Fair Game

Directed by Andrew Sipes. Starring William Baldwin, Cindy Crawford, Steven Berkoff, Christopher McDonald. (1995, R, 89 min.)

REVIEWED By Joey O'Bryan, Fri., Nov. 10, 1995

Very slick and extremely silly, not to mention aptly titled, Fair Game is just that – a noisy actioner so inanely scripted, acted, and directed that it practically begs you to make fun of it. In her first starring role, model-turned-actress Cindy Crawford says little and does even less as leggy Kate McQueen, a civil attorney on the run from a gang of nasty KGB assassins. Following her uninspired lead is William Baldwin as Max Kirkpatrick, a reckless, cigar-smoking Miami cop assigned to protect Crawford from the renegade Russkies. Charlie Fletcher's screenplay (based on a novel no less) is one hoary cliché after another, and is filled with a number of dialogue groaners (“I was hoping to demo your unit,” Crawford purrs while seducing a computer nerd), in addition to being structured in such a way that the forward motion of the plot is wholly dependent on both the good and bad guys continuously doing stupid things. The performances aren't any better, with Baldwin coming off like a cheap Bruce Willis wannabe and Crawford making for a pretty ineffective heroine, spending most of her screen time either cowering, screaming, or undressing. There are one or two neat stunts – a chase scene involving a burning tow truck is handled with some imagination – but for the most part, even the action scenes are limp, marred by confusing compositions and weirdly sped-up photography. Realizing that Fair Game's chief asset lies in the curvy bodies of its attractive stars, director Sipes makes sure to keep them constantly on display in skimpy clothing, even allowing time for a totally illogical, hilariously unerotic sex scene midway through the picture. And there you have Fair Game – sex, guns, and explosions served up with no rhyme, reason, or flair. With some knowing humor, maybe this could've been a campy time-waster; as it is, it's an embarrassingly bubble-headed bore.

More William Baldwin Films
The Squid and the Whale
In this expertly acted piece about the coming apart of a family of New York intellectuals, humor is served not with a smirk but with a helpless shrug.

Kimberley Jones, Nov. 4, 2005

More by Joey O'Bryan
The Legend of Drunken Master
A classic chopsocky mixture of action and comedy, capped by a ferocious 20-minute finale.

Oct. 19, 2000

Iceman Cometh

Aug. 30, 1996


Fair Game, Andrew Sipes, William Baldwin, Cindy Crawford, Steven Berkoff, Christopher McDonald

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