The film is based on Paula Gosling's novel of the same name, which was previously adapted into the 1986 Sylvester Stallone film Cobra.
Locations used for the film included Coral Gables, Florida, Miami Beach, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Kathryn "Kate" McQuean (Cindy Crawford) is a Miami lawyer who, in the course of a divorce proceeding, attempts to seize a 157-foot freighter docked off the Florida coast in lieu of unpaid alimony.
The freighter which is owned by criminal Emilio Juantorena (Miguel Sandoval), is the current base of operations of Ilya Pavel Kazak (Steven Berkoff), a former KGB agent who has become an international money laundering expert, and he has also become the leader of a group of rogue KGB members, including Stefan (Gustav Vintas), Leonide "Hacker" Volkov (Paul Dillon), Navigator (Marc Macaulay), Rosa (Jenette Goldstein) and Zhukov (Olek Krupa).
When Kate is unintentionally hit by a stray bullet, Miami detective Max Kirkpatrick (William Baldwin) is assigned to the case. Then an attempt is made on Kate's life by Kazak, who—after killing Juantorena—assembles his team into tracking and killing Kate.
Max becomes her protector, as it turns out that Kazak wants Kate dead. Kate, Max, and two of his colleagues stay at a hotel. They order pizza, but Volkov, however, traces the order and Rosa and two henchmen infiltrate the hotel and kill Max's colleagues. Max manages to kill the whole hit squad (except Rosa) and he and Kate then leave. After Max contacts his superior, Lt. Meyerson (Christopher McDonald), FBI agents are sent to escort them. The "agents" turn out to be henchmen, working for Kazak and Max's partner and long-time friend Detective Louis Aragon (John Bedford Lloyd) is killed in the process. After killing some of Kazak's men, Max and Kate travel throughout Florida, trying to avoid Kazak and to find out why he wants Kate dead.
However, their jeep breaks down on a freeway and they call a tow truck to come pick them up. Volkov and Stefan show up to kill them while Kazak splits with them to deal with Max's cousin who has been feeding them information, regarding Kazak and his past activities in Cuba. Kate and Max are forced to run with the tow truck while their jeep is still hooked onto it. After a long chase and gunfight, Kate steps hard on the brakes while Max steers the wheel of the truck, unhooking their car and causing it to crash into Volkov's and Stefan's SUV, killing both people. One of Kate's clients is the ex-wife of her abusive ex-husband Emilio Juantorena who owns the ship, that she is trying to repossess to pay for her divorce settlement for nearly 250,000 or 500,000 dollars. She stumbled on something about the ship and the main reason why Kazak and his crew put a target on Kate.
Regardless, Kazak has kidnapped Kate and taken to the freighter while Rosa and Zhukov are sent to kill Max. They accidentally kill the Navigator and Max shoots both of them. Rosa, however, has on a bulletproof vest and Max kills her after a long fight. Max then boards the freighter in an attempt to rescue Kate. The film ends when Max and Kate blow up the freighter, killing Kazak. They jump off of the boat just in time to watch it blow up and sink. They climb about the boat Kirkpatrick used to reach the freighter and start to kiss passionately. As the sun sets they ride off together.William Baldwin as Max Kirkpatrick, a Miami police detective
Cindy Crawford as Kate McQuean, a civil-law lawyer who becomes a target for murder
Steven Berkoff as Col. Ilya Kazak, a rogue ex-KGB operative now heads a group of terrorists
Christopher McDonald as Lt. Meyerson, Max's boss
Miguel Sandoval as Emilio Juantorena, the owner of the freighter where Kazak's base of operations is at
Johann Carlo as Jodi Kirkpatrick, Max's cousin who is a forensics specialist
Salma Hayek as Rita, Max's ex-girlfriend
John Bedford Lloyd as Det. Louis Aragon, Max's partner
Jenette Goldstein as Rosa, Kazak's brutal henchwoman
Paul Dillon as Leonid "the Hacker" Volkov, one of Kazak's henchmen
Olek Krupa as Zhukov, Kazak's henchman
Gustav Vintas as Stefan, one of Kazak's henchmen
Marc Macaulay as Navigator, one of Kazak's henchmen
Dan Hedaya as Walter Hollenbach (uncredited), Juantorena's attorney
Geena Davis, Julianne Moore and Brooke Shields were all offered the role of Kate McQuean, but they all passed as they were busy with other projects, before Cindy Crawford was ultimately cast.
Initially, Fair Game ran for 95 minutes, but after re-edits and reshoots, the film came in four minutes shorter. After poor test screenings, Warner Bros. cut some scenes and reshot others. In the original version, Elizabeth Peña played the role of Rita, Max's ex-girlfriend, hence her name was included on the poster and the trailer. But when test audiences thought that Pena didn't seem right for the role, she was fired and Salma Hayek was brought in to replace her, saying that the only reason she took that part was that she insisted that she rewrite the scenes she was in. Cindy Crawford and William Baldwin also shot additional scenes to help boost the relationship between their characters. Crawford also shot more scenes on her own in order to develop her character. Dan Hedaya had a bigger part in the original cut, but was shortened down to just one scene and he chose to go uncredited for that reason. The extra filming/additions and re-edit caused the film to be delayed by three months.
Theatrical trailer shows some deleted and alternate scenes from original cut of the movie before it was partially re-shot and re-edited; Alternate interrogation scene between McQuean and Kirkpatrick in the beginning where he asks her some questions and she says that nobody tried to kill her, another extended part of this scene where she asks him does he has problem with lawyers and he says that he's a cop and that it's "written on the badge". Alternate dialogue between them while they are driving in car at night where he says that they can't trust the cops and when she asks him why she should trust him he says because he hasn't shoot her yet and adds a line "Night's still young". Additional scene where he gives her the gun and when she says that she doesn't know how to shoot he says it's just like using a camera, just point and shoot. Additional scene where Kirkpatrick asks McQuean will she hit him but she says "Night's still young", same line he said to her in another deleted scene shown in trailer.
Fair Game is considered to be a box office bomb, grossing only US$11.5 million against production budget of $50 million.
Fair Game was panned by critics, with review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes giving it a score of just 13% based on reviews from 24 critics, with an average score of 2.4/10. Most critics singled out Crawford's poor acting, with Liam Lacey of the Globe and Mail saying that "One could scavenge the thesaurus to find synonyms for 'awkward' to describe Crawford's performance." It was nominated for three Razzie Awards, for Worst Actress (Crawford), Worst New Star (Crawford) and Worst Screen Couple (Crawford and Baldwin), where it lost all of these categories to Showgirls.
In 2013, Cindy Crawford said she doesn't regret doing Fair Game: "I knew a producer named Joel Silver and he asked me to do a movie for him and I was like, 'Joel, I'm not an actress, I don't want to be an actress.' And he was like, 'I really want you to do this movie, you're doing this movie.' And I kept saying, 'No, no, no,' and he kept saying, 'How much more money?' And at a certain point I was like, 'I'm an idiot if I don't do it'. I should have been more focused on who the director was than what kind of trailer I got because... after the third week he stopped speaking to anyone on the set. It was difficult because here I am, I'm not an actress, and literally [I] would get zero direction. It wasn't the worst movie ever made, I've certainly seen worse, but it just didn't do well and people weren't that impressed with my performance."