Retired field agent Bryan Mills attempts to build a closer relationship with his 17-year-old daughter, Kim, who lives with her mother, Lenore, and her wealthy stepfather, Stuart. While overseeing security at a concert for pop star Sheerah, Bryan saves the musician from an armed attacker. Out of gratitude, Sheerah offers to have Kim assessed as a singer. Before Bryan can tell her about the offer, Kim asks her father for permission to travel to Paris with her best friend, Amanda. As he is wary about Kim’s safety since she wants to go on without him, he initially refuses but eventually gives in to her demands. At the airport, Bryan learns that the girls are actually planning to follow U2 during their European tour.

Upon arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Kim and Amanda meet Peter, an attractive young Frenchman who offers to share a taxi. Kim and Amanda go to Amanda’s cousins’ apartment, where Kim finds out that the cousins are in Spain. After answering a call from Bryan, Kim sees men enter the apartment and abduct Amanda. Kim follows her father’s instructions to hide and listen closely. After she is dragged out from underneath a bed, Kim yells a description of her abductor. Bryan hears a person breathing heavily and, realizing one of the abductors has picked up the phone, tells him that he will not go after the kidnappers if they release his daughter but warns them that failure will result in their deaths. A man tersely replies, “Good luck.”

Sam, an old friend and former colleague of Bryan, deduces that the kidnappers are part of Albanian sex trafficking ring and identifies the man as Marko Hoxha. Based on previous history, Kim will disappear for good if she is not found within 96 hours. Bryan flies to Paris, breaks into the apartment, and finds Peter’s reflection in a picture on Kim’s phone. He finds Peter at the airport, trying to charm a solo female traveller, and tries to capture him. While making his escape, Peter gets hit by a truck. With his only lead dead, Bryan turns to an old contact, former French intelligence agent Jean-Claude Pitrel, who now has a desk job. Jean-Claude informs him of the local red-light district, where the Albanian prostitution ring operates, but warns him not to get involved. Bryan enters a makeshift brothel in a construction yard, where he rescues a drugged young woman who has Kim’s denim jacket. After a gunfight and high-speed chase with the brothel’s operators, Bryan takes the woman to a hotel, where he treats her with improvised detoxification.

The next morning, the woman tells Bryan of a safehouse, where she and Kim were kept. Posing as Jean-Claude, Bryan enters the house under the pretense of renegotiating the police protection rate. When he identifies Marko Hoxha by making him repeat the same phrase as on the phone, the meeting erupts into a fight that results in the deaths of all the gangsters except Marko. A quick search reveals several heavily-drugged girls, including a dead Amanda. Bryan ties Marko into a makeshift electric chair and interrogates him using parrilla. Marko reveals that virgins like Kim are sold quickly because of their prized value and identifies the buyer as Patrice Saint-Clair. Bryan leaves Marko to die from continuous electrocution and visits Jean-Claude’s apartment that evening. Having discovered Jean-Claude’s corruption, Bryan wounds the latter’s wife to coerce him into disclosing Saint-Clair’s location, before knocking him out as well.

Bryan infiltrates a covert sex slave auction taking place beneath Saint-Clair’s manor, where Kim is the subject of the last sale. Bryan forces Ali, an Arab bidder, to purchase her. While making his way out, Bryan is knocked out and chained to a pipe but manages to escape and eliminate Saint-Clair’s henchmen. Saint-Clair reveals a yacht owned by a client named Raman before Bryan kills him. Bryan pursues the yacht and eliminates the bodyguards, including Ali, before he encounters Raman in his suite, where he is holding Kim at knifepoint. When Raman attempts to negotiate, Bryan kills him with a headshot. Back in the United States, Kim is reunited with Lenore and Stuart. A grateful Lenore allows Bryan to bond with Kim by visiting Sheerah together.