In a village in Yunnan province in 1917, Liu Jinxi (Donnie Yen) is a modest man with a loving wife, Ayu (LUST CAUTION'S Tang Wei), and two young boys. His peaceful world is ripped apart when two bandits burst into town and rob a local store. As the aged owner and his wife cower in a corner, Jinxi takes reluctant action and ultimately kills the two tough guys — one dying from an expert application of pressure to the vagas nerve known only to a few members of the 72 Demons clan from a neighboring province.
These deaths arouse the interest of the investigating detective, Xu Baijin (Takeshi Kaneshiro). An advanced student of the body's internal workings, Baijin becomes convinced that Jinxi is the notorious murderer Tang Dong, son of the 72 Demons' Master (Jimmy Wang Yu). But if he is Tang Dong, why is he toiling as a paper-maker in this obscure hamlet? And with what fury might the killer react when he suspects the detective knows the truth?--Mary Corliss