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Raw Deal was in the classic Arnie era, the era of one line classics and
bad acting. How quality is this film, its just non-stop from start to
finish. You've got the classic good guy joins the mobsters gang in
order to bring them down - Arnie sports a classic lumberjack shirt in
this film as he plays a small town sheriff (check out the car chase at
the beginning). He rolls of classic line after classic line, there is
one instance where him and his wife have a argument - she throws are
cake at him after she has had a few drinks, he says
"You shouldn't drink...and bake"
how cool is that
this looks surprisingly low budget for Arnie, but you have to watch it for its comedy value
Arnold takes on the entire Chicago syndicate run by mob chief Luigi
Petrovita, Sam Wanamaker, with predictable results.
Arnold, Mark Kaminski, is canned from the FBI because he was too rough with the bad guys and told by his boss Baxter, Joe Regalbuto, to "resign or be prosecuted". Now working in a dead end job as a lawman in some hick town in North Carolina a friend of his from the FBI Harry Shannon, Darren McGavin, gets in touch with Arnold for help in the death of his son who was killed in a mob attack on a FBI safe house.
Harry tells Anold that there's a mole in the FBI's higher ups that's tipping off the mob on what the FBI has as informers and witnesses and where there being kept from the mob to live long enough to testify against it and is responsible for his son's death. Arnold goes undercover as a hood and joins the mob to find out who's working with them from the FBI and bring him to justice in this action-packed Arnold Schwarznegger vehicle; and just guess who the FBI mole is?
A must for Schwarznegger fans with Arnold, for the first time in his movie career, speaking whole sentences and showing some sensitivity in scenes with his love interests in the movie his wife Amy, Balnche Baker, to whom Arnold utters the movie best line " You shouldn't drink and bake at the same time". There's also Arnolds sexy mob girlfriend Monique, Kathryn Harrold, whom he avoids having any action with and has no idea that Arnold is an undercover lawman as well as a loyal and happily married man.
Great action sequences sprinkled all throughout the film with a tremendous and unbelievable shoot-out at the end of the movie to the explosive and thumping music score of "The Kaminski Stomp" which raises the adrenaline level of the theater audience to it's limits.
Arnold at his peak as a one-man wrecking crew as he demolishes a crime family single-handed. It reminds me of the Stallone film where Rambo takes on Russia in Afghanistan. This film has good acting though, and the ever-evil Robert Davi at his slimy best. The shoot-out at the gravel pit with "Satisfaction" playing is a classic. And don't forget the classic line :"You should not drink and bake"!
I own this movie. Well, I own most of Arnold's movies. But I've only watched this one 3 or 4 times over the last decade. It's not a great movie although I think I enjoy it a little bit more with each viewing. The flick does have its moments. I like the interplay between Max and Brenner. And Arnold plays a very cool Mafia-like guy. The ending -- if you could even call it that -- is terrible. Did the script say, "Insert ending here"? Nevertheless, I liked the action even if it was corny at times. And the style of the movie grows on you with each viewing. I give it a 6/10 for been slightly more enjoyable than average.
This is a great film for what it purports to be. It's an action picture, but it also has curious storyline that keeps one interested in Joey P. Brenner's travails, and it's not all that predictable until the very end. Moreover, it does have a human element at times (plus we see a still-massive Arnold sporting a wife-beater). Granted, Arnold doesn't have much depth of dialogue, but it's not Shakespeare. I don't understand why everyone else dislikes "Raw Deal" to such an intense degree, as one must first understand where it is coming from. It is a fun film, one of the few Schwarzenegger films that is a must-have on dvd.
Don't be angry with me for only awarding "Raw Deal" 5 stars out of 10.
It's a 'strong, almost a 6' 5, not a 'weak, barely above a 4' 5. If
that makes any sense.
I think that part of the problem is that I saw this after I saw "Terminator" and "Commando", and it was a bit of a let-down. (And I might have been suffering from a bit of "Schwarzenegger-overexposure".) Arnold is a bit wasted here. It's as if someone mistakenly cast him in a role meant for someone like Chuck Norris. Let's face it, this is a smaller scale movie with a seemingly smaller budget; Dolph Lundgren or Rutger Hauer or Micheal Biehn or even that guy from "Eddie And The Cruisers" could have filled in for the S-man in this movie and you would hardly have noticed the difference, except for a few one-liners. Not to mention the director for "Raw Deal" seemed to be nowhere near Cameron's or Lester's class. Same thing goes for the cast (with all respect to Darren McGavin and Robert Davi). Kathryn Harrold is not a substitute for Linda Hamilton. She's OK, but she's a Ford Taurus to Hamilton's Corvette Stingray.
There are pacing problems, too. The screenwriter felt the need to include several filler sequences that are meant to advance the plot and fill in back story and give the other cast members something to do. But most of these sequences are pretty lackluster: a fistfight in a women's clothing store goes nowhere; a romantic confrontation between Davi and Harrold leaves no lasting impact (though it does let Harrold get off a good put-down line); and the 10 minute car chase scene where a crime boss winds up hamburger is an exercise in by-the-numbers padding if there ever was one (good sound design, though).
