Raw Deal - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Raw Deal Reviews

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January 8, 2018
Another forgettable action film. Arnie makes it at least watchable but this is another film he was contractually obliged to make. After the success of The Terminator the makers of this film tried to cash in on its star.

This film is pretty bland other than Arnie and is one of his worst movies.
November 21, 2017
This movie is so hackneyed it has some charm. It is a fairly uneven rampage movie which is a sentence I've been waiting to write all of my life.

We reviewed this movie in our podcast mainly because of its connection to Wilmington, NC, which is used as the rural setting Arnold is exiled in before he gets called back to the big leagues.
October 18, 2017
Loved it good old Arnold movie
October 8, 2017
I wonder what it must have been like to be an action movie screenwriter in the 80s. All you needed was a generic story, some cliche one-liners, and Arnold. I wouldn't say the movie is pointless, per se, but there is absolutely nothing noteworthy in this one.
½ June 2, 2017
not one of arnies best
February 14, 2017
In a remote wooded cabin, a mob informant is under protection by the FBI. They are ambushed by a hit squad who brutally slaughter the bodyguards and the witness. One of the agents killed is Blair Shannon, son of FBI Agent Harry Shannon (Darren McGavin), who vows revenge. After capturing a man posing as a motorcycle cop, small-town sheriff Mark Kaminsky (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes home to his alcoholic wife Amy (Blanche Baker), who resents what their lives have been reduced to and in a drunken fit throws a cake at him. Kaminsky once worked for the FBI, but five years ago he brutally beat a suspect who "molested, murdered, and mutilated" a young girl. He was given the option to "resign or be prosecuted" by ambitious prosecutor Marvin Baxter (Joe Regalbuto), who is now Special Federal Prosecutor heading up a committee investigating the dealings of Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker), the strongest of the Chicago Outfit Dons. Shannon calls Kaminsky in with an unsanctioned and possibly illegal assignment: to infiltrate Patrovita's organization and "tear it up". Harry cannot do anything officially, and the FBI has a leak who has been getting agents killed, which is why Kaminsky must go in secret. Harry dangles the prospect of Kaminsky being reinstated with the FBI, leading to Kaminsky faking his own death in a chemical plant explosion and posing as convicted felon Joseph P. Brenner. He manages to get an audience with Patrovita's right-hand man Paulo Rocca (Paul Shenar), and convinces them of his worth by harassing Martin Lamanski (Steven Hill), a rival mob boss who is trying to move in on his former boss Patrovita's territory. While at Patrovita's casino, hidden in a basement level of a high class hotel, he makes the acquaintance of Monique (Kathryn Harrold), who works for Rocca's top lieutenant Max Keller (Robert Davi). Kaminsky continues to work his way into the good graces of the Patrovita family, including devising a plan that recovers $100 million of heroin and cash seized by the feds from one of Patrovita's hideouts and simultaneously assisting in Lamanski's assassination. Kaminsky is playing a dangerous game and he needs to take down Patrovita before he is exposed himself...

The film received a negative reception. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Sheila Benson began, "Has it come to this? That we can feel vaguely cheered that Raw Deal (citywide), where the bodies again pile up like cordwood, is a better made movie than Cobra?" However, she praised Schwarzenegger, saying that his strength as an actor is "not that he can toss grown men over ceiling beams, but that he has a vein of sweetness and self-deprecation that no amount of mayhem can obliterate ... it has shone from him since Pumping Iron, it has allowed him to surmount silly and unwise pieces of action (such as the drunk scenes in one of the Conans and here), and even his own awkwardness as an actor".

