A group of desperate kids, marginalized and violently out of control, are holed up in a squalid Hong Kong tenement. Cops are a dimly perceived alien force, to be avoided at all costs. It's not 2019, but 1988 in this searing portrayal of underclass Hong Kong youth raging in a city under British colonial rule. These junior gang members fight to claim the city for themselves, struggling against the profound sense of alienation that shrouds and criminalizes this underclass.
Laurence Lau's documentary style, post-new wave social realist melodrama doesn't glamorize Triad life. Its cast of young non-stars throw themselves into one of the darkest visions of social disfunction and nihilism ever to come out of Hong Kong's cinematic factories. Facing a grim present with no imaginable future, the kids fall into drugs, brazen assaults and a horrifying rape. Their violence tips, tragically, inwards: interiorized and self-inflicted. They are ready burn their world down.