The film chronicles the rise of the Shanxi merchants towards the end of the Qing dynasty in China. Called the "wallstreet of China" and based on the novel "The Silver Valley", director Cristina Yao leads Aaron Kwok in a grandiose epic blended with a filmmaking style that mimics historical reportage.
There is a lot of things to take in with this film, both thematically and narratively. It brings the shift from tradition to more modern times. Kwok is effective in the title role and was able to carry most of the attention since the film does spread itself a little too thin. It hangs between a little too artsy for mainstream fan and a little too conventional for the arthouse cinema fan. It is interesting, and definitely impressive artistically and technically. [3 1/2 Out of 5 Stars]