The story takes place in 1989, Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) is given the choice of going to jail or joining the army. He signs up and gets stationed on a supply base in West Germany. He sells anything he can on the German black market. With the funds from that illegal trade he buys a beautiful Mercedes-Benz 560SEC. The movie is anchored by two powerhouse actors, Ed Harris and Scott Glenn.
There is a classic scene where his Lieutenant played by Scott Glen, orders him to shoot his beloved Mercedes as punishment.