This is a total star vehicle for an achingly young Richard Gere. He is the only reason to see the film. This is him early on in his career on his way to becoming a big star. He is charming, sexy, over-the-top, and enthusiastic all rolled into one in this film. Like the main character Gere is chasing after his dreams no matter how high the stakes may be.
Small-time car thief Jesse Lujack (Richard Gere – Mr. Jones, Sommersby) is a young man who loves life, Jerry Lee Lewis and Silver Surfer comic books. What he loves most in life is Monica (Valérie Kaprisky), an attractive architecture student who he meets in Vegas.
Monica is not as enthusiastic about Jesse as she does not see the benefits of dropping everything to run off with him. Using all his charm, Jesse tries to convince her he is going to be a winner in life and that she should go away with him to Mexico. She agrees and they drive in his red Cadillac off into the sunset. That should be it, but Jesse can’t seem to shake his past no matter how far they drive.
Despite Richard Gere’s best efforts (and they are good) he can only take the film so far. It is not classic material he’s working with here. There is spice plus a cool look and sound to the film, but the original French film is better (per usual) than this Jim McBride (The Big Easy) helmed remake.