Fair Game (1995)
Crawford rushin’ to get way from Russians
Did you know that supermodel Cindy Crawford attended university on a chemical engineering scholarship? Or that she was discovered by a photographer while working a summer job detasseling corn? Or that she played Jon Bon Jovi’s girlfriend in his video for Please Come Home For Christmas?
Well, I knew all of the above. In the 1990s, I was probably one of the world’s foremost Crawford experts. I owned her 1992 swimsuit calendar, and it proved to be just as useful in 1994. Crawford, known for her trademark mole just above her lip, adorned thousands of magazine covers, and was an object of desire for millions of men. Some guys are leg men, some guys are butt men, and I guess some guys are just mole men.
So when I heard that Crawford was going to be starring in a film, I was tremendously excited. Just as people did years later for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, I camped outside the theatre days prior to its release, dressed as Crawford’s mole. Make no mistake about it, Crawford’s film debut Fair Game was worth the wait.
In Fair Game, Crawford plays Kate McQuean, a Miami attorney who is in the middle of a divorce case. When she attempts to seize a large boat for her client in lieu of unpaid alimony, she runs afoul of some Russian terrorists.
A former KGB agent turned money launderer named Ilya Pavel Kazak is using the boat as the base for his illegal shenanigans, and does not take too kindly to McQuean interfering with his operations. I believe the name Ilya Pavel Kazak was conceived by stringing together a bunch of Russian hockey player’s names. If the terrorist had been from Winnipeg, his name would probably have been Wayne Messier Orr.
Kazak makes it his mission to exterminate McQuean before she has a chance to cause too much trouble. Armed with an array of technical gadgets that put the iPad to shame, the Russians are able to track her every move. Luckily, she is being aided by one of Miami’s finest, detective Max Kirkpatrick (William Baldwin).
From there we get a thrilling game of cat and mouse, with Crawford playing the part of one sexy rodent. Every time McQuean and Kirkpatrick think they have a moment to rest, the Russians are right on their tails. Screenwriter Charlie Fletcher was given the difficult task of making sure the viewer is always kept on the edge of their seats, while also ensuring that Crawford’s shirt must always be kept wet. Kudos to Fletcher for succeeding on both fronts.
Crawford’s big screen debut is electrifying. Perhaps it was too good. She started out at the top, and had nowhere to go but down. As a result, it has been 15 years since the release of Fair Game, and she has yet to star in another major motion picture. Sometimes you get things perfect the first time around and there is no need to keep trying.
Baldwin is also sensational in the film. William, known universally as the most talented of the Baldwin acting clan, is able to be heroic, humorous and charming all at once as detective Kirkpatrick. His chemistry with Crawford is off the charts – literally. I attempted to make a chart in Microsoft Excel demonstrating their chemistry, and it crashed my computer.
Be sure to catch Salma Hayek’s cameo as Kirkpatrick’s feisty exgirlfriend Rita. While Hayek is greatly overshadowed by Crawford, she still delivers a few big laughs in one of the finest performances in her career.
Fair Game is one big sexy, action packed thrill ride. If any film has ever managed to capture the sensation of being trapped on a runaway train filled with supermodels wearing only dynamite, it is this one.