- 1 hr 30 min
Victor Rosa (played by John Leguizamo) deals in a special brand of heroin, nicknamed "Empire," which he sells in the South Bronx, where a truce exists because all buy from the same supplier, La Colombiana (played by Isabella Rossellini). While Victor attends a party, he befriends Jack (played by Peter Sarsgaard), an investment banker and the boyfriend of his girlfriend Carmen's (played by Delilah Cotto) friend Trish (played by Denise Richards). As a father-to-be, Victor wants to leave the drug business and invests with Jack, receiving a two-hundred percent return. As his time and investing continues, Victor is accused of drifting further and further away from his former self. The turning point of the film involves Jack providing Victor with an insanely profitable investment. However, Victor only has two thirds of the needed start up cash, and turns to La Colombiana for the rest of the money. The drug kingpin agrees, at quintuple the repayment and if Victor can stop the a business feud between his best friend, Jimmy (played by Vincent Laresca), and a rival dealer. The feud ramps up with Jimmy killing the rival dealer (it was to be arranged that La Colombiana would finish off the dealer). Victor recommends that Jimmy leave town without her knowing. Having fulfilled his part of their deal, La Colombiana gives Victor the money he needed. Victor happily invests that 4.5 million dollars, only to discover that Jack is a confidence man who vanishes the next day. Victor eventually tracks Jack down, killing Jack and Trish when he is unable to reclaim his buy-in. Victor flees to Puerto Rico with Carmen and her family, opening a bar with his meager funds. As the movie draws to a close, Victor is informed, via telephone, that his son is being born. As he enters the car to drive to the hospital, La Colombian shoots him for having defaulted on his side of the deal.