Dishonoured and forcibly retired from the FBI on grounds of excessive brutality, the former agent Mark Kaminski, is now reduced to a small-town Sheriff. However, when Chief Harry Shannon, an old friend from the bureau whose son Blair Shannon was murdered by the mob, turns to Mark for help, the tough Sheriff who is always ready for action, will see this offer as a chance to his reinstatement. In this deadly and unofficial assignment, Mark has to infiltrate Luigi Patrovita's powerful mob family to tear it apart, while forcing his way through the crime organization as the mysterious Joseph P. Brenner. Now, he has to stay away from the law without blowing his cover, but is it wise to give Mark a raw deal?Written by
There are similarities between this movie and Arnold Schwarzenegger's other films The Terminator (1984) and Commando (1985). Arnold's character says "I'll be back." and gets ready his arsenal of weapons ready for war in all three movies. Robert Davi's character wears the gargoyles sunglasses like Arnold in Terminator. See more »
The glass door of the clothes shop shatters before the guy actually hits it. See more »
'Raw Deal' is for me somewhat of a tough film to rate and review. It is not a great, or even a good, film and is as close to ridiculous as Arnold Schwarznegger films get. At the same time, it's difficult to be too hard on 'Raw Deal' because there is some entertainment value.
Let's start with the good things. Schwarznegger is not the greatest of actors and never has been, but he has always had a hugely charismatic screen presence, a larger-than-life likability and a knack for action sequences. One gets all of this from his performance in 'Raw Deal', even with some expressionless and moments where he does struggle with lines he is immensely watchable and it is very vintage Schwarznegger. Generally it is the cast that come off best. Robert Davi is a rightly hiss-able bad guy and Kathryn Harrold has charm and sass. Sam Wanamaker and Paul Shenar make much of relatively little, they bring colourful menace to their stereotypical roles despite (particularly Shenar) being underused.
There are a few fun one-liners here and there and some excitement in the action. Can't say that on the whole as individual components the script and action were great, but the entertainment was there. The soundtrack is cool too and the scenery has atmosphere.
On the other hand, the story is not just ridiculous (even by Schwarznegger film standards) and generic but has too many scenes that feel like filler and either drag the story out or confuse it. A few nice one-liners here and there, but the script is quite weak and there is a lot of unintentional humour and next to no care developing the characters in a film littered with stereotypes (only Kaminski has any kind of development).
Action-wise, 'Raw Deal' is hardly amateurish and has some exciting moments but too much of it is too routine and a huge amount of suspension of disbelief is needed. Although the ending is certainly memorable, more so than most of the stuff before it, it's for all the wrong reasons. Visually, it has a low-budget made-for-TV-production-like look to it. Ed Lauter is pretty wasted and while the direction is competent it's never more than that.
In conclusion, watchable but doesn't feel cooked all the way through. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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