is a 2004 Hong Kong action comedy directed, produced by, and starring Stephen Chow. Other producers were Po Chu Chui and Jeffrey Lau, while the script was written by Xin Huo, Chan Keung Man, and Kan-Cheung Tsang.
Set in Canton, China, in the 1940s in a city ruled by the AxE Gang, the story revolves around Sing (Chow), who desperately wants to be a member. He stumbles upon a slum ruled by eccentric landlords who happen to be the greatest kung fu masters, who are undercover. The cast features stars like Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Chan Kwok Kwan Danny, and Bruce Leung in prominent roles.
The action takes place in China in the 1940s. The "axe gang", a powerful mafia group, runs a large part of the city to the point of controlling the police. His boss is a neurotic who enjoys killing and dancing. On the other hand, Sing and his partner are two young people who live on the streets in the best possible way, without doing anything honest. Their intention is to sometime join the gang of the ax, but fate does not seem to smile. Finally there are the inhabitants of the alley of the pigsty, a building on the outskirts where poor people live in peace. The owners of the building, the landlord and the landlady run the place, between her irascibility and his jokes.
One day, Sing and his friend pose as members of the ax gang in the alley of the pigsty to take advantage of the locals, which ends up with the actual ax gang arriving on the scene and attacking people. However, the intervention of three of the neighbors manages to make the gangsters be forced to leave. They are Donut, the baker (expert in fighting with the bamboo stick, Eight trigrams), the tailor (fighter with iron rings on his arms, Iron fists) and the porter (specialist in hand-to-hand fighting with kicks, Twelve kicks). After the fight, the landlady advises them to leave if they do not want to bring more trouble to the neighborhood, since the ax gang will surely return. They agree to do it.
On the other hand, the head of the ax gang decides to forgive Sing and his friend (whom he captured after the fight to give them a lesson for impersonating them) since he has remarkable skills to open locks and asks them for proof that they deserve be in the band. That is why they decide to take revenge on those in the alley of the pigsty by murdering the landlady, but their ineptitude with weapons and the appearance of the woman again frustrates their intentions. After fleeing the sty, Sing reunites with his friend, who is surprised to see that in a few minutes the wounds received in the sty have healed, which Sing downplays; After this he tells his friend how in his childhood he lost interest in the path of good after being scammed by a vagabond who assured him he had the potential of a prodigy warrior, if he practiced and managed to unblock the flow of his Chi, convincing him to buy him a manual of Kung Fu in the style of La Palma de Buda, with which he practiced and tried to defend a mute girl from some boys, but was beaten and humiliated.
In addition, the chief of the Axes hires two hitmen to take out the three heroes in the alley of the sty. The style of these consists of a musical technique, in which, using a large string instrument, the guqin, they are able to launch blasts of air that cut like swords. After a fight in which they finish with the three mentioned inhabitants of the neighborhood, they have to be seen with the landlord, an expert in Tai Chi Chuan and a little later with his enraged wife, who shows his most devastating fighting technique, the roar of the lion, a powerful cry that destroys everything in its path. Once again the plans to destroy the alley of the pigsty are frustrated, the owners of the place end up revealing that their true identity is that of "Romeo Kung" and "Julieta Fu", two former great kung fu fighters, who decided to retire to seek tranquility after the death of his son in a fight. After being beaten by an office worker whom he tried to scare, Sing retaliated by attacking and robbing a mute girl who was driving an ice cream and drinks cart. By sign language this makes him understand that she is the girl that years ago he tried to defend and that he has not forgotten, but Sing refuses to leave his role as a villain preferring to ignore her and run away with the girl's money, although his conscience bites him for it. Later, furious with himself, he insults his friend, threatens him to separate from him and return to an honorable life so he is left alone.
After his latest failure, the head of the ax gang calls Sing and assigns him the mission of removing from a psychiatric hospital the Dire Spirit of the Red Cloud, the most dangerous assassin of all time, also known as "The Beast" , so that it ends with the landlords. These in turn go to meet him at the local belonging to the band. After a long fight where Nefasto / The Beast seriously wounds the couple, the landlords are only saved thanks to Sing at the last moment changing sides and provoking Nefasto, giving them time to escape while he beats him almost to death. After fleeing to the alley of the sty, taking the boy in gratitude for trying to protect them, they try to save his life with traditional medicine, discovering in the process that the killer's blows have unblocked the flow of Sing's Chi, allowing him to unleash his potential and achieve a unimaginable level of combat, proving that the beggar he met in his childhood was telling the truth and was a prodigy of martial arts: "the chosen one".
Thus, when Nefasto / The Beast, now in command of the Axes after killing their boss, arrives at the sty, Sing manages to kill all the hitmen, then engaging in a fight with the murderer in which, thanks to his speed and unorthodox style, manages to take the advantage; but he forces Nefasto to use his most powerful technique, The Frog of Kwan's school with which he manages to send him to heaven with one blow. But Sing takes advantage of the momentum and counterattacks with the Palm that falls from the sky, the most powerful attack in the manual that he received as a child and that the landlords recognize as the fighting style of the La Palma de Buda school, the most powerful Kung-fu of all, now lost and unknown. The attack is devastating and leaves a large mark in the shape of a giant hand where it falls, forcing Nefasto / The Beast to beg for mercy and surrender to avoid being hit by the blow.
Nefasto / The Beast tries to treacherously attack Sing, but he proves to be always alert and is still willing to teach him his style. Seeing not only the power, but the noble spirit of Sing, Grim / The Beast recognizes him as a true master and superior warrior. Thus ends organized crime in the area, Sing reconciles with his best friend and both open a candy store, reuniting with the girl he knew as a child, now as an honest person and willing to accept the true feelings of he. Finally it is observed how the tramp has found a child, a customer of Sing's shop, whom he recognizes as the next prodigy, so he offers him the Buddhist palm manual, but he shows no interest. When he is about to leave, the tramp tells him to wait, that if he was not interested in that one, he had many more, showing several manuals of the same style as that of the Buddhist palm, but of other techniques.
Stephen Chow as Sing.
Danny Chan Kwok-kwan as Brother Sum.
Yuen Wah as Romeo Kung.
Yuen Qiu as Juliet Fu.
Leung Siu-lung as the Beast.
Xing Yu as the porter.
Chiu Chi-ling as the tailor.
Dong Zhihua as Donut the baker.