Deputy sheriff Ray Dolezal (Dafoe, in an assured performance) is an upstanding citizen, complete with wife (Rogers), son and white stetson. But life in his backwater New Mexico town is thrown into turmoil after the discovery of an apparent suicide victim, together with a case containing $500,000. Assuming the corpse's identity to investigate the mystery, Ray encounters villains who relieve him of the loot and the clothes off his back; but worse is to come in a meeting with FBI agent Meeker (Jackson), who reveals that the money belonged to the Bureau. It's all down to the do-good deputy to get it back, which means making friends with both shady-lady Lane Bodine (Mastrantonio) and Gorman Lennox (Rourke), who has the money earmarked for a weapons deal. In the absence of real substance, Donaldson's stylish direction borders on the self-conscious, though cinematographer Peter Menzies Jr captures images of startling richness and clarity.