A heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on “The Assassination of Ma,” a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about the killing of general Ma Xinyi.
During the economic reform period of the 80’s, three undergraduates bind together by a common ambition – to live the American dream. They are Cheng Dongqing, a hillbilly who refuses to accept his destiny of being a farmer; Meng Xiaojun, a self-confident, cynical intellectual; and Wang Yang, an idealistic romantic poet. Xiaojun is the first to obtain an US Visa for studying abroad. Yang follows but decides to remain in China for his beloved. Poor Dongqing is rejected by the US Embassy repeatedly. Baffled, he reluctantly accepts the job as an English instructor in the university but eventually gets fired for teaching tutorial classes in private. Across the Pacific, Xiaojun fails to find a decent job and is driven to work as a busboy in a diner.
Jun arrives in Hong Kong from mainland China, hoping to be able to earn enough money to marry his girlfriend back home. He meets the streetwise Qiao and they become friends. As friendship turns into love, problems develop, and although they seem meant for each other they somehow keep missing out.