The protagonists of Quick Change are so desperate to leave New York City that they finance their exit with a million-dollar bank heist. The meticulously planned robbery is executed with minimal problems and maximum cleverness. The criminals even outfox a veteran police chief (Jason Robards) and the entire SWAT team waiting outside the bank. With bundles of cash taped to their bodies, mastermind Grimm (Bill Murray), his gal, Phyllis (Geena Davis), and his best buddy, Loomis (Randy Quaid), head toward a new life in Fiji. All they have to do is escape from New York.
Unfortunately for them, this is the pre-Giuliani, pre-Bloomberg New York City; it's that scrappy animal the President of the United States once told to "drop dead," and it's not giving up its denizens without a fight. It will throw an ever-escalating series of After Hours-style mishaps at the potential escapees, roadblocks they could have easily avoided had they been more observant. Quick Change chooses this lack of observation as a theme. In its opening scene, Grimm, dressed as a clown for the robbery, exits the subway in front of a huge advertisement for the old MTA "Train to the Plane" Kennedy Airport subway service. This would seem the easiest route of escape, but it's never considered. Grimm's crew will use a car, a cab, a bus, an airport luggage cart, and their tired feet in their suspenseful bid to reach the promised land at JFK.