Ex-Army Ranger Jim Davis (Christian Bale) hasn't been able to get his life back on track since he came home from the Gulf War. Plagued by nightmares and unwilling to take a desk job, he burned through all his savings waiting around for an offer from the LAPD that never panned out. He tells himself that if he only had a job, everything would turn around - he could marry his devoted Mexican girlfriend, Marta, and bring her back to the States to settle down. But in the meantime, he's just killing time with his friend Mike (Freddy Rodriguez), who's also unemployed. Mike's high-powered girlfriend, Sylvia (Eva Longoria), is sick of hearing his excuses, so Jim offers to help Mike find a job; instead they just end up driving the streets of South Central looking for trouble. They drop in on Jim's ex-girlfriend, pick a fight with her boyfriend who's in a gang, and, in a matter of hours, unwittingly sew the seeds of their own destruction.
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