Petty criminals try to rob a church, but have a change of heart. Ice Cube plays the lead character of Durell who tries to go straight after getting out of prison and works as a TV repairman, but his partner Lee John (played by Tracy Morgan) drags him back into a life of crime. Lee John robs the store where Durell works, stealing a plasma TV. Durell is caught in the middle of the heist and is implicated in the theft, even though he really has nothing to do with it.
Lee John's next scheme is to sell a bunch of wheelchairs to a Jamaican gang, which is interrupted by a cop who runs them down in a high-speed car chase. When Lee John and Durell end up in court over the theft charge, instead of going back to prison, the judge gives them a sentence of five thousand hours of community service.
While still on the run from owing the Jamaicans $12,000 for the botched wheelchair deal, they go to a loan shark who works out of a massage parlor to see if they can borrow enough money to get out of trouble. Lee John is enjoying a massage from a person who he think is a woman until it is revealed he is a man. Lee John runs out of the massage parlor screaming. Durell goes to visit his ex-wife who is named Omunique (played by Regina Hall). She tells Durell unless she gets $17,000 she is taking their son to Atlanta.
Following a hot woman they see enter a church, Lee John and Durell go into the church. They drink up all the communion wine and learn there is about $30,000 which the church has raised for a restoration program. This gives them the idea to rob the church. Durell does not like the idea of stealing from a church but he is persuaded to go ahead with it. They enter the church to rob it. Durell see the statue of Jesus looking at him and he feels bad about what he is doing. Nevertheless; they continue with the robbery plan. Durell and Lee John act as if they belong to the church. The preacher (played by Chi McBride) and the church members are debating the priorities for the use of the church funds. The Preacher wants the money used for the church building. The other members debate it should be used for community services. When the debate turns to a heated argument, Durell fires his gun in the air and tells them this is a robbery. When they go to the preacher's office to get the money, they find the money is missing.
Lee John locks the church door using a chain and a lock so no one can leave. They take all the church members and the preacher hostage. Durell asks them each to explain what they think happened to the money. An old man who cleans the church enters. He is blind and deaf. Durell makes them all go down to the basement where is it very hot. One little boy has to go to the bathroom so Durell makes Lee John take him. Lee John learns the boy is an orphan like himself. Lee John tells one of the sisters how he has two first names because his mother did not know which one of two men might be his father. He also tells them he does not know his birthday. The sister tells him then today must be his birthday and they sing him Happy Birthday. Durell gets the air-conditioning working. Everyone starts to think Durell and Lee John are not really bad guys after all. Lee John tries to convince Durell to give up the idea of the robbery, but Durell insists he will not leave without the money. The blind old man has the bag of money not knowing what it was. Durell has a change of heart and does not want to steal the money. He gets a call from his son, and everyone learns all Durell wants is to keep his wife from leaving him and taking his son away. Some police passing by see the church members are being held hostage. They call in the SWAT team. They free the church members and arrest Durell and Lee John. In court, the Deacon of the church claims Durell and Lee John attempted to steal twice the amount of money $64,000 than was actually on the church's accounting records. The other church members realize the Deacon is corrupt and they refuse to testify against Durell and Lee John, so the judge drops the case against them. The money Durell needs for his wife and son shows up in a bag on his doorstep as a gift. The church uses the other part of the money to build a community center.
Best part of story, including ending:
It is fun to see criminals get goofy and silly about completing their crimes, when they have sympathy for the victims.
Best scene in story:
I like the scene when the church members sing Happy Birthday to Lee John because it transforms him into a nice guy likes he wants to become.
Opinion about the main character:
Durell is really a nice guy at heart and it is good to see his life improves at the end.