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Boston law student and part-time mechanic Charlie Farrow (Patrick Dempsey) is asked by his boss to deliver a new Porsche from Boston to Atlantic City for a client. When he gets close to Atlantic City, the Porsche breaks down.
While Charlie waits for the car to be repaired, a cab driver (who mistakes Charlie for being an Atlantic City high roller) takes him to an undercover casino that has a bar room and kitchen, so Charlie can get something to eat.
At the casino, Charlie earns the wrath of Denny Halloran (Alan C. Peterson), who takes exception to Charlie beating him at poker. In the resulting fight, Denny trips over a potted palm, accidentally hits his head on the sharp corner of a counter, and dies.
Charlie is now on the spot, because Denny happens to be the son of a mob boss named Matt Halloran (Ken Pogue), who is the owner and despot of the casino and most of the police force.
Wrongfully accused of murdering Denny, Charlie finds himself on the run from both the cops and Matt's henchmen, all of whom want to collect the $50,000 bounty that Matt placed on Charlie. With only one ally, reluctant witness Karen Landers (Kelly Preston), Charlie finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
The bodies pile up as Charlie dodges flying bullets and bowling pins, explosions from numerous assault weapons and miscellaneous shrapnel and twisted auto parts as he is pursued on a nightmare race through racetracks, amusement parks, bowling alleys and shopping malls.
Charlie and Matt confront each other at Matt's dog-race track. Matt dies when he is impaled by a mechanical pacer greyhound that was speeding toward him.
- Kelly Preston replaced Tracy Pollan who bowed out during early filming.