Jack Andrews (Val Kilmer) is a seedy low-rent private detective barely staying above ground, and in debt to Reno loan sharks. Fay Forrester (Joanne Whalley) and Vince Miller (Michael Madsen) drive up to a couple of crime gambling delivery thugs and steal a suit case full of $800,000 dollars, an amount that Vince thought would be a lot lower. Vince tell Fay that they need to leave the state because for such a large amount the gangsters will surely track them down, but Fay wants to go to Vegas, so she slugs Vince over the head and steals the money. When Fay approaches Jack with a request to help her fake her own death so that her abusive ex-husband cant find her, Jack is both eager for the work but is attracted to the woman apparently in trouble. Jack manages a feasible scheme by obtaining blood and staging a seeming murder in Fays motel room. When Jack returns to get paid he discovers that Fay has left town, and the Police are eager to know from him all the details of the murder. Jack catches up to Fay just as the crooks do and they escape and have a moment of real affection, but realize that the police are tracking them down. Fay suggests that Jack create a fake death for the both of them just as he did before, so they bury the cash in the desert and go into action. Vince however has tracked them down as Fay and Jack attempt to retrieve the money. The plan to escape faces additional challenges as Jack realizes his fate.