"Raw Deal" is yet another classic Arnold Schwarzenegger 80s actioneer vehicle with a storyline that doesnīt really have that many surprises even if they are trying to give Arnold a two way character set up to create some sort of dynamic. You are hardly convinced, but to be honest I couldnīt care less, itīs a Schwarzenegger movie. "Raw Deal" has been directed with a confident hand by John Irvin with one-liners, full on violent action with shootouts and explosions, harden mobsters, plot holes, slightly over the top acting, a beautiful female lead in the shape of the stunning Kathryn Harrold (however her role is a bit underdeveloped), nice cinematography of Chicago and the film is partly in routine action mode which keeps it a bit static. Arnold Schwarzenegger only agreed to star in this picture after much haggling in exchange for dissolving his multi-picture agreement with Dino De Laurentiis. He had one picture left with the producer and was actually very interested in doing Total Recall (1990), but De Laurentiis objected, feeling that he was not suitable for the lead role of Quaid. Instead, Patrick Swayze was already cast before the bankruptcy. Itīs not Arnoldīs best film, but I still like "Raw Deal" since it has a nostalgic 80s value for me.
November 21, 2016
Stallone had Cobra, Schwarzenegger has Raw Deal; a lovably insipid, overly violent and clumsily assembled mid 80's action romp.
½ November 6, 2016
Probably Arnie's weakest action film. It's just a generic gangster film, with some commando thrown in there. In fact, everything about it is pretty generic. But, if you love Arnold, you'll probably find something to like...
½ August 25, 2016
Pas revu depuis l'epoque VHS. Un Schwarzy mou, surtout apres Commando. Quelques scenes de baston sympa mais film longuet sans aucun rebondissement.
June 27, 2016
FBI agent takes last assignment in this tired action flick.
Super Reviewer
April 25, 2016
Just your standard Arnie 80's action flick full of bad jokes, Poor acting and bloody action, Not a film he will be remembered for nor will he want to remember himself.
½ February 10, 2016
Among the classic Arnold of the 80s.
February 6, 2016
I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. It's smaller in scale than what I'm used to for a Schwarzenegger movie, but that's what helps it stand out from the many other Arnold flicks. Plus this kind of movie you're not supposed to take too seriously. You're supposed to laugh at the more ridiculous stuff.
½ November 8, 2015
Most entertaining part of the film was Arnie's line, "You should not drink and bake."
½ September 12, 2015
It has some cheesy fun moments but this is one of Arnold's worst films. I recommend this one for die hard fans only.
½ July 29, 2015
A quintessential 80's action flick in the sense that there were plenty of squibs to sell all the violence and LOTS of disbelief to go around. Arnold plays an "American" FBI agent?? You simply gotta love the 80's!!
½ June 27, 2015
Throughout his movie career, Arnie has starred in some brilliant action movies.

This, unfortunately, isn't one of them.

Also throughout that career, he has delivered several memorable one-liners.

This film doesn't have any.

Dull, slow and just not very exciting: do yourself a favour, and avoid.
June 25, 2015

Raw Deal is an action movie fuelled by death, thrill pumping fighting and some pretty Arnie like lines+moves. The movie itself is kind of enjoyable if you take it for what it is and don't poke too many holes, but lets get serious for a moment, this movie isn't no masterpiece, this is pretty poor and one movie that has some big problems once looked into properly. It is fun though no doubt, the kind of film an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan looks forward to all week long.

The story kind of works, and I mean that, it is pretty thrilling and you generally don't know what's going to happen. Now that doesn't mean the story is perfect far from it, it has a lot of parts where guys sit around talking about mob stuff, the kind of thing that in film, gets just a little boring. It has it's action quota as you would imagine, the blood is really fake but no matter, the body count is high and the way some of them die, well that kind of stuff would work in a comedy.

Now Arnie isn't so bad here, he doesn't hit his heights as an action man hero but certainly gives off a good vibe when fighting all those bad guys. I think if you want real dramatic action, don't look here, leaving the supporting cast alone a minute, Schwarzenegger's cigar chomping under cover persona is insane, I mean he just looks suspicious, and then the way he delivers his lines, just not so good in that department. The cast isn't so bad, they support well they really do but the kind of basic plot coupled with bad directing and writing make this a hard one to turn into gold, I did feel Paul Shenar gives a good go at it, but that really isn't enough.

John Irvin the man behind this movie shouldn't be ashamed of what he made, after all this movie is not detestable, just way under average. The major flaws are laid out before you in one, a script that really does nothing, and two directing that makes the people fall down in the most ridiculous ways. So what if your looking for the positives, I felt the technical side was pretty good, some nice stunts performed and there's one particular explosion that is very well made.

Would I say don't watch this?, no I would fully recommend this, and to anyone even if you think action isn't for you, give it a go and take in the wonderful sight of an Austrian mafia member, just good fun. I think in all honesty this gives what you think it will, can please some but not others and this will not give you good drama so stay clear if you like a lot of that. The reviews are not pretty when it comes to this movie either, I don't really know what most people who have seen this think but I couldn't help feel that many will like this, but especially action movie junkies.

Overall a movie that is not so kind in the career of Arnold Schwarznegger, but also one that I don't think deserves to go on his "Worst of Career" slideshow. This is good old action, thrills, maybe not so many car chases but there are some, and shoot outs, oh boy this has many of them. This even tries it's hand at emotion, I mean you'll have to see what I mean but it does, it's kind of funny really, because the next minute, Arnie's blowing someone 10 feet in the air with a pump shotgun.
April 5, 2015
Not a bad Arnie movie, not the best either! Lot of shoot 'em up bang bang scenes 80's style. Ex. Arnie never misses the 50 guys shooting at him, but not one can manage to hit him. Corny but decent.
April 2, 2015
A Solid Generic Gangster Flick, Which See's A Washed Up FBI Agent (Schwarzenegger), Goes Undercover In An Off The Books Assignment To Take On The Local Mob Kingpin. A Solidly Written Crime/Action With Decent Performances And Some Superbly Crafted Action Sequences.
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