Submitted by Tornado Dragon
Government defense contractor and arms trafficker Alexander Dunning is the mastermind behind the assassinations, and C.I.A. agent Wilkes is in cahoots with him. Back in 1981, when current U.S. Vice-President Robert Stanton was a lieutenant in the Army, he massacred a village in Guatemala. His father James, a powerful senator, had Dunning fly his son out of there, and Frank, Marvin, and several others were sent by the C.I.A. to do the job as well as clean up Robert’s mess. In exchange for Dunning’s silence on the matter, James helped make him a top defense contractor for the government. Since Robert is about to run for President, Dunning decided that anyone who knew about the mission had to die so Robert’s image would remain pristine and he could continue to enjoy his prominent status, so he became partners with Cynthia and had her direct the C.I.A. – specifically her top subordinate Cooper – to assassinate all those involved with the mission, and she would become head of the C.I.A. as a reward. He also had Stephanie Chan, a report investigating the mission, killed as well.
After the C.I.A. captures Sarah, Frank – who, at this point, was led by Dunning to think that Robert ordered the killings – spearheads a mission with his team to capture Robert at a charity gala in Chicago. The plan succeeds, and afterward, Frank calls Cooper and arranges a meeting with him at the Evanston power plant to trade Robert for Sarah. Cooper notifies Wilkes of the meeting and tells her to bring the Secret Service, and we next see Wilkes put Sarah into a limousine and head over to the plant. Shortly after Frank and Cooper arrive there, Wilkes turns up with Sarah, but two of Dunning’s men show up as well, and then Dunning steps out of the limousine. He essentially admits to being the true mastermind behind the murders and Wilkes is his accomplice, and he also non-fatally shoots Robert. He orders Cooper to cuff Frank before saying that Frank will be blamed for shooting Stanton and then he and Sarah will die in order to complete his plan. Disgusted at the corruption within his agency, Cooper slips Frank the key to the handcuffs after putting them on him, and moments later, he kills Wilkes. Marvin and Victoria then snipe Dunning’s men from their hiding places before Frank strikes Dunning in the throat, putting him down. Ivan pulls up out of the darkness in a car, and Marvin and Victoria come out and join Frank. Frank gives Cooper his thanks, and Cooper assures him that he can clean up this mess from here. Marvin then kills Dunning with a bullet to the head.
As Frank, Sarah, Marvin, Victoria, and Ivan are driving away, Ivan reminds Frank of the favor he owes him for seeking his aid, which involves dealing with a “tiny little nuclear problem” in Moldova. Sarah expresses an interest in going, and she and Frank kiss. The movie ends with Frank and Marvin running from Moldovan soldiers with Marvin carrying a small nuclear device.
While Frank (Bruce Willis), Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), Joe (Morgan Freeman), and Marvin (John Malkovich) are sitting in Victoria’s (Helen Mirren) house (Ivan [Brian Cox] is not currently with them) going over the 1981 Guatemala mission file, Joe notices that there is a name on Stephanie Chan’s list that isn’t in the file: Alexander Dunning (Richard Dreyfuss), a wealthy defense contractor with strong connections to the U.S. government who also operates a secret global arms racket. Joe says that this means that somebody is protecting Dunning, and if the C.I.A. are the ones protecting him, he must be under surveillance. Frank replies that they are going to go see him regardless of this, and Victoria decides to come along with them. That night, Cooper (Karl Urban) gets a call from his superior, Wilkes (Rebecca Pidgeon), who tells him that the C.I.A. just received an anonymous tip stating that Frank has a new target in Dunning, and she says that the F.B.I. is already at Dunning’s mansion. Cooper replies that he is going over there now.
Frank and company access Dunning’s property by having Joe pose as a defense secretary for a foreign nation looking to buy weapons from him, with Frank and Marvin pretending to be his bodyguards and Victoria situated nearby in the woods armed with a mounted machine gun and with Sarah at her side to keep watch for the F.B.I. agents. As they wait, Victoria tells Sarah that, in all the years she has known Frank, she has never seen him display so much affection to anyone like he does with her. After their comrades get inside the mansion, Dunning plays an audio recording talking about his company in order to throw off the agents listening in so he can open up a secret soundproof safe room for him and Joe to do business in. Shortly after they get inside, Frank and Marvin ring the doorbell, having managed to subdue Dunning’s guards outside the room, and Frank punches Dunning unconscious when he answers it.
