Joe Martin (Bronson) is a soldier who was arrested for striking an officer. He escapes along with three others and the assistance of an Ax-Crazy mercenary from the outside. After the mercenary kills a cop who noticed their escape, Joe realizes that he's in danger, and escapes with the getaway car, leaving the rest to be arrested.
It's been seven years since that day, and Joe now owns a charter fishing service, and has a loving wife and (step-)daughter. The other escapees have gotten out of prison, and have hunted Joe down. Now, they have his family and want him to help them with a drug trafficking job.
This film contains examples of:
- Arch-Enemy: Katanga to Joe, as the latter abandoned the former to be arrested, the former was involved in kidnapping his family, and Joe hated him already for being completely Ax-Crazy.
- Artistic License Medicine: Captain Ross (Mason) claims that the average man has ten pints of blood. The average man actually has eight.
- Big Bad: Captain Ross leads the group harassing Joe.
- I Have Your Wife: The villains kidnap Joe's wife and (step-)daughter so he will assist them in escaping the country.
- Legion of Lost Souls: Katanga used to be a member of the Foreign Legion.
- Panty Shot: Three for Joes (step-)daughter Michelle; one in the cottage as shes sitting on a bench while Ross is holding her, Fabienne, and Katanga at gunpoint; and two when Joe carries her as she and Fabienne think that they might have escaped from Katanga. Possibly what gives Katanga his second idea to Would Hurt a Child as the films climax approaches.
- Would Hurt a Child: Katanga threatens to shoot Joe's (step-)daughter Michelle first in order to prevent her and Joe's wife from escaping. Near the film's climax, Katanga also seems to have developed an unhealthy interest in whether Michelle is 12 years old, or only 11.
- You Monster!: Various characters call Katanga a "virus," and Joe's wife Fabienne says that killing Katanga would be like "cleaning a cesspool."