Christian Slater and Ed Asner are driving the Wells Fargo wagon on a routine run, when they’re bushwacked by Morgan Freeman and his gang of outlaws. Slater manages to get away with the loot long enough to hide it, but gets arrested for the robbery by Sheriff Randy Quaid, who’s trying to get through his last day in office in peace. While Quaid and his deputies go off to find the cash, Slater breaks out of jail with the help of schoolmarm Minnie Driver (once again displaying her perfect American accent). Then all parties scramble and squabble after the money.
A plot so routine doesn’t promise much – there’s the usual gunfights, chases and double-crosses going on – but what makes this thriller stand out from the crowd is the setting. The action takes place in an Indiana valley town suffering their heaviest rainfall ever. The flood starts at around the knees, and as the rain continues to fall throughout the picture, the water keeps on rising and rising. This unusual twist inspired by disaster flicks gives the movie a surreal atmosphere that makes it worth catching.
An odd side note: this film was supposed to open last year, but got squeezed out by a crowd of summer releases. Now Christian Slater has to miss the premiere while he sits in the crossbar hotel for smacking his girlfriend around, and not even Minnie can get him out. Try not to break too many hearts in prison, Chris.