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.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Captain Ross is okay with abducting Joe's family to force him to comply, but he draws a gun on Katanga to prevent him from doing horrible things to them just for the sake of making Joe suffer.
- Evil Plan: Captain Ross kidnaps Joe Martin's family to make him help traffic drugs as vengeance for selling him out to prison years beforehand.
- 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.
- Race Against the Clock: After Ross gets shot in the middle act of the film, Joe is ordered to go fetch a doctor to stop the bleeding or else Katanga will kill Joe's family. The race becomes more stressful when Katanga really wants to do horrible things to them whether or not Joe arrives, forcing Ross to keep a gun on Katanga.
- 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."