The trio tie up Dunning in a chair and revive him, telling him that they (specifically Frank and Marvin) cleaned up his mess in Guatemala all those years ago and want to know exactly who it was that they flew out of there. Under threat of torture, Dunning confesses that the person extracted was current U.S. Vice-President Robert Stanton (Julian McMahon) back when he was a young lieutenant in the Army, and he was flown out of there by Dunning on orders from his father, Senator James Stanton, after he went nuts and massacred village civilians in that nation. James and Robert rewarded Dunning by making his company a top government defense contractor, and in return, Dunning kept quiet about what happened. Dunning also implies that Robert had Stephanie Chan killed after he called Robert and told him about how she called him twice looking for information on the case. Dunning says he will pay whatever it costs to get rid of this problem, but Joe tells him that everyone on Stephanie’s list has been ordered killed except him, and Dunning claims that he had nothing to do with that. He tells the guys that Robert is about to run for President, so he is just trying to clean up his past by killing anyone who knew about the massacre while also cutting him loose at the same time.
Around this time, Dunning’s recording starts to skip, putting the F.B.I. on high alert and mobilizing their forces, and Victoria radios her comrades to warn them that their cover has been blown and there is a team of agents moving up the east side of the property. She also notices Cooper making his arrival. Cooper calls the phone inside the safe room, knowing that Frank is in there, and after Frank answers it, he warns him that things are going to get messy if he and the agents have to come in and get him. Frank tells him that V.P. Stanton is the one who has been ordering the hits the C.I.A. has been committing to try to cover up his crimes in Guatemala, but Cooper finds this hard to believe, and Frank asks if he found him through some anonymous untraceable tip. Cooper tells Frank that he is going to walk out the front door and give himself up and he promises that he won’t let anyone shoot him, and he will personally take him in and allow him to tell his side of the story. He then gives him 60 seconds to decide. Frank contacts Victoria and asks how things are looking outside, and she replies that there is no clean exit.
Frank telephones Cooper after his time limit expires and tells him that he is coming out, so Cooper gives this news to the agents and instructs them to hold their fire. Frank apparently steps outside, but he is suddenly shot dead by an unknown sniper. The confused Cooper runs up to the body and discovers it to be Joe’s; Joe decided to take one for the team so the others could escape (a decision made easy by the fact that he was already dying from liver cancer). Frank and Marvin sneak out a side door while Victoria fires off some shots at Cooper and a squad of agents to keep them distracted, and Victoria and Sarah run after the guys once they make cover. Unfortunately, Sarah slips and falls down an embankment as they go, and Victoria has no choice but to continue fleeing since the F.B.I. agents are too close for her to help Sarah, and the agents take Sarah into custody. After eluding the agents, Victoria meets with Frank and Marvin and tells the former about Sarah’s capture, and then Ivan appears in a getaway car and extracts them from the area.
Ivan takes the crew to a cabin he owns, and after toasting to Joe, they ponder what their next move should be, and Ivan assures Frank that they will get Sarah back. Later, while Cooper is watching Sarah being interrogated, he receives a call from Frank. As he chats with him, a technician tracing the call discovers that Frank is calling from Cooper’s own house, where he is watching his wife and children playing outside. After Cooper becomes aware of this, Frank tells him that, if anything happens to Sarah, he will kill his family and then him, and Cooper swears that he will keep Sarah safe. Frank tells him that they don’t have much time, and when Cooper asks what he is going to do, he replies that he is going to kill Stanton and then asks him what he is going to do. The police are then shown arriving at Cooper’s home, with Cooper entering behind them, and he finds his family unharmed and Frank gone. When he goes into his office, he finds that Frank has left on his desk the list that Stephanie made, his I.D. card that Frank had earlier stole, and the Guatemala file.
