Renowned archaeologist Robert Burns (Steven Seagal) has unearthed precious artifacts in the ancient ruins of eastern China with plans to ship them off for restoration. But the Chinese mafia, the Tong, have plans of their own. When Burns accidentally discovers the Tong are using the artifacts as containers for smuggling drugs overseas, he becomes marked for death. Framed for the murder of his assistant, Burns is thrown in a Chinese prison but is released and used in an American / Chinese government plot as bait to attract the Tong. The trap is set and Burns takes on the Tong one man at a time in a blistering martial arts. assault, leading up to a final confrontation with the Emperor of the Tong who must face the wrath of a man out for a kill.