But the last 20 minutes serves as a payoff to the first part of the film, and it is basically one long bullet-fest. Arnold basically shoots everything short of LAWs and RPGs at the bad guys, and they obligingly miss with all their shots and fall over and die. None of this is staged with anything like the panache of the firefights in "Commando" or the desperate high speed run-and-gun highway fights in "Terminator". It's all very meat-and-potatoes stuff that wouldn't have be out of place in a typical Cannon/Golan-Globus production. But there's plenty of it, and the S-man is appropriately grim and indestructible, and any fan will be satisfied once the final bad guy goes down in the final hail of bullets.
After 3 viewings, I still don't understand why no one can hit the huge, slow-moving white guy when they shoot at him, but it's his movie, so I'll just attribute it to Arnold's penchant for bringing a Browning Automatic Rifle to a revolver fight, and let it pass.
And I don't discount this movie just because it was an Arnold vehicle - I felt that his follow-up "The Running Man" was a return to form (although still not as good as "Terminator" and "Commando").
Anyway, "Raw Deal" doesn't place in the top 5 (or even 10) Arnold films, but any Schwarzenegger completist will want to have it, and will probably find much to enjoy. And fans of "Crime Story" and gangster films in general will also find this to their liking.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Arnold is an ex-FBI man turned small town sheriff. He was forced to leave the FBI because he lost his temper with a suspect who molested and mutilated a little girl and beat the crap out of the offending villain. Because this is a big step down for him, he's having problems with his wife, who misses their old life in New York. Then Arnold is asked by an old pal to infiltrate a hot Chicago mafia ring and destroy them from the inside. Why? Because the old pal's son was killed and he wants to get even through Arnold. Arnold gives up his trademark spiked hair look for the slicked back look, trades in his leather jacket for the double breasted suits, has a semi-affair with Kathryn Harold, and when Robert Davi nearly kills his old friend and then starts raising hell and even manages to settle the score with a crooked old FBI associate - the same guy who cost him his FBI job in the first place! Film ends happily with the old friend making a complete recovery and Arnold not only fixing his relationship with his wife but knocking her up too with their first child. Arnold is fun to watch as always, but this one just doesn't measure up to "Terminator", "Commando", "Predator" or "The Running Man" among Arnold's other contributions to cinema.
I have been soaking up a lot of vicarious aggression lately with Van
Damme, Stallone, and Ahnuld. I bet a lot of Arnie's fans have missed
this little gem. No, we don't look for quality here, but Schwarzenegger
does a credible job of acting and he keeps throwing out these funny
lines that keep you in stitches.
Nothing original here - failed FBI agent, now small town Sheriff (think Bruce Willis in Hostage or Striking Distance, Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone, or many others who are out in the cold because of their screw-ups or someone's evil deed - called to infiltrate the mob and bring them down.
You know Arnie's going to get the job done with muscle and firepower. He even manages a little romance - damn little - with Kathryn Harrold.
Paybacks are hell!
In Arnold's best period of his film career, it is unquestionable that Raw Deal is his worst film from that era. Sandwiched between two of his best action movies, Commando and Predator. Raw Deal is real weak by comparison. The film is a mess and it seemed that those involved with the production could not agree on what they were making. Also, it would appear that funds were too low for anyone's vision to get on screen. The editing and music for this movie is really poorly done. This film is definitely lacking in a consistent tone or focus. The action scenes seem out of place as well. Raw Deal was probably meant to be a low budget police thriller. Any way you slice it, this film is not a cohesive piece of work and is filled with plot holes. Arnold, at this point in his career had massive physicality and charisma. However, he was lacking in acting skills and was horrendous in the more dramatic scenes here. The supporting cast was pretty good for the most part. Even though this is not Arnie's highest quality production, it still remains fairly entertaining. There is quite a bit of funny stuff here(some intentional and some not). Also, there is plenty of Arnold one liners with one of my favorites, "You should not drink and bake". While Raw Deal is not a well made movie, it is not totally unwatchable and is still quite amusing and outrageous.
I was a teenager when "Raw Deal" first came out, and when it was released on video I remember renting it... and fast-forwarding through big chunks of it. More then twenty years later, I found it on DVD at my local video store, and not remembering anything about it, I decided to give it another chance. Well, I did not fast-forward through it this time... though I was sorely tempted to. It's no wonder that this movie has been mostly forgotten despite the presence of Schwarzenegger. It often has a cheap and tacky look to it, for one thing. Nobody on screen seems to be having that much fun, despite occasional stabs at humor. But the most surprising thing about it is that there is considerably less action than you might think. And the action, when it does come, isn't the least bit exciting. The most interesting thing about this movie is how closely it resembles the generic straight-to-DVD action movies of recent years.
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