Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a French cop whose colleagues make a startling discovery -- a man named Mikhail, who was killed in a high-speed chase with police, looks exactly like him. Curious about the stranger with his face, Alain is told by his mother Chantal (Stephane Audran) that Mikhail was in fact his twin brother, whom her poor family was forced to give up at birth. Alain wants to know more about the brother he never knew, but the more he learns the more troubling the news becomes; it seems that Mikhail was involved with gangsters, corrupt FBI agents, and a gang of drug dealers. In order to avenge his brother's death and get to the bottom of his sad story, Alain assumes Mikhail's identity and travels to New York City, where to maintain his cover he takes up with Alex Minetti (Natasha Henstridge), Mikhail's tough-as-nails girlfriend, before finding himself hip-deep in danger with Mikhail's associates. Maximum Risk was the first American film from noted Hong Kong action director Ringo Lam, whose City on Fire has often been cited as a key inspiration for Reservoir Dogs.
by Mark Deming synopsis