A megalomaniac C.E.O. sends his son into the dangerous African Congo on a quest for a source of diamonds large enough and pure enough to function as powerful laser communications transmitters (or is it laser weapons?). When contact is lost with his son and the team, his sometime daughter- in-law is sent after them. She is a former CIA operative and, accompanied by gee-whiz gadgetry and a few eccentric characters (including a mercenary, a researcher with a talking gorilla, and a a nutty Indiana-Jones-type looking for King Solomon's Mines), sets out to rescue her former fiancé. What they all discover is that often what we most want turns out to be the source of our downfall.
In Congo, Charles Travis is testing a communication system by laser with his former fiancée Dr. Karen Ross for the TraviCom network. Charles is the son of the millionaire R.B. Travis, who owns the TraviCom and is Karen's employer. Charles and his friend Jeffrey find the ruins of a lost city but are somehow killed. Meanwhile their camp is completely destroyed and then the camera is shut down by a creature. Travis discloses to Karen that his son was actually trying to find a rare blue diamond in Congo and sends her to look for him. Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Elliot and his assistant Richard are testing communication with the gorilla Amy and they decide to take her back to Congo since the animal seems to miss her birthplace. However they have funding issue but the Romanian philanthropist Herkermer Homolka offers to financially assist them. In the airport, Karen provides more money and joins the expedition. In the politically unstable Africa, they meet the experienced guide Captain Munro Kelly that bribes Captain Wanta to let them go. Further, he discloses that Homolka's real intention is to find the Lost City of Zinj. Then they embark in a plane in the beginning of a dangerous adventure in Congo.
When an expedition to the African Congo ends in disaster, a new team is assembled to find out what went wrong.
- A telecommunications company--TraviCom--is run by a paranoid, hot-headed tyrant(Joe Don Baker). In a quest for a powerful 10.000 channel laser, he sends his son Charlie into the Congo region of Africa to retrieve a raw flawless diamond to power the laser, While reporting via Satlink, the camp is filled with dead bodies--the last image seen from Charlie's cam is that of a mutant gorilla before it goes black. Travis sends Dr. Ross(Laura Linney) to investigate, as she was Charlie's fiance.It becomes obvious that Travis' interest is for the diamond and not for his son, but Dr. Ross promises Travis will pay if she is only going for the diamond and not Charles.
Enter Dr. Elliott(Dylan Walsh) who taught a gorilla(Amy) to talk using voice activated sign language invented for deaf-mute people. His assistant Richard(Grant Heslov) is noticing Amy's mental decline, which supposedly occurs in captive gorillas. Dr. Elliott wants to return Amy to the Congo, but can not afford the trip. A Romanian philanthropist--Mr. Homolka(Tim Curry) offers to pay, as drawings Amy painted have a symbol that he is interested in. Mr.Homolka's funds fall through on the day the plane is loading and Laura Linney appears in the nick of time to fund Amy's return.
The flight to Africa is interesting as we find Amy drinks alcohol (wants "green drop drink"--martini) and is jealous of Laura Linney. Landing in Africa, the team is met by Eddie Ventro(Joe Pantoliano) and Monro Kelly(Ernie Hudson) with enough technogadgets and arms to start an incursion into a foreign land. While attempting to exit the airport, the group is discovered by Captain Wanta(Delroy Lindo) and demands a bribe to exit. It is found that Dr. Ross has plenty of cash and was an operative for the CIA. It is also found Tim Curry is after King Solomon's diamond Mines in the lost city of Zinge, and the image Amy was drawing is from King Solomon's Mines.As their plane goes into Zaire air space, they are fired upon, hit and damaged and have to exit via parachute.
While reporting a Sit rep to Travis, Dr. Ross is told by Travis that his primatologists identified the gorilla seen before Charlie's camera as a new species of gray gorilla. Just then Amy knocks over the Satlink destroying it, leaving Travis to believe another gorilla attack, and sends another plane to find the diamond.
The group meets the "Ghost tribe" while camping, who state there is a dead white man in the forest with the symbol of TraviCom on his shirt. The ghost tribe have several levels of dead and Dr.Ross identifies Bob Driscoll(John Hawkes), a member of Charlie's party. Bob awakens and sees Amy crawling towards him, begins to scream and dies of fright. The team travels further into the Congo and is attacked by Hippos as well as snakes.The team sees Travis' second plane shot down. After camping one evening, the team awakens to the loss of porters and is unsure of where to go--the proverbial fork in the road. The decision is made to follow Amy as she has the 'conviction' and 'passion' to go home.
The region of the Congo they are in is geothermically unstable. Amy meets a group of Silverback gorillas and is snubbed leading Dr.Ross to believe Amy doesn't belong anywhere. The team finds the perimeter of Charlie's camp. yet can't find the bodies or equipment.
Investigation reveals the lost city of Zinge with King Solomon's Mines. Hieroglyphics state "we are watching you" over and over again. Richard remains behind and is attacked. He runs to the group beaten and bloodied followed by a mutant gorilla. As Richard dies, Homolke states the legend of the killer ape is true.
Camp is set like a scene from Predator, with lasers and machine pistols. The mutants attack, and if not for the overwhelming firepower, the group would have been killed. The following morning, Homolke is gone as well as Amy.Looking further, the team finds Homolke at the diamond mine. He is warned not to touch the diamonds, but he starts to retrieve them. The mutants surround him and kill him and attack the team.
There is no way out and Peter is taken by the mutants. Just as they are to kill him, Amy appears and protects him. Ross finds Charlie dead, the diamond and laser in his hand. She gets the laser working and 'cuts' her way out, giving the team a chance to escape. Amy joins the Silverbacks and Ross uses the SatCom from the second plane to let Travis know his son is dead. He is more interested in the diamond. Ross then aims the laser at the satellite and fries it, destroying Travis' cash cow.
Peter, Ross and Monro leave with a hot air ballon and Ross asks Peter to toss the Diamond. He does to Monro's"ouch" and the wind takes them away........