Set in the 80s, high school student Mosquito (Mark Chao) explains at the start that he became a gangster because of a chicken leg. The chicken leg was his lunch and when a bully snatched it away from him, the so-called Prince Gang, led by Dragon Lee (Vaughan) intervenes - and recruits him into the 'brotherhood of five' - with Monk (Ethan Juan), Monkey and A-Po. The boys get along reasonably well with their elders, the Temple Front triad led by Dragon's dad, Geta (Ma Ju-lung).
The gang's youthful skirmishes and street fights soon develop into a more sinister conflict when mainland gangsters like Gray Wolf (played by director Doze Nui himself) try to muscle into Monga with guns - considered cowardly weapons by the locals. With a power struggle in the cards, conspiracies and betrayal follow. Will friendship triumph over greed and power? The coming-of-age story may seem clichéd but it has enough twists and turns to sustain our interest. Director Niu has developed Mosquito's character (as a fatherless kid brought up by his hair-salon owner mother) well enough to get our sympathy even though some of the subplots may be rather incredible. A case in point is his platonic relationship with a young prostitute (Ko Chia-yen) that seems a bit badly contrived. Also, the camera work on the Monga locations looks good (at least to non-Taipeh residents) and the lapses into Hokkein dialect lend a touch of reality to the film (although it can be irritating to some).