After being betrayed by his partner Ronny "Del" Delaney (Michael Parks) during a drug bust at the Seattle docks, ex-cop Cliff Garrett (Norris) has gone undercover in the West Coast Mafia as a hitman. He quickly finds himself embroiled in an escalating Mob War between the U.S. Mafia, a Canadian outfit, and the Iranian mob recently arrived on the scene. It becomes personal when Garrett discovers that Del is somehow involved in the mob war.
This film provides examples of:
- Artistic License – Law Enforcement: It would not be legal for a police officer to work undercover as a contract killer, no matter how much of a Cowboy Cop he may be.
- Belly Dancer: A belly dancer shows up briefly right before Norris does what he does best: kicking butt and taking names.
- Cowboy Cop: Chuck Norris's character is actually a cop who's working undercover as a hitman for the mafia, but still fits the 'renegade cop' mold, usually just straight up executing people instead of arresting them. He even blows up his crooked partner at the end in front of the rest of the department.
- Dirty Cop: Ron Delany (Michael Parks), the main character's old partner, is revealed to have actually been working with gangs in the area to supervise illegal shipments when he shoots his partner for interfering. He later joins up with an Iranian gang to wipe out all the opposition.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Early on, Garrett is suddenly betrayed by his old partner Del when they're raiding a warehouse where illegal goods are being shipped. Turns out his partner was actually supervising the shipment until Garrett arrived. It's so out of left field that initially, Garret just looks a bit stunned at the bullet hole in his chest.
- Hollywood Law: It would not be legal for a police officer to work undercover as a contract killer, no matter how much of a Cowboy Cop he may be. Even if he went rogue, he'd be arrested as soon as he got in contact with his bosses again.
- In Love with the Gangster's Girl: Garret, an undercover cop working as a hitman for the mafia, has a fling with a mob accountant who also happens to be the mistress of the boss he's working for. He finds out. She eventually ends up with a bullet to the back of her head, Garret ends up getting sold out to the competition.
- Mob War: There's a mob war between an Italian gang from Seattle, a French gang from Vancouver, and a recently arrived Iranian gang.
- Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: An Iranian gang is butting in on the territories of an Italian American and French Canadian gang in the Pacific Northwest and quickly establish themselves as far more ruthless than their competitors.
- Sleeping with the Boss's Wife: Cliff Garrett is an undercover cop working as a hitman for The Mafia. He has a fling with a mob lawyer who happens to be the boss's squeeze. When the boss finds out, he has Garret sold out to his rivals and the girl killed.
- Would Hurt a Child: Delaney takes a young boy-that his ex-cop partner Garret had befriended-hostage and ties him to a bomb in order to have a talk with Garret.