Empire City is a metropolis separated into two distinct precincts. Upstate is home to the wealthy social and political elites; Downstate is for everyone else. While they are apart of one city, the only connection they share is the bridge that crosses both of their waters.
Max Hugo, the sheltered son of Empire City’s governor, aspires to be like his fearless bodyguard, Bradford, who is the strongest man he knows.For a surprise for his mother’s birthday, Max plans to get her a cake from her favorite childhood bakery. The bakery, however, is Downstate. Max’s father would never take him there, but there’s one person who would--Bradford.
Max and Bradford travel Downstate and retrieve the cake, but after narrowly escaping an ambush attempt on their car they manage to return home safely. Max manages to keep the birthday cake intact and surprises his delighted mother, but when she makes the first slice she detonates something hidden inside--a bomb. Max is thrown outside from the impact and blacks out.
Max wakes up in a Downstate apartment where he’s covered in bandages and strapped to an IV. Bradford, who’s now in a wheelchair after being paralyzed from the explosion, shares graves news: his home is gone, his parents didn’t survive the bombing, and, according to public records, neither did he. Bradford offers to rehabilitate Max and help him get the one thing he desires more than anything--revenge.
Max confronts the bakery owner who sold him the cake four years ago for information, but his punch-first style of interrogation finds him on the receiving end of a gun. Just when it seems his journey will end just after it began, a sharp-tongued homeless girl named Katsy persuades the owner to leave him be. In exchange for helping Max find whomever he’s looking for, Katsy wants a place to stay. While Max only agrees for the sake of her skillset of charm and persuasion, he notices her charm and wit yield better results than his own methods. Even more surprising, she seems to like him. And he doesn’t mind.
After tailing down the cake artist who made the cake and the messenger who delivered the bomb to him, Max and Katsy locate the bombmaker who constructed the very bomb used to kill Max’s family. Since Katsy’s non-violent methods have worked thus far, Max agrees with her plan of getting information from the bombmaker. But her plan fails miserably. The bombmaker sees through Katsy’s charm and reveals his own agenda for her in his bedroom. Max barges in and defends Katsy from his advances, but when a tussle ensues, Max unintentionally stabs the man and kills him--his first murder. Now their best lead is dead, and the hunt for the man who masterminded his parents murder is over.
Max cannot shake the image of killing someone, and Katsy is undone by the consequences she nearly faced by leading a man on. After Katsy questions Max on whether his hunt is worth both of their lives, he turns away from his thirst for vengeance and tries to move on. But shortly after his change of heart the two of them are kidnapped and taken to an abandoned warehouse. And it’s there that Max comes face-to-face with his parents’ killer--a crime boss named Poppa George.
The man whom Max killed turned out to be Poppa George’s nephew, and now he seeks the same revenge that Max does. But before Poppa George can begin his night of torture, Max and Katsy are rescued by a friend, Jewels, whom they met weeks earlier. The night is far from over, however, because when Katsy and Max return home they learn they weren’t the only targets of Poppa George that night--Bradford’s apartment was bombed.
Max never had the chance to apologize to Bradford for shunning his tactics, but he more than plans to make up for it. After learning that Poppa George is hosting a masquerade ball at an Upstate manor, Max and Katsy disguise themselves and show up in attendance. Poppa George, who foresaw them crashing their party, plans an ambush on Max and Katsy to end them once and for all. However, with the assistance of a very-much-alive-Bradford, Max escapes the attack and kills Poppa George in their final confrontation.
The authorities arrive at the party and arrest everyone who’s armed, including Max and Katsy. While being questioned by a detective, Max inquires as to how Poppa George, a notorious Downstate crime-boss, owned a manor Upstate. The detective is just as curious, and when he suspects an Upstate political leader arranged Poppa George’s admission Upstate, he asks if Max is interested in helping him bring down someone even bigger. Someone else may have been involved with his parents’ death. Max takes the offer.
Max couldn’t shake the feeling of killing his first person, but with the second, he felt nothing but satisfaction. As Max continues his path to getting justice for his parents and exposing all those involved, he suspects Poppa George won’t be his last victim.