The story concerns the misadventures of Wong Fei Hung as he accidentally becomes involved with the affairs of the British consul who is smuggling ancient Chinese artifacts out of the country. Wong Fei Hung battles the henchmen of the consul using the Zui Quan ("Drunken Boxing") style of martial arts. An added twist is that Wong Fei Hung becomes a more powerful fighter by consuming alcohol. But when he consumes too much alcohol, he becomes very sluggish, drunk, and unable to fight. That was what lead to his near downfall in the beginning of the movie.
The film ends with a fight scene lasting over 10 minutes against Ken Lo, who was one of Jackie Chan's bodyguards. The fight has been lauded as one of the most intense and technically astute scenes in movie history. It has been compared (favorably) to Chan's fights against kickboxer Benny Urquidez in Wheels on Meals and Dragons Forever.