As the film opens, Duncan (Devon Sawa) is giving an interview for a documentary. He gets asked what it is like for him to be a lineman. He is also asked to tell about "the storm." He gets a little visibly shaken and takes a breath.
The film flashes back to fifteen years prior. A man is shown talking to his daughter, Bailey. Bailey is frightened of the storm, but her father gives her a flashlight, in case the power goes out. The man is a lineman, those who go out and work on the electrical power line grids. The man goes out to fix a downed power line with a crew, during a bad rainstorm. All of a sudden, a truck pulls up. It is the man's brother, Beau (John Travolta). Beau is cocky and is able to climb the line and fix a shorted wire.
The brother notices that Beau missed a crucial spot. When Beau offers to go back up, the man stops him and chooses to do it himself. As he is fixing the wire, the power line is struck by lightning, sending the ignited man to the ground. The man is rushed to the hospital. One of the crew members alerts the man's wife. The wife, leaving Bailey behind, rushes to the hospital. As she is distracted, her car is struck by a truck at an intersection, killing her. Beau, driving by, sees the crash. He goes to help but is unable to. The next morning, Beau stops by the house and comforts Bailey, his niece.
Flash forward 15 years later. Beau and Bailey (Kate Bosworth) are living together. She is a waitress at a local diner, while Beau is now the head lineman for the company. Before they head out, Beau and Bailey notice that new neighbors are moving in across the street. Bailey goes out to introduce herself. She meets Carline (Julie Benz), while Carline's husband Eugene (Ryan Robbins) stares from a distance. Beau sees Eugene and goes to introduce himself. Eugene shakes Beau's hand. Beau tries to start a conversation with Eugene when he notices Eugene also works for the power company. Eugene looks at Beau very suspiciously. Beau and Bailey leave after a few more moments. Bailey drops Beau off at the site. Beau walks in and is shocked to discover his co-workers including his best friend, known as Pok' Chop (Gil Bellows), and Bailey have thrown him a surprise birthday party.
Later that day, Beau notices Duncan has started working for the same company. Beau asks Pok' Chop who hired Duncan, but Pok' Chop says that he did not. It is revealed that Duncan and Bailey used to date, but that something happened between them. Duncan is later shown living with his alcoholic mother (Sharon Stone). Duncan is trying to rekindle the relationship, much to the dismay of another one of Bailey's ex-boyfriends, Ron (Matt Bellefleur).
In subsequent scenes, we see that Eugene and Carline's relationship is strained when it is revealed that Carline had cheated on Eugene in the past and that is why he is suspicious whenever he sees Carline near a man and/or talking to another man.
After spending some time together, Carline notices that Bailey is pregnant. Bailey reveals that it is Duncan's baby. Beau wants Bailey to go to college, but Bailey is conflicted since she is pregnant.
Ron comes over to try to rekindle his relationship with Bailey but is unable to when Carline comes to help Bailey run Ron away. Ron takes an immediate dislike to Carline. Later that night, Bailey looks out the window and notices a taxicab pull up to Carline & Eugene's house. She notices Carline coming out of the house and getting into the taxi, while Eugene is at work.
Eugene becomes increasingly suspicious of Carline, even to the point of going through her phone. When she catches him doing so, she takes her phone from him. He tells her that he noticed a bunch of phone numbers on her phone that he didn't recognize. Carline tells him that she's been spending a lot of time with Bailey and her friends. Later on, as he is about to head to work, Eugene notices Bailey about to leave. He goes over to ask Bailey if she's been spending time with his wife. He mentions her friends and Bailey looks confused. Carline spots this and comes over to find out what Eugene is talking to Bailey about. Bailey tells Eugene that she and "her friends" has been spending time with Carline, covering for her.
Eventually, Bailey & Duncan rekindle their relationship, much to Beau's dismay, since he wants Bailey to go to college and make a life for herself. One night at a local bar, Beau gets drunk and voices his opinion to Duncan, until Pok' Chop goes to intervene and tells Beau to go home.
Things eventually come to a head on the day of the storm. First, the storm strikes a power line and causes the pole to fall onto a set of train tracks. Shortly after that, a train runs into the downed power line and derails. Beau and his team are called out to help.
On another side of town, Eugene calls Carline and tells her that all he wanted was to hear her voice.
After hanging up, he climbs to the top of an electrical tower and contemplates committing suicide. He eventually decides against it and goes home.
As night falls, the storm gets worse. At home, Bailey sees Ron's car pull up across the street. Ron gets out of his car and heads towards Eugene and Carline's place. He breaks into the house and tries to assault Carline, due to her comments towards him from earlier in the film. Eugene's car pulls up to the house, and he sees Ron's car. Eugene opens up the glove compartment and pulls a gun out. He grabs it and goes inside the house.
Bailey sees Eugene going into the house with a gun, so she grabs her sweater and a flashlight (the same one that her father gave her in the opening scene) and goes to help. Eugene sees Ron trying to rape Carline, and he throws Ron off her. Eugene aims his gun at Ron, but Bailey comes in and inadvertently shines the flashlight into Eugene's face. Ron uses the distraction to try to grab Eugene's gun, which leads to several shots being fired and Ron gets shot several times, killing him. Eugene and Carline reconcile, but Carline notices that Bailey has been shot in the stomach. They rush her to the hospital. Pok' Chop, there because a lineman was hurt from the storm, notices Bailey and calls Beau.
The storm knocks out the power to the rest of the city. The hospital is out of power, and the doctor cannot perform surgery on Bailey without it. Pok' Chop calls Beau and tells him that they need the power back on or else Bailey will not make it. Beau tells Duncan what has happened to Bailey and that they need to get the power back on, right away.
Beau and Duncan make it to the central power hub and try to figure out what has happened. After exhausting all their options, Beau notices the problem. One part of the central hub is not getting with another part. Beau climbs part of the tower to get the power back on. After applying pressure to a lever with a stick, Beau tells Duncan that he's a good man. Duncan, realizing what Beau is about to do, tries to convince him that there's another way. Beau grabs the lever and pushes down on it. The lever relents and is connected, but it causes Beau to get electrocuted, and his enflamed body is thrown from the tower. The power comes back on, and Bailey is able to be saved. The next morning, Duncan goes to the hospital and comforts Bailey.
The next scene, Duncan is shown giving the interview. He says that Beau was the definition of a lineman and that he hopes he can be even half the lineman that Beau was. Duncan gets a call on his radio, saying that he is needed because a storm is going to be coming in.
Some time later, Duncan, Bailey, their baby, Pok' Chop and another lineman are seen approaching a monument. The monument, located in front of an electrical tower, is dedicated to all the local lineman that have lost their lives in the service of their job. Beau's name is seen among the names.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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Beau (John Travolta) is a lineman, who is looking after his niece, Bailey (Kate Bosworth) after her parents were killed one night.
One night, a violent storm comes in. Bailey is accidentally shot after a violent confrontation between one of her ex-boyfriends and her neighbors. She is rushed to the hospital and then the power goes out. The doctors cannot perform surgery without power. Knowing this, Beau ends up nobly sacrificing himself to bring the power back on, and Bailey is saved.
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