Bernard (Gerard Depardieu) is a doctor whose Hippocratic oath was a hypocritic failure -- the not-so-good doctor kills his wife because she is having an affair, and he kills her lover too. Then he joins the French Foreign Legion. On his way to the former French colonies in Africa, the plane he is in crashes, and Rossi, a "friend" on the plane with some overweight in carry-on money, shoots Bernard and takes off, leaving him for dead. He is nursed back to life and health by friendly villagers and just his luck, he not only manages to make his fortune in Africa, he also nabs a French passport from a dying man who will clearly not need it anymore unless the Pearly Gates have a French guard. The doctor gets back to Paris and hunts down Rossi, who at this point does not much care what happens to him because he is a miserable cad, as opposed to the once happy cad who shot Bernard. The doctor kills Rossi, an act witnessed by Ali (Hakim Chanem) a precocious Arab teenager who sees this as his chance to blackmail the doctor into "taking care of" a rotten police inspector responsible for murdering the boy's older brother. Rossi was the cause of the dead brother's drug addiction. However, the boy's sister Zita (Souad Amidou) works as a hooker-waitress at a restaurant that serves women on the side, and she and the doctor fall in love. As might be expected, the restaurant is owned by the nefarious police inspector and it does not take long before the once-cooperative Ali turns against Bernard and writes a letter to the inspector, spilling the beans, as many and varied as these are by now. Finally, Bernard is surrounded by the police but love has changed him, and he refuses to fight. As he heads off to prison, the plot has another twist or two as it lurches toward the final credits.