Dead Men Can't Dance
A busy seaport in highly volatile North Korea. Mingling amidst the routine activity and hand-pushed wooden fish carts, a non descript van pulls into a warehouse next to a North Korean military troop truck. Major Kang, ruthless and impeccably uniformed, emerges from the truck to cut a deal with the van's group of Chinese businessmen. Working inconspicuously undercover, a man in Asian peasant clothes aims a tiny snorkel camera from his thatch sampan hat. This is Hart (MICHAEL BIEHN), tough controlled leader of a covert CIA special ops espionage team.
Concurrently, on a ship opposite the warehouse, a man called Shooter (ADRIAN PAUL) lies still, high-caliber sniper rifle focused on the proceedings. Major Kang cracks a crate to reveal three ominous metal 13 inch metal cylinders - black market nuclear detonators. From her CIA communications bay, team partner Captain Victoria Elliot (KATHLEEN YORK) moves to the edge of her seat. She immediately receives orders to turn the surveillance subjects into hard targets - and recover the goods.
Unprepared for a live ammo confrontation, Captain Elliot reluctantly gives the word to her buddies. Thip! Thip! North Korean soldiers jerk back as Shooter's silenced bullets find their mark. Dozens of civilians scatter and hit the deck amidst the desperate gunplay, but seven chaotic minutes later Kang escapes with the three nuclear detonators under a hail of gunfire.
Captain Elliot is pulled from the unsuccessful CIA operation and placed in Brigadier General Burke's pet project: a hard-fought and hard-won, first ever US inter-gender military group in the Demilitarized Zone "The Rangers." Amidst rising tensions between world powers and a heightened military presence threatening the peace between nations, the objective of calming the storm is riding entirely on this highly trained operations group.
After weeks of severe and torturous training under the unforgiving Sergeant Rhodes, (BARBARA EVE HARRIS), the Rangers trek into no man's land for their first recon patrol in the hottest non-combat zone on earth. Deep into hostile territory, the group detects enemy movement. Unable to reach base on the radio and with compass navigation useless due to electro-magnetic interference by the North Koreans, the squad regroups to determine their course of action.
Suddenly silence is transformed into pandemonium as a huge crimson hole explodes in the group commander's chest from flying enemy fire! Rangers click into survival mode and scramble for cover, tracers and bullets winging from all directions. Without specific radio authority, the squad cannot return fire, and now with the group leader severely wounded at her feet, Captain Elliot must assume command and lead the group out of this deadly situation. Faced with a no-win situation - and no hope of backup, Elliot bucks military orders in exchange for crucial action. Blasting away fearlessly, the team retaliates and carves a path heading north, their only option.
Throughout the dark unforgiving landscape, faint Korean shouting can be heard. Relying on highly specialized survival skills, the unit silently runs into a small team of clandestine Americans captured by the North Koreans. It is Hart's CIA special ops espionage insert team, in for a second covert mission to take out North Korea's first nuclear power plant before it can jeopardize world security. Alarmed by the surprise sight of her former partner captured by Major Kang, Captain Elliot plots a spontaneous rescue, lobbing grenades and diving into the clearing, covering their escape with gritty firepower and dashing north into the night. With the enemy close on their heels, the newly combined group ducks into a set of tunnels, but the North Korean soldiers quickly catch on to their whereabouts and blow the mouth of the tunnel.
With the North Korean nuclear threat growing stronger by the hour, the group moves quickly in the darkness of the tunnels, emerging among ancient Buddhist temple ruins. With most of their equipment left behind, a reunited Hart and Captain Elliot review their options. Still unable to communicate with base, they choose to forge ahead and join their units together as an ad hoc team - and eliminate North Korea's nuclear capability. But moments before they move out, Hart discovers Shooter using his supposedly "lost" cell-phone to report to Pullman T. Fowler, his corrupt CIA link. Angered by the traitorous nature of his double-agent compatriot, Hart throws down his rifle and the two go at it, stiletto to stiletto. But the melee turns ugly as Shooter gets the upper hand. Before Shooter can kill Hart, Captain Elliot intervenes, giving Hart the split-second distraction he needs to make the kill.
Using Shooter's cell-phone, Captain Elliot taps into the nuclear power plant computer via satellite-link to make it think there has been a melt-down. Klang! Klang! Klang! The alarm blares and North Koreans scramble to escape disaster, leaving an easy opening for the fearless squad to move in. The combined team blows the safe containing the nuclear detonators and successfully moves towards the helipad escape. Suddenly the blaring klaxon alarm stops with an ugly silence. Hostile enemy soldiers return to the plant and absolute chaos erupts. Barely able to fend off the enemy soldiers under heavy artillery, the tension mounts as the trapped brigade's window of opportunity rapidly closes. But Hart and Captain Elliot maneuver with exceptional skill to the helipad, stealing a chopper with nail-biting intensity.
The heavy bird lifts off the ground, but in a last ditch effort to recover the detonators, Major Kang jumps onto the landing skids and climbs into the soaring chopper! Grappling with the violently resistant Rangers, Kang holds tight and unleashes a suicide grenade, pulling the pin. With seconds to go, Rhodes, severely injured but fearless, decks Kang and the two fly overboard, exploding in a brilliant ball of flame into pieces mid-air. Hart, Captain Elliot and the rest of the team watch in horror and silence, their heads hung low.
Days later, with well-positioned official propaganda in the press, the entire incident is dismissed as a non-event. Only the Rangers can know what they secretly accomplished for their country.