A woman in a wedding dress, the Bride, lies wounded in a church in El Paso, having been attacked by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. She tells their leader, Bill, that she is carrying his baby. He shoots her.
In Arizona, 17-year-old high school student Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) and Clay (Zachery Ty Bryan) race their cars to win Clay's girlfriend Cindy (Nikki Griffin). When Sean cuts through a structure and catches up to Clay, Clay hits Sean's car repeatedly until a high speed turn which causes the pair to both crash; Clay's wealthy family helps him escape punishment, but Sean's numerous past racing activities causes his mother to send him to live with his father in Tokyo, who is stationed there for the U.S. Navy.
During a party at the United States offices of a Japanese corporation in Los Angeles, a professional escort named Cheryl Lynn Austin (Tatjana Patitz) is found dead, apparently after a violent sexual encounter. Police Detectives Web Smith (Wesley Snipes) and John Connor (Sean Connery), a former police Captain and expert on Japanese affairs, are sent to act as liaison between the Japanese executives and the investigating officer, Smith's former partner Tom Graham (Harvey Keitel).
A Japanese minister of defence is traveling to Paris to sign a weapons contract between Japan and France, but first, he is visiting Marseille to view and rate the city police's anti-gang tactics (using fake attacks on him). During the visit, however, he is kidnapped by a group working for the Japanese yakuza. Emilien (Frédéric Diefenthal) is determined to rescue the minister and detective Petra (Emma Sjöberg), his girlfriend who was also kidnapped, and restore the honour of his department. Once again, speed demon taxi-driver Daniel (Samy Naceri) is called upon to save the day with his high-speed driving skills.
Nick Conklin is a New York City police officer facing possible criminal charges; Internal Affairs believes Nick was involved with his partner who was caught taking criminal money in a corruption scandal. Nick is divorced from his wife, who has custody of their two children. Nick also has financial difficulties.
During a shootout against Chinese Triads at a San Francisco dock warehouse, FBI agents John Crawford (Jason Statham) and Tom Lone (Terry Chen) stumble across the notorious assassin Rogue (Jet Li), a former CIA assassin who now works for the Japanese Yakuza. Rogue ambushes Crawford and is about to execute him when Lone appears and shoots Rogue in the face, causing him to fall into the water. Rogue's body was never found and he is presumed dead. However, Rogue survives and retaliates against Lone, his wife and his daughter. He kills them, burns down the house, and leaves their three corpses in the ashes of their home.
The film's plot follows a traditional theme, with Zatoichi (a blind swordsman) coming to the defense of townspeople caught up in a local Yakuza gang war and being forced to pay excessive amounts of protection money. Meanwhile, Zatoichi befriends a local farmer and her gambler nephew and eventually offers his assistance to two geisha siblings (one of whom is actually a man) who are seeking revenge for the murder of their parents. The siblings are the only survivors of a robbery and massacre that was carried out on their family estate ten years ago. They soon discover the people responsible for the murders are the same Yakuza wreaking havoc on the small town.
The film begins with two anti-corruption detectives observing the discovery of dead bodies in a car being recovered from the bottom of a harbor. The detectives suspect that the drowned bodies are related to the recent gang war and power struggle at the huge Sanno-kai crime syndicate, which covers a large portion of eastern Japan. The new Grand Yakuza leader of Sanno-kai, Kato (Tomokazu Miura), must now reform his standing with the powerful rival Hanabishi-kai of western Japan. Otomo (Beat Takeshi), a former Yakuza, is serving time in a maximum security prison after falling out of favor with Sekiuchi, the former Grand Yakuza before Kato murdered him and took control.
Jo Dae-yeong is a police officer investigating a pickpocket ring with ties to the Japanese crime syndicate, Yakuza. One day he rescues Baek Jang-mi from danger, only to discover that she is the boss of the gang he has been tracking.
A woman (later revealed to be a transvestite), dancing provocatively to the enjoyment of other nightclub patrons, is abruptly hit in the face by Hubert Florentini (Reno), a commisaire of the French Police. Florentini drags her out of the club in handcuffs, assaulting other patrons who come too close to free the captive woman or attempt to hinder his exit. Unfortunately, one of these patrons includes the chief's son.
The film begins with a sumptuous banquet at the opulent estate of the Grand Yakuza leader Sekiuchi (Soichiro Kitamura), boss of the Sanno-kai, a huge organized crime syndicate controlling the entire Kanto region, and he has invited the many Yakuza leaders under his control. After the formal conclusion of the banquet, Kato, the chief lieutenant of Sekiuchi, pulls one of the Yakuza leaders, Ikemoto, aside and makes plain that he is displeased with the news that Ikemoto has become friendly with a rival gang leader, Murase, while the two were unexpectedly imprisoned together. Kato orders Ikemoto to bring the unassociated Murase-gumi gang in line, and he immediately passes the task on to his subordinate Otomo (Beat Takeshi), who runs his own crew.
In the early 1990s, a tractor mechanic nicknamed Steelhead (Jackie Chan) illegally enters Japan from China in search of his fiancée, Xiu-Xiu (Xu Jinglei) with the help of his "brother" Jie (Daniel Wu). Jie has taught Steelhead how to make a living by teaching him the trades of the underworld. One day, while illegally working as part of a clean-up crew in the sewers, Steelhead and his Chinese comrades are spotted by the police. Unwilling to get caught, Steelhead and the others run for their lives. In the ensuing turn of events, Steelhead saves Detective Kitano from drowning, and in gratitude, Kitano decides to stop pursuing Steelhead.