The Substitute (1996)
Mercenary Shale's team is retired after a (not so) covert mission in Cuba. He becomes substitute teacher at his teacher fiancee's Miami high school to get those behind kneecapping her. His team helps him.
After a botched mission in Cuba, professional mercenary Shale and his crew Joey Six, Hollan, Rem, and Wellman head home to Miami, Florida, where Shale is reunited with his fiance Jane Hetzko, who is a history teacher at Columbus High School in Miami. Some of Jane's students happen to be members of a street gang known as the "Kings of Destruction" (KOD), led by Juan Lacas, who has been terrorizing Jane. After Jane's kneecap is broken by a big seminole named Bull, she tells Shale that she believes Lacas ordered the attack, so Shale goes undercover as Jane's substitute, and initially, Jane has no idea that Shale is doing this. At the school, Shale meets principal Claude Rolle, librarian Hannah Dillon, and english and drama teacher Darrell Sherman. It turns out that Lacas is one of Jane's students. As Shale investigates the attack on Jane, he discovers that drugs are being circulated into the school. Shale even investigates local drug kingpin Johnny Glades, who may or may not have someone inside the school distributing the drugs for him. Lives are threatened as Shale investigates and sets out to clean up the crime infested school.
After a failed mission in Cuba with three casualties, the mercenary Jonathan Shale and his team composed by Joey Six, Rem, Wellman and Hollan return to Miami. Meanwhile, the history teacher at the Columbus High School Jane Hetzko is threatened by the gangster Juan Lacas, who is the leader of the dangerous street gang Kings of Destruction. She reports the menace with her colleague Darrell Sherman to the Principal Claude Rolle, but he does not take any attitude. When the scared Jane returns home, she meets he boyfriend Shale that was visiting her and they spend the night together. On the next morning, Shale has a meeting with the rogue lawyer Matt Wolfson that offers a job to protect a shipment of drugs but Shale declines the offer. When he returns to Jane's apartment, he learns that she is jogging at the beach. He walks to meet her and save Jane from the attack of the strong punk Bull that breaks her kneecap and flees. She asks him to invite a substitute to replace her and Shale adopts the alias James Smith to replace Jane. Soon he learns that Lacas and Rolle are associated to the drug lord Johnny Glades and using the school to store and distribute the drug in Miami. Shale summons his crew and decide to clean the school and eliminate the gangsters.
After he did some jobs for CIA, ex-marine John Shale is visiting his high school love Jane. She's now a teacher in Columbus High School in Miami. Soon after his arriving Jane has her knee cap broken while jogging. After that, John decides to go undercover as her substitute in high school. Very soon he finds out that gang named Kings of Destruction is terrorizing the school. Shale is going to give everything to stop them, even his own life.
- The plot revolves around Shale (Berenger), a mercenary and a Vietnam veteran who goes undercover as a high school teacher in Miami to combat a gang. In the beginning of the film Shale comes home from a disastrous mission where three of his men were killed in an operation in Cuba. He arrives in Miami to find out that a knee-cap attack has left his girlfriend Jane Hetzko with a broken leg. Shale decides to play the part of a Harvard-educated substitute teacher and recruit his former soldiers (Raymond Cruz, Luis Guzmán, Richard Brooks, and William Forsythe) in order to find the culprits. While teaching history, Shale crosses paths with "Kings of Destruction" (KOD) gang leader Juan Lacas (Marc Anthony). Shale realizes that Lacas is responsible for Jane's attack, but that is just the tip of the iceberg of his nefarious activities. Shale's team infiltrates the school and sets up military surveillance gear throughout the bathrooms and corridors which lead to the discovery that Lacas is in cahoots with principal Rolle (Ernie Hudson) to use the school buses and their secret storage compartments as conduits for a heroin distribution ring in the greater Miami area.