Cooper then visits Sarah back in the interrogation room and tries to persuade her to tell him everything she knows so he and the C.I.A. can stop Frank from crossing a line that he can’t turn back from and warrant him having to be killed, but all Sarah does is mock him for how lame it is to ask her for help before saying that Frank is going to eat him for lunch. Cooper leaves and has a chat with Wilkes, who remarks that Sarah is never going to trust them. Cooper doesn’t blame her, saying that the anonymous tip they got was a trap and someone has them dancing like marionettes. He informs Wilkes that Frank is going to take a shot at Stanton, then tells her to make him a part of the Secret Service detail accompanying Stanton to a charity gala he has organized at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago in a day or two (where he will be formally announcing his run for President), knowing that Frank will tear that detail apart if they try to stop him. He also tells Wilkes that he plans to keep Sarah protected and off the grid for the time being. Meanwhile, Frank and Marvin visit a storage locker Frank owns that is loaded with various guns and explosives, and they select the necessary weapons for their mission.
Frank, Marvin, Victoria, and Ivan infiltrate the gala, and after they eventually trade some heavy gunfire with the Secret Service and negate Cooper’s attempts at intervention, Frank is able to kidnap Stanton by commandeering one of his limousines and trapping him in it while he is trying to escape, then he tasers him into submission. Stanton asks him who he is, and Frank replies that he is one of the men he ordered killed, but Stanton denies knowing what he is talking about. Frank brings up how he was in Guatemala back in 1981, and Stanton asks if he is looking for revenge, but Frank says that this isn’t about revenge. The frightened Stanton then asks if he is going to kill him, to which he answers, “Not just you”. Cooper later receives a call from Frank, who tells him that he is at the Evanston power plant and he has 15 minutes to deliver Sarah to him or Stanton will die. As he gets into his car, Cooper calls Wilkes and tells her where Frank is and that she must bring the Secret Service, and she replies that they are on their way. Wilkes is then shown bringing Sarah into a limousine with her.
Cooper arrives at the plant first and finds Frank alone with Stanton, and he assures Frank that Sarah is on her way here. He then tells Frank that it is over and that the whole world is about to drop on him soon, but Frank replies that they will see about that. Wilkes’ limo pulls in moments later, but so does a truck carrying two of Dunning’s men and a mounted machine gun, and Wilkes comes out pointing a gun at Sarah’s head, with Dunning emerging after them. After Cooper voices his confusion over this, Stanton tells Dunning to just give Frank what he wants because he can’t do this anymore, and reveals that Dunning was the real mastermind behind the killings of Stephanie and the people on her list (with Wilkes being in cahoots with him). Dunning then non-fatally shoots Stanton, and Frank tells Dunning to let Sarah go, but he replies that he needs to surrender his gun first. Frank complies, and Dunning then orders Cooper to cuff Frank. Quietly disgusted with how corrupt Wilkes clearly is, Cooper puts the handcuffs on Frank, but he also slips the key to them into his hands without anyone knowing. Dunning tells Cooper that the story will be that Frank shot Stanton, and then Wilkes will kill Frank and Sarah and get rewarded with the leadership of the C.I.A. Wilkes tells Cooper that this is going to happen whether he cooperates with them or not, prompting Cooper to tell her to go screw herself. Frank then starts walking towards her and Dunning, and when she aims her gun at him, Cooper shoots and kills her. Marvin and Victoria then snipe Dunning’s men from hidden positions before Frank strikes Dunning in the throat and sends him falling to the ground. Ivan then drives up out of the darkness in a car while Marvin and Victoria come out and join Frank. Frank gives Cooper his handcuffs back and gives him his thanks, then asks if cleaning up this mess is going to be a problem, but Cooper assures him that he has this well in hand. Marvin then kills Dunning by putting a bullet in his head.
Frank, Sarah, Marvin, Victoria, and Ivan all drive off into the countryside. As they go, Ivan reminds Frank that he still owes him a favor for seeking his aid and mentions how that favor involves a “tiny little nuclear problem” in Moldova. Excited at the prospect of joining Frank on another mission, Sarah asks him if they can go, and he agrees, after which they start kissing. The movie closes with a disguised Frank pushing a femininely-disguised Marvin in a wooden wheelbarrow away from pursuing Moldovan soldiers, with Marvin holding a small nuclear device in his lap.