Walter Llloyd (Gene Hackman) is an unassuming owner of a Texan lumberyard. When Walter's wife Donna (Gayle Hunnicutt) is kidnapped whilst on a trip to Paris. he immediately travels there with his son, Chris (Matt Dillon). But Chris knows nothing of his father's past and is shocked to discover that he had once been a top CIA agent. Using all Walter's former CIA contacts to track his wife down, father and son discover that she has been kidnapped by a CIA operative with an 18-year-old axe to grind. Walter has to therefore employ (and teach his son) all his old tricks in order to free his wife.