Decorated General, Francis X. Hummel ( Harris), decides to take a stand against the government's mistreatment of the families of soldiers killed in action by stealing a dozen rockets armed with VX gas, each capable of killing 80,000 people with a deadly bio-hazardous gas, and commandeering Alcatraz (aka The Rock), placing the entirety of the San Francisco Bay area in danger. He demands that 100 million dollars be distributed amongst the families of the many men that have died during covert ops under his command within the next 48 hours or he will fire the rockets. The government takes a firm stand that they will not negotiate, and instead turns to Dr. Stanley Goodspeed ( Cage), an expert in bio weapons, and John Patrick Mason, an SAS agent who is reputed as the only man to ever escape Alcatraz. Along with a team of mercenaries they are sent to the island to disarm the rockets and save the hostages.
Additional Plot Details Dr. Stanley Goodspeed has just been engaged, as he is informed that his Catholic girlfriend Carla ( Vanessa Marcil) is pregnant at the beginning of the film. He does not know the gravity of the situation when he is called down to San Francisco, so his girlfriend follows, raising the personal stakes for Goodspeed when he discovers what is really going on. Goodspeed does not have any real combat experience as he spends most of his time in the lab, but under the tutelage of John Mason, he learns pretty quickly.
On a similar note, John Mason's estranged daughter lives in the Bay area, putting some personal pressure on him as well. He has spent decades of his life in prison as his native England will not acknowledge his existence due to the covert nature of his operations in the United States. It is believed that he knows the whereabouts of a microfilm that contains numerous political secrets, including the true identity of the assassins behind the death of John F. Kennedy. True or not, Mason is still an extremely sharp field agent and proves most useful in this tense situation.