John Candy plays Harry Crumb, the bumbling son who never quite lived up to the reputation of his sleuthing father and grandfather in his family’s long-standing detective agency. Instead of running the company, he’s been relegated to being a lowly trainee as their Tulsa office. Ineptitude is just what the CEO of the company, Eliot Draisen (Jeffrey Jones), in Los Angeles wants from an investigator for reasons of his own. Draisen flies out Crumb to Los Angeles to crack the case involving the kidnapping and ransom of Jennifer Downing, the beautiful heiress daughter of P.D. Downing (Barry Corbin) and his philandering new wife Helen (Annie Potts). Crumb begins to use his penchant for disguises to get to the bottom of things.
In this onscreen persona-defining movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Col. John Matrix, a highly-trained military special-ops expert whose unit was disbanded and now live under secret identities in retirement. Matrix spends his days as a single father taking care of his spirited young daughter, Jenny (Alyssa Milano), to whom he has promised not to go out on any more special missions. However, John’s hand is forced when Jenny is abducted by a displaced South American dictator (Dan Hedaya) of a banana republic named Val Verde who wants his old gig back, planning to use her for ransom as John puts out an assassination on the current leader. Thinking that Jenny will be killed even if he fulfills the demands, Matrix sets about dismantling the small army the dictator has around him, with the help of an airline attendant named Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong), in the hope that he can rescue his daughter before she is offed. Mark L. Lester directs this humorously over-the-top actioner from a Steven E. de Souza script.