The fight scenes in the film are arguably Seagal's best, integrating heavy elements of aikido, as well as use of weapons and arm dislocations. Seagal supposedly studied Jamaican voodoo rituals in depth to make the film.
Chicago DEA agent John Hatcher has just returned from Colombia, where his partner Chico (Richard Delmonte) was killed in a confrontation with drug dealers, and John killed the dealers who killed Chico. As a result of Chico's death, John has decided to retire.
One night, John and his friend Max (Keith David), a local high school football team's head coach, go to a bar. A gun fight breaks out between local drug dealers and a Jamaican gang called the Jamaican Posse, whose leader is a drug kingpin known as Screwface. Hatcher battles a few from both sides, killing some of Screwface's henchmen, before the gunfight ends.
The next day, Screwface and some of his henchmen get revenge by shooting up the house that John, his sister Melissa (Elizabeth Gracen), and Melissa's 12-year-old daughter Tracy (Danielle Harris) live in, and Tracy gets shot. Tracy is hospitalized in critical condition.
Hatcher comes out of retirement to join Max in a battle against Screwface, who later breaks into the Hatcher home and is about to kill Melissa, but Screwface leaves upon Hatcher's arrival. Hatcher now realizes that the only way to stop the Jamaican Posse is to bring down Screwface.
Teaming up with a Jamaican cop named Charles (Tom Wright), who has been trailing Screwface for years, Hatcher and Max head for Jamaica to find Screwface, whom Hatcher decapitates after a brief swordfight.
Back in Chicago, Hatcher displays Screwface's severed head to the Jamaican Posse to get them to leave town. However, Screwface seems to return from the dead and kills Charlie, causing the meeting to erupt into chaos. Max holds off the henchmen in a gunfight, while Hatcher gets into a swordfight with Screwface (who turns out to have been a pair of identical twins). Hatcher kills Screwface by gouging his eyes to blind him, breaking his back, followed by dropping him down an elevator shaft. Shortly after the battle, Hatcher leaves carrying Charles' body, with Max limping beside him.