This drama focuses on life at the Peking Opera School and is a loose biography of Hong Kong film stars Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao. Sammo Hung portrays Master Yu, the academy's brutal schoolmaster, who takes the youths through the rigorous acrobatic training. The film offers an introspective view of Master Yu, as a man who must face the fact that the institution to which he has devoted his life is fading with the passage of time. Although many of the film collaborations of Hung, Chan, and Baio have hinted at their youth together, this film attempts to depict the harsh reality. Nevertheless, Chan has criticized the film, stating that his longtime friend Hung's portrayal was actually too sympathetic an interpretation of Master Yu.