The film is based on a story by Corbijn and Bono, and includes several of the characters Bono created for the album. The plot focuses on a Parisian motorcycle officer, played by Saïd Taghmaoui; the character has become disillusioned with his life and the conflict between immigrants and the police in the city, causing him to leave to see his girlfriend in Tripoli.
A teacher opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions -- some that have already occurred and others that are about to -- that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are about to unfold.
When reporter Jean Craddock interviews Bad Blake -- an alcoholic, seen-better-days country music legend -- they connect, and the hard-living crooner sees a possible saving grace in a life with Jean and her young son.
Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
In a gritty and alternate 1985 the glory days of costumed vigilantes have been brought to a close by a government crackdown, but after one of the masked veterans is brutally murdered an investigation into the killer is initiated.