Jack Cole (Steven Seagal) was once a government intelligence operative known as "The Glimmer Man," because he could move so quickly and quietly through the jungle that his victims would only see a glimmer before they died. Having left the Glimmer Man job behind him, Colesteeped in buddhism and not used to working with othershas become a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Cole is partnered with Jim Campbell (Keenen Ivory Wayans), a tough, no-nonsense cop who has little patience for Cole's New Age philosophies and outsider attitude. Cole and Campbell have to set aside their differences when they're assigned to track down a serial killer called "The Family Man," for his habit of killing entire households. The Family Man's latest victims turn out to be Cole's former wife Ellen and her current husband Andrew Dunleavyand Cole's fingerprints are found on Ellen's body. Cole and Campbell think that Cole's former bosses in the government may somehow be involved in the killings. Cole contacts his friend Smith (Brian Cox), unaware that he has been working with local crime boss Frank Deverell (Bob Gunton). Cole and Campbell receive a tip that leads them to Christopher Maynard (Stephen Tobolowsky), who admits that he committed the Family Man murders that happened before Cole arrived in Los Angeles.
Someone else has been committing the more recent murders and making it look like Maynard's work. Cole fatally shoots Maynard in self defense. Cole, hoping to get a lead on the new killer, goes to the home of Deverell's Russian translator Celia Roslov (Susan Reno), who was a victim of the killer. The killer attacks Cole, and later sets Campbell's home on fire. Cole and Campbell discover that Deverell's stepson Johnny (Johnny Strong) knows some important information. Johnny tells Cole and Campbell that Deverell's right-hand man, Donald Cunningham (John M. Jackson), is the new killer who has been making his killings look like Maynard's work.
Johnny also tells them that Smith has been working with Deverell. Cole and Campbell confront Smith, and torture him into revealing that Deverell is smuggling chemical weapons into the USA from Russia, with plans to sell the weapons to a group of Serbian terrorists. Smith made the contacts, with the deal being cut by a group of Russian terrorists known as the Russian Liberation Fighters. The meeting for the deal is scheduled to take place at a downtown welfare hotel. Cole and Campbell storm the hotel, where Cunningham fatally shoots Deverell, and Cole kills Cunningham by throwing him through a window and onto a wrought iron fence below. Campbell, having been shot, tells Cole that, ever since he met him, he's been nothing but trouble.
Cole says he'll keep that in mind, as Campbell is taken away in an ambulance..