10th & Wolf opens in a desert. Everything is the same, drab color, including the jeep that careens back and forth across the screen. Intercut with shots of the jeep and its meandering tracks, we see the American flag in close-up, as well as a row of fires in the distance. With just those clues in place, the important facts are clear: We're in the middle of one of the Gulf Wars, and our companion is an American soldier. Eventually, the jeep sputters to a halt, the soldier rages, and the sequence ends.
When we next see our soldier, Tommy (James Marsden), he's in prison, under arrest for punching an officer, and then steals the jeep we saw him driving across the desert. He's no common criminal though, this solder of ours -- no sir. He punched that officer and stole that jeep because, furious about the American pullback (Ah, so this is Gulf War I, then), he was going to go get Saddam himself -- someone needed to finish the job. This solider of ours, then, is a patriot. Well, as long as you you ignore the fact that he ignored government policy and went off on his own. And loyal. To a cause, anyway, if not the organized military. At least he's tough, though, and smart. Apart, that is, from driving the wrong direction and running out of gas. Hold on. What, exactly, have we learned about this guy?