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  Fair Game Cindy Incidentally
Year: 1995
Director: Andrew Sipes
Stars: William Baldwin, Cindy Crawford, Steven Berkoff, Christopher McDonald, Miguel Sandoval, Johann Carlo, Salma Hayek, John Bedford Lloyd, Olek Krupa, Jenette Goldstein, Marc Macaulay, Sonny Carl Davis, Frank Medrano, Don Yesso, Paul Dillon, Dan Hedaya
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Max Kirkpatrick (William Baldwin) is a Florida detective with the police department who is in the office when his ex-girlfriend Rita (Salma Hayek) shows up in a strop, haranguing him for not leaving the apartment they used to share when they were in a relationship. As she lambasts him, a suspect sees his chance to escape and grabs a gun from an unwitting cop, then shoots up the place until confronted by Max who manages to bamboozle and overpower him, leaving the evildoer a mess on the floor. Rita beats a hasty retreat, but Max has no time to feel triumphant, for his boss (Christopher McDonald) has an assignment for him - someone has been shot at on Ocean Drive.

And that someone is supermodel Cindy Crawford, a name to take you back to the nineties if ever there was one. Here she made her debut as a leading lady only to find audiences were more keen on looking at her in magazine pictorials and had no interest in watching her act, which was just as well in light of the bland thespian skills she failed to take advantage of in Fair Game. The plot was based on the same Paula Gosling novel Sylvester Stallone's Cobra, also a non-hit, had been, but if you were seeking similarities between the two there wasn't much except for a handful of action movie basics that applied to a host of other efforts of the era. Oddly, Stallone had been attached to star in this too, so he must really like that book.

As it turned out, it was Baldwin brother William we had to watch, in the role that derailed his career and put paid to his presumed dreams of becoming a megastar: he didn't make another film for a while, and when he did it was in considerably lower budget works than this (a better fate than director Andrew Sipes, who sank without trace). Was he to blame for Fair Game's poor reception, or was it that nobody believed Cindy could justify her presence in a movie? After all she wasn't the first model to turn actress, and she wasn't the last, so perhaps it was down to the supermodelling being the main thing she was known for, therefore nobody expected her to be any good at anything else. On viewing this, those naysayers may well have felt their suspicions confirmed, but in truth she wasn't offered a tremendous amount to do.

The fact the first thing we see Cindy's character do is jog is an indication that she will spend the rest of the movie running about, and so it was, though she did stay reasonably still in a few scenes, it was just the sole purpose for her to be on the silver screen was eye candy. That's the Joel Silver screen, our producer here and flogging his formula for action flicks as if it was going out of fashion, which in a way it was. There was also a curious suspicion of technology to the story which might have appealed to the luddite, but by 1995 few were wanting the bad guys' aptitude with computers to be their raison d'ĂȘtre which naturally came to grief at the feet of Baldwin's ability with his good, old-fashioned firearm. We were supposed to be satisfied whenever Max outwitted villain Steven Berkoff's hi-tech team, but to say it laboured the point would be an understatement.

The Max and Kate McQuean (Crawford) plot was hard to believe from the outset; she's a lawyer planning to repossess Berkoff's clapped out ship, his base of operations. He is to all intents and purposes under the impression this will happen immediately so sees the only way out but to kill Kate, thereby making infinitely more problems for himself than he would have done if he had simply used those resources to move his stuff to a different location, leaving nobody any the wiser about his transactions with various international currencies and whatnot. But nope, Berkoff, who was playing an ex-KGB man as if the Cold War were still dragging on opts for an alternative, cross country chase after Kate who teams up with Max as the sole survivor of the baddies' raid, whereupon they fall in hate/love which leads to the main reason the casual viewer might want to see this, the sex scene on the train. Add absurdities such as the computer nerd whose glasses really do steam up when confronted with Cindy and a hilarious "doesn't know he's beaten" finale, and you had mildly diverting stupidity. Music by Mark Macina.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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