New York City, 1932: Small-time hustler Ray Gibson (Eddie Murphy) has just sweet-talked his way into Club Spanky’s, a swank nightclub, when he spies his evening’s first victim-the naive Claude Banks (Martin Lawrence). An aspiring bank teller, Claude is out for a night on the town with his lady and is totally unaware that he has been singled out by Ray. After lifting Claude’s wallet, Ray is confident that he has stolen enough money to pay off debts owed to Spanky (Rick James), but he’s in for a big surprise when he finds that Claude, a fellow gambler, is broke as well. Fortunately for Ray and Claude, Spanky comes up with a way for the boys to pay him back. Unfortunately for Ray and Claude, the job is the beginning of a series of events which will drastically alter the course of their lives.