Chinese war drama in which a humbled warlord helps the Shaolin monks defend themselves against threatening forces. With China's last imperial dynasty crumbling, the country is up for grabs to the likes of General Hou Jie (Andy Lau), a warlord who will stop at nothing to gain power. So ruthless is Hou that he doesn't hesitate to kill a rival warlord in the sacred grounds of the Shaolin temple and scorns the monks who protest. However, when his second-in-command, Cao Man (Nicholas Tse), displays equal ruthlessness in betraying him, Hou finds himself seeking refuge in the monastery. As the other warlords continue to tear the nation apart, Hou and the monks concoct a plan to bring peace back to the kingdom.