It's tough to take a leave of absence from the French Foreign Legion, or so Lyon Gaultier (Jean-Claude Van Damm) learns when he receives a letter from his sister-in-law urging him to Los Angeles to see his brother who is on his death bed, the result of a drug buy gone sour. Lyon deserts the Legion, crosses the North African desert and works the boiler on a freighter for passage to New York. He arrives with no money, no visa and no way to get to California. He picks up quick cash and a self-appointed manager (Harrison Page) in a street fight. Page, a likable ex-street fighter introduces Lyon to a fight promoter, Cynthia (Deborah Rennard, J.R.'s secretary on Dallas) who sets up exhibition fights for the very rich who are looking for something more exciting than watching television. Cynthia dubs Lyon "Lionheart" and he continues to fight and win to help his sister-in-law financially.
Van Damm, co-wrote the script which favors action over substance, he has few lines, but the movie is made purely to showcase the fight sequences, so his acting is inconsequential. On opening night, a large audience which consisted mostly of teens and young adults was boisterous and enthusiastic as each high flying kick made contact. If a poll of those viewers was taken, no one would care that Ban Damm can't act. It's not art - but hey, it's entertaining!