Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) is an ex-convict and an ex-gangbanger who was wrongfully imprisoned for five years. Det. Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) is a cop who is being wrongfully accused of shooting a perpetrator unprovoked. Jack is looked upon as a loose cannon because he is constantly searching for a mysterious person called the Ice Man and his search is unfruitful. No one but Jack has seen or heard of the Ice Man which makes him seem crazy. So when Jack retaliated against the perpetrator on a bust it does not help his reputation. Jack will lost his job and his freedom if he cannot clear his name. The gun went missing at the scene of the shooting so he is accused of shooting and it was the only evidence of the perpetrator shooting first. He finds a picture of Reggie and evidence that the dead perpetrator was being paid to kill Reggie. He goes to see Hammond in prison to ask for his help. Hammond reacts violently and gets thrown into solitary confinement for his remaining stay at the prison. On his way out Hammond is called over to a cell with Kirkland Smith (Bernie Casey) in it. The man tells Hammond not to forget his promise and that he can reach out of the prison to kill Reggie whenever he wanted if the Reggie does not uphold the deal. Reggie says not to worry and that he will be receiving his money (from Jack) when he gets out of jail.
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In the jail transport Reggie is attacked by the bikers, Richard “Cherry” Ganz (Andrew Divoff) and Willie Hickok (David Anthony Marshall), that are hired to kill him. They flip the bus over but are unsuccessful in murdering their target. In a bar Jack is also shot the biker group. It is a revenge hit because Jack killed the offender's brother after Reggie snitched on the brother up to the cops.
At the hospital Reggie and Jack are both being treated. Reggie is to be kept under observation over night and the cops want to interrogate him. When Jack finds out he has Reggie released into his custody.
Reggie and Jack have to team up to find the men that are out to assassinate Hammond and clear Jack's name by catching the Ice Man who is behind it all. Hammond is reluctant to help Jack because of the deal that Jack is reneging on. He was suppose to hold Reggie's money until he got out of prison. If Reggie does not help Jack he will never get his money. If he does not get the money Kirkland will kill him.
Reggie recognized one of the bikers from the attack on the bus and they go to investigate a complaint about the bikers that attacked Reggie. The bartender reveals that the bikers were looking for a person that used to work there and they were also with a black guy, Tyrone Burroughs (Brent Jennings). It was the same guy that was paying people to kill Reggie. Jack gets into a fight at the bar and Hammond breaks the fight up.
Outside Jack punches Reggie getting even with him from the punch he received in the jail. Reggie storms off and calls Kirkland Smith in jail. He tells Smith the situation is more complicated than he had originally thought. Smith tells him to keep his word or else.
Meanwhile Jack receives information about the Ganz brothers and their gang. They were enforcers for the Brotherhood gang and now one is after Reggie for giving up his brother to Jack.
Reggie finds Jack having no other to get his money. They find the girl, Angel Lee (Page Leong), that the bartender told Jack about to question her. One of the bikers is on his way out of Angels room when the cop and his partner are on their way upstairs. Jack keeps a look out while Reggie goes up to see if Angel is there. Meanwhile Ganz is on his way up the fire escape to see Angel. Reggie knocks on her door but Ganz is already there and he shoots through the door. Ganz leaves the room to check and see if he hit his target. Jack is on him way up the stairs. Seeing Jack, Ganz goes into a rage trying to kill him. Unsuccessful at killing Jack and Reggie Ganz and his fellow gang member leave the hotel.
After talking to Angel she tells him the name of Ganz's contact guy, Malcolm Price. No one talks to Ganz unless they talk to Price. That is all she knows.
Cates and Hammond go to see Kirkland because he knows a lot about the criminal community. Kirkland tells them the Burroughs is a recruit of the Ice Man and Price is the broker for hit men. Kirkland talks to Reggie alone he tells Reggie to repay his debt.
Jack calls his contact, Det. Ben Kehoe(Brian James) in the police station to find out about Malcolm Price(Ted Markland). Price is found dead before he can be questioned. At the morgue, Reggie suggests the Ice Man is a cop because it seems that every time they get a lead and get information on their lead dies or disappears. Jack agrees and says it must be Det. Wilson(Kevin Tighe) who had been on Jacks case since he started chasing the Ice Man. Reggie says that it is not the money that he stole from the Ice Man, the same money that Jack was holding for Reggie, that the Ice Man was concerned about. It was the fact that Reggie could identify the man that is the problem.
Reggie and Jack go to the courthouse where his court hearing had been going on for two hours. Jack tells Reggie that Wilson has to be the Ice Man but Reggie does not recognize him as such. The judge finds Jack guilty at the same time.
Jack takes Reggie to the station where he gives Reggie his money and says that there are no longer any ties between them. Reggie is free to go.
Meanwhile Ganz and his partner visit Burroughs. Before they kill him they show concern over the murder of Malcolm. Malcolm was killed because Jack was searching for him. Burroughs says that that is how the business is. Burroughs tells Ganz that his job is still the same. Also he tells Ganz that he can find out where Reggie is by blackmailing Kirkland with his daughters life. They kill Burroughs.
Reggie upholds the deal he made with Kirkland giving Kirkland's daughter $75,000. When he gives the woman the money Ganz shows up and knocks Reggie out.
At the station Jack is cleaning out his desk. Ben, his contact and friend, says that Jack will be missed. Just then Cruise(Ed O'Ross), another cop, gets a call from the gang members. They tell him they have Reggie and they are going to let Reggie send Cruise to jail if he does not pony up more money. They are going to do it because shooting one of them, Malcolm, wasn't in the deal. They set up a meeting in a crowded bar. Before leaving the station Jack gets a hit on one of the people he requested information on. Apparently Cruise busted the guy and the information was suppressed. Thinking that Cruise is the Ice Man he follows the cop to the bar.
At the bar Cruise meets up with the gang members and gives them the money. He tells them to take the two people, Reggie and the girl, out back and to shoot them. Reggie says Cruise is not the Ice Man. Soon after that,Ben shows up along with Jack. Hammond yells that Ben is the Ice Man. A gun fight breaks out. Ganz and his partner are killed along with Cruise. Reggie is shot in the shoulder and Ben, the Ice Man is killed. Jack is going to give the 500,000 dollars he got off the Ice Man to Reggie.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like that Hammond is supposed to give money to Kirkland's daughter and does what he is told.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene happens when Jack is in the bar fight. He is being harassed by a couple of people he put in jail. Jack is getting waled and when Hammond steps in.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked that Hammond decided to continue helping Jack after all ties are cut.