This is a modern day romantic story that resembles a theme in a Shakespearean tale of two lovers caught up in the middle of a family feud. The story takes a different turn because it is a rivalry of crime families over street rights. The sub plot throughout this story is that the two families represent two different cultures as well. The two families are competing to become major stakeholders in an NFL franchise expansion deal.
The son, who is a playboy, is the youngest in the Chinese family and found murdered after being in a nightclub the night before. He seemed to be involved in a scheme with the son of the African-American family because each one wanted to prove to their fathers that they were worthy of their fathers' confidence to carry on in their footsteps and conduct the family business. Thinking the African-American family was responsible, the older brother from the Chinese family who was in a Hong Kong prison escapes and comes to Oakland to avenge his brother's death. Although the African-American family head offers his condolences to the father of the Chinese family, neither of them really trust each other. The son of the African-American family is murdered, and naturally they think that the Chinese family is retaliating. Neither family head know that it is their trusted lieutenants that actually staged these murders so they would be first in command.
Meanwhile, the brother who escaped from prison and the daughter of the African-American family connect by chance. They eventually work together to find out who really killed their respective brothers. Jet Li, who portrays the Chinese son, and Aaliyah, portraying the African-American daughter are the two unsuspecting young Romeo and Juliet who don't want any part of the family business. Their only concern is to find the murders of their brothers.