In Moscow, after FBI deputy director Carter Preston (Sidney Poitier) and scarred Russian intelligence officer Valentina Koslova (Diane Venora) bring down a key figure in the Russian Mafia, they are threatened by the criminal's powerful brother who swears vengeance on the FBI and immediately hires a professional assassin, the Jackal (Bruce Willis) to kill a leading American political figure. A master of disguises, the Jackal believes in total perfectionism and demands $70 million for the job. The FBI suspects the Jackal is aiming for the FBI director, so they consult with former Basque terrorist Isabella (Mathilda May), in Virginia, and Isabella's former lover, IRA operative Declan Mulqueen (Richard Gere), serving a prison sentence. Promised leniency, Mulqueen agrees to help. Meanwhile, the Jackal prepares false passports, secures a customized computer system to run his Gatling gun, and heads toward his target in Washington, D.C.