In 2058, the United States and Russia have distanced themselves from each another, and the world has once again been divided into Western and Eastern blocs, as the world enters the second Cold War. While the United States has developed significantly into a powerful, futuristic, and technological utopia, Russia has reverted to communism and rapidly decayed into an impoverished, lawless, and crime-ridden dystopia.
Hugo Toorop (Vin Diesel) is a former smuggler and now a mercenary who used to smuggle people to the West, mostly to the United States. But he was branded as a terrorist, and as such he was deported from the country, forbidden to enter again. He has not been smuggling for the last 10 years and now lives a quiet life in the slums of decaying dystopian Belgrade, Serbia, in a small apartment while doing regular mercenary jobs and providing himself with hunted animals and weaponry sold at the flea markets around the city.
One day, he is approached by a powerful Russian mobster named Gorsky (Gérard Depardieu) who instructs him to take a young woman known only as Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) from a small Noelite temple to New York City. In order to reach this goal, Gorsky gives Toorop a variety of weapons as well as a UN passport that has to be injected under the skin of the neck, and which is so advanced that it’s known to be impossible to fake it. Toorop, along with the girl and her guardian, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), travel from the Noelite convent in Kyrgyzstan to reach New York via Russia in a heavily armored vintage GAZ Chaika 14.
The towns and cities of Russia have been turned into dangerous, overpopulated slums by war and terrorist activity, forcing Toorop, Aurora, and Rebeka to face dangers of the human element, while fleeing from an unknown group of mercenaries claiming to have been sent by Aurora’s supposedly dead father. The stress of humanity’s situation causes Aurora to act out in strange ways that neither Toorop nor Rebeka can explain. On one such occasion, Aurora inexplicably panics in a crowd outside a train station, seconds before a bomb explodes.
Later, after boarding a train, they arrive at Vladivostok, where they meet with Toorop’s old partner, Finn (Mark Strong). He leads them east, where they board a submarine that carries refugees to Canada. However, to avoid satellite detection, the submarine can be surfaced for no more than two minutes and is forced to leave some behind, even resorting to shooting them. Aurora, infuriated by the loss of life, starts to operate the 30-year-old submarine, without having ever learned anything about it.
Sister Rebeka explains to Toorop that Aurora could speak 19 different languages by the age of two, and always seems to know things she has never learned. Three months before leaving with Toorop, she had begun acting in ways she never had before. This occurred after a visit by a Noelite doctor who had administered a pill to Aurora. The doctor told her to go to New York City and arranged for Gorsky to take her to New York, and as such, Gorsky hired Toorop personally, knowing he would be able to take the job.
The trio arrives in New York, where they find refuge in Toorop’s old apartment in a revitalized Harlem. However, they hear a news broadcast about the bombing of the convent, causing the group to realize that there is more going on than they know. The Noelites have become a major new salvationist religion, which vast numbers of people cling to as the world spirals out of control. However, in private meetings, it is seen that their High Priestess is motivated to gain power, and uses invented miracles to convert people to her religion. Gorsky, working for the Noelites, had planted a tracking device in Toorop’s passport, and then bombed the convent once they were in the United States. The doctor who earlier saw Aurora in the convent then appears to examine her again. When he leaves, Aurora reveals (without being told) that she is pregnant with twins, even though she is a virgin.
Looking outside, Toorop sees Gorsky’s men, as well as the Noelite group, heavily armed and waiting for them. The High Priestess then calls Toorop and asks him to bring Aurora outside. Just before they take her away, Toorop changes his mind and starts a firefight with the two groups, with the ultimate goal of getting the two women to safety. However, because of the tracking devices, Gorsky’s men can lock onto Toorop with tracking rockets. Rebeka is shot and killed defending Aurora, who in turn shoots Toorop, saying only, “I need you to live.” Left undirected by Toorop’s dying, the rocket goes off target and explodes near Aurora instead. However, Aurora survives the rocket explosion by uncertain means.
Despite being dead for two hours, Toorop’s body is revived by Dr. Arthur Darquandier (Lambert Wilson), using advanced medical techniques, but Toorop’s right arm and left leg are replaced by cybernetics. Darquandier explains that when Aurora was a fetus, he enhanced her by using a supercomputer to ‘implant’ intelligence into her brain. It is also implied that the Noelite group had him create Aurora to become pregnant at a certain time in order to use her as a ‘virgin birth’ for their religion, and for his sake. After she was born, the Noelites hired Gorsky to kill Darquandier, but failed. Darquandier remained hidden and was believed dead until he found his daughter in Russia with Toorop.
Doctor Darquandier uses a device to play back Toorop’s memory to find what Aurora said to him before Toorop ‘died.’ In Toorop’s memory, Aurora tells Toorop to “go home.” Toorop, as well as several of Darquandier’s men, leave the facility. En route to Darquandier’s lab, the High Priestess calls Gorsky and argues with him over his failure to kill Darquandier, at which point Gorsky is killed by a nuclear missile sent to his location by the High Priestess. Darquandier is also later killed by the High Priestess, but it is too late, since Toorop has already escaped.
Toorop goes home to a farm in upstate New York, where he finds Aurora and takes her to a hospital where she dies after giving birth. Aurora was “designed to breed,” not to live, so her death at childbirth was pre-programmed. Toorop is left to take care of her two daughters who regard him as their father. Ten years later, it is revealed that she had given birth to a white and a black twin. Toorop has rebuilt his farm and is now their “father.” He warmly leads the children back into the house, saying that there is a storm coming.