Raw Deal Reviews
This film is pretty bland other than Arnie and is one of his worst movies.
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.
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.
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.
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.