In this action thriller, Denzel Washington plays Nick Styles, the assistant district attorney of L.A. The film opens in his early days as a cop on the L.A.P.D. During a carnival, master criminal Earl Talbot Blake creates a scene after a botched drug deal. Styles and Blake confront each other, during which Blake is wounded by Styles and later sent to prison. Seven years later, Blake escapes from prison during a parole board hearing to carry out his revenge against Styles, and what follows is a violent series of events that destroys Styles' career. This sets the stage for one last bloody duel between Styles and Blake.