Jason Statham plays Luke Wright, a ex-cop who is down on his luck and fighting in cage fights just to survive. He is supposed to lose a fight but in the middle of the fight his instincts kick in and he wins instead. This infuriates the Russian Mafia boss who has his son kill Luke's pregnant wife as retribution for Luke not throwing the fight like he was supposed to. Luke falls in to despair and homelessness over this.
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During this time, Mei (played by Catherine Chan) is kidnapped by the Chinese mafia because of her genius-level memory skills. The Chinese mob boss Han Jiao (played by James Hong) wants to use the little girl like a human computer to memorize a long number code so there is no digital evidence. The code is the combination to a safe containing thirty million dollars. The Russian mafia finds out that Mei knows the code. They kidnap her to try to force her to reveal the numbers, but she refuses. She escapes and runs to a subway station where Luke is thinking about killing himself. He sees the young girl and that she is being chased by the Russian gangster Chemyakin (played by Igor Jijikine) who he recognizes from his cage fight days as the one that murdered his pregnant wife. He kills him and takes Mei under his protection.
The Chinese mafia boss finds the location of Mei by tracking her with her cell phone and he takes her away from Luke. Luke uses the phone of the now dead Russian Chemyakin to bring Vassily the son of the Russian Mafia boss into a trap and kidnaps him. Emile (played by Sándor Técsy) the Russian mafia boss, makes a trade of information for his son's life. Emile reveals that the code is for one safe but there are two safes and the second one contains contents that prove the corruption of the Mayor Danny Tremello (played by Chris Sarandon).
Luke enlists the help of the corrupt policemen led by Captain Wolf (played by Robert John Burke) to get the contents of the two safes. Wolf tries to double-cross Luke, but Luke gets the upper hand. Luke uses some of the money from the first safe to bribe Alex Rosen (played by Anson Mount) who works for the mayor to rescue Mei. Luke gives the son of the mafia boss back to his father and uses the remainder of the money to buy Mei's freedom from the Chinese Mafia so she can finally be safe.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like that Mei is caught up in a adult world in a different country from her homeland, that she does not understand, but she keeps her wits and at a critical juncture helps Luke who saves her.
Best scene in story:
When Luke is in the train station thinking about suicide and he sees the bad Russian guy and Mei. This gives him a reason to live and he fights to save the little girl.
Opinion about the main character:
Luke is so despondent and full of guilt for the life he had led and how he failed to protect his pregnant wife that he falls very far down, but when he gets a chance to redeem himself he rises to the occasion and protects the innocent Chinese girl Mei.