicts the lives and culture of a specific temple gangster subculture of late 1970s and 1980s Taiwan, set in a famous red light street in Taipei. I had a fun time watching this with my dad, whose high school years were spent in Taipei. He told me how even for guys, it was scary walking into that district. The filming was good, and it was nice to see some of the most popular TW actors together.