DOLPH - the definitive guide links      





R.P.M. (1994-96)


5 thieves... 500 cars... 1 day... Quality not quantity.
Once a year the five greatest car thieves on the planet assemble to hold a competition to see who's the best. These aren't your average car thieves... they're the "crème de la crème" of their dark profession. If they stole paintings, they would steal the Mona Lisa. If they stole precious gems, they would steal the Hope diamond. But as car thieves they insist on only going after extremely rare, vintage cars.
Hosting this rather bizarre competition is Ishmail Redmond, a billionaire "Bloefeld" type who simultaneously holds the legitimate and world renowned Grand Prix du Cote d'Azure, a formula car race that runs a circuit from Cannes to Monte Carlo. Ishmail has been hosting both "competitions" for the last twenty years, and for the last five the reigning champion has been a Frenchman who simply goes by the name of Luc (Jean-Hugues Anglade). Also in contention this year is an American named Buck (Matt Dillon), a Mercedes kleptomaniac from Hong Kong with the dubious name of Hung (Chow Yun-Fat), a former KGB agent turned car thief entrepreneur named Klaus (Dolph Lundgren) and a Modesty Blaise lookalike named Frau Claudia Hex (Nastassja Kinski).
The prize this year is a priceless Faberge Egg worth countless fortunes. Once the competition begins the honor between these thieves gradually vanishes and gives way to simple greed. We follow the five criminals during the race as their separate stories unfold. Five stories that culminate into one single climax, all draped in the background of the biggest formula race in Europe.
The characters of R.P.M.
Luc (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is the iceman of car thieves. Mr. Superclean, as he's known by the French Police and Interpol. Luc has a way of circling with only the best of people... and he's used to getting what he wants. And what he wants is to steal as many cars as he can. But Luc also has a hidden agenda. An old score to settle...
Buck (Matt Dillon) is the flashy American from Las Vegas. His speciality is stealing the fines, and rarest vintage American muscle cars he can lay his hands on. The Japanese pay top dollar for these cars, and he's carved himself a name in the American heartland. Buck is a little reckless... with his driving, and with his voracious appetite for women. An appetite that will be his undoing.
Hung (Chow Yun-Fat) is the Chinese Alain Delon. He will only steal vintage Mercedes-Benz classics, or prototype supercars. Good thing there's plenty of them around.
Klaus (Dolph Lundgren) is plagued by identical "doppelganger" doubles that are coming out of the wood work at an alarming rate. At every turn another one is there trying to kill him. They all seem to be part of an international network of super secret agents that for some reason all look just like Klaus. This has a way of limiting the amount of time Klaus can spend doing his job... stealing cars. And, if it weren't enough already, Klaus can only steal convertibles... his massive height makes it difficult to even get into a car with a roof.
Frau Claudia Hex (Nastassja Kinski) could put Emma Peal or Modesty Blaise to shame. She looks like an Italian movie star from the sixties and likes the feel of a catsuit and a cold margarita. A brilliant mastermind of car theft she only goes for cars that can match how good she looks. If she doesn't look good in it, she won't steal it. It's her motto.
Ishmail Redmond (Terence Stamp) is the billionaire, Mephistopheles/Bloefeld type who has hosted the Grand Prix du Cote d'Azure for the last fifteen years. A formula race that lasts a day and runs from Cannes to Monaco and back. During this time he has simultaneously, and secretly, conducted a second competition. A competition between the five greatest car thieves on the planet. The prize is a gilded, and priceless, Faberge Egg. The competition lasts as long as the race, and during that time each thief must steal as many priceless cars as possible. Ishmail then sends them to Saudi Arabia where he sells them at no profit. Why? Because Ishmail has more money than God, he puts on this competition for the pure joy of doing it... and for the pure joy of watching his equally wealthy neighbours lose their cars.
Chief Inspector Benny Beneix (Daniel Auteuil) has had enough. Over the years he's grown smart to the "competition within a competition" and, while he can't actually prove anything, he wants it over with this year... and he's allowing his men to bend the law a bit to bring this ring of car thieves down once and for all. But he's especially set on catching the current champion of the competition for the last five years, Mr. Superclean... Luc.
Max Baxter (Eric Stoltz) is the punk American Formula driver. The Andre Gassy of car racing. Should be a thief himself, with his Mohawk haircut and extroverted demeanor. But while Max is a wild guy, he's on the side of the law... even if it means killing someone to be there.
Jen (Vanessa Paradis) is a young upstart car thief who wants in on Frau Claudia Hex's reign as the greatest female car thief in the world... not knowing the curse that comes with that title.

(from Columbus Films)

back to top