When 3 powerful men of the martial arts world, all clan leaders of
important clans, are poisoned by the mysterious Magic Water, the thief
& expert fighter Hsiang (Ti Lung), one of the few to have access to
that poison, is soon suspected of being the killer & about to be
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He can however persuade the Magic Water Palace's female
executioner to give him 30 days time to find the real killer, & so
he dives into a mystery involving a woman that was the lover of all 3
clan leaders, a ninja killed 20 years ago, & his kids, who were given away to
adoption. Hsiang's investigations are further complicated by the fact
that everybody (especially all three clans) is convinced that he is
indeed the killer, & thus he is attacked at every corner. That one
of the killers of the 3 clan-leaders, one of the kids of the
above-mentioned Ninja, turns out to be his best friend does not make
things any easier, neither that this friend is killed before telling
Hsiang the name of his sibling/accomplice.
& as if all that wasn't
already complicated enough, Hsiang is soon taken prisoner of the White
Water Temple & learns that the person he searches is a bi-sexual
being, & there is no way of telling if he/she will actually appear
as man or woman. But fortunately for Hsiang, that being is also
powerhungry, wanting to be the sole leader of the martial arts world, a
position presently held by the Princess of the White Water Temple (Betty
Ting Pei), so after Hsiang has freed himself he has little problems of
pointing out same person, who, disguised as a monk, is about to kill the
Princess, but is ultimately slain by Hsiang with the help of a
mysterious bountyhunter who both wanted to end Hsiang's life & to
save it to repay a debt ...
Very nice period murder mystery set in the martial arts world
(meaning kung fu-fights aplenty), that is equally strong on action as it
is on plot, with fine characterizations of the central cast that goes
beyond a simplistic hero-villain cliché.