One day you are flying in the sky reporting L.A. traffic and then next you are in Laos working for the CIA. Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr.) screwed up as a helicopter pilot for a radio station and lost his license. That doesn't matter when you are in Laos. They just stick you in the plane and away you go.
Rob Diehl (David Marshall Grant), the 2nd in charge of our fly boys wants Billy to go up with Gene (Mel Gibson) one of the experienced pilots. The man in charge of the outfit is Major Donald Lemond (Ken Jenkins).
Now Billy doesn't have a clue as to what he has signed onto. You see Gene is a gun runner and a very good one. He is doing his best to work up a personal retirement fund.
Now the Major has problems because the Senate has some elections coming up so of course a Senator has to come for a visit. Senator Davenport (Lane Smith) is on a seek and find mission. He wants to find something that he can take back to congress and make a name for himself.
Now it's just not guns that are getting smuggled but drugs and other contraband. Everybody is trying to make a side buck.
There is one person in Laos who is trying to help. Corinne Landreaux (Nancy Travis) is the social worker who is trying to help out the people of Laos. The problem is, where all her villagers are living are by the poppy fields for the heroin. So of course they have to be moved or just killed. See the war in Vietnam was just in Nam but it overflowed into the surrounding countries.
This is a good hearted movie that laughs about the whole business about the war. Director Roger Spottiswoode does a great job with the cast and the entire movie. He brings to the screen and hilarious point of view to a war that not too many in America were happy with. So sit back and laugh at all that very probably took place at taxpayer expense.