Raw Deal is about a gang who kills the son of a police officer. The police officer then recruits one of his friends, who is currently the deputy in a small town after being kicked off the police force in a big city for roughing up a suspect, to take down the gang from the inside. This is the first of my five favorite movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger tearing things apart. There is no over shadowing comedic plot like there was with Twins or True Lies. There are not a lot of other actors who take the spotlight away from Arnold Schwarzenegger like there was with Predator and Expendables 2. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not getting older and maybe slower like he was in Last Stand. Raw Deal is the first of my five favorite movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the prime of his life tearing things apart as a force to be reckoned with whether it be a trained agent, police officer, commando or a terminator.
The acting in this movie is an after thought. There are no great actors in this movie as far as I can tell, just average actors or slightly better than average actors. However, you’re not watching Raw Deal for the incredibly gripping acting abilities of the people in this movie. You are watching Raw Deal for probably the same reasons that I watch it, to see Arnold tear things apart.
There is plenty of action in this movie. There are lots of fist fights, gun fights, a fight at a gravel pit when Arnold mowes a whole bunch of criminals down by driving around in his car, shooting people with his wide assortment of guns and listening to Can’t Get No Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones. He also has a final show down with the main villains and completely wipes them out in one of the most one sided fights I have ever seen. You almost feel sorry for the villains in that final fight scene because they are so majorly screwed.
The only humor in this movie comes from a good one liner from Arnold Schwarzenegger when his wife throws a cake at him that is labeled in frosting with the word of shit. Arnold says the classic Arnold one liner, “You should not drink and bake.” It’s a double entendre because baking could mean the normal baking or it could mean you are getting high on drugs. There is also some humor from the main female character in this movie, who is not actually Arnold’s wife but a woman who is mixed up with the gangsters. She seems kind of ditzy and like your typical 1980s woman with the big, fizzy hair. She says some lines such as during a fight with three criminals in a clothing store that “she is hard to fit”.
Actually, the most suspense we get from this movie is either when Arnold is about to be discovered when he is inside of the gang of criminals or when Arnold is coming to get the gang members. When Arnold shows up at the basement area where the criminals are waiting for him there is more suspense about Arnold arriving than the criminals actually managing to kill him. This movie was made a couple of years after the first Terminator movie and the final gun fight in this movie actually reminded me a lot of when Arnold as the terminator raided the police station in the first Terminator movie and gunned down all of the police officers. He pretty much does the same thing in the final fight scene for this movie only this time he is fighting in the name of justice, which I guess makes it better.
There are not a lot of strong protagonists in this movie aside from Arnold. There is a woman, who is not very useful and is one of my lesser favorite women in Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. There is a police officer who does not do much either. There is also a the guy who hired Arnold to take down the gang, but he is mostly just giving Arnold orders. The only time he fights he gets badly injured and I think manages to shoot one of the gangsters a couple of times but that is it. However, Arnold is all you need to take down the villains as you can see here.
The villains are very generic mafia crime bosses, lieutenants and gangsters. There are actually two gangs that Arnold takes down. The smaller gang Arnold helps take down so that he can gain the trust of the man he is supposed to take down and get into the bigger gang. The larger gang is the main villains that Arnold is supposed to take down. They put up a better fight but are still no match for the unstoppable 1980s version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The two people in charge of the larger gang named Patrovita and Rocco don’t really do much and are kind of forgettable. However, the criminal we see the most of and that gets the most development is actually the only other actor in this movie that I recognize besides Arnold. He plays a villain, really well I might add, in one of my favorite James Bond movies, which I will also be making a top ten list for. He plays the usual slimy, sinister criminal in this movie with some good charisma.
The music in this movie is actually pretty good for an action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is just as effective as the highly effective sound track for the Commando movie and has certain high points such as when Arnold gets ready to take down the gang by getting all of his weapons ready and having a couple of big fights with the main gang. Also, Can’t Get No Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones plays when Arnold is having a fight with some criminals in a gravel pit, which makes the somewhat screwy scene even more entertaining.
The setting for this movie is kind of cool because it supposedly takes place in Chicago, which is where I live and it was nice to see things I recognize such as the elevated train during one scene at least. However, as much as I like Chicago it is not the most creative place to have a movie. Other settings such as the jungle for Predator were much better. However, I doubt a setting such as the one in Predator would work for this movie. Chicago is a good, practical place to have a decent action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger taking down a crime gang.
Even though this movie is kind of average and maybe even forgettable. As far as quality goes it probably shouldn’t get more than a 3 or 3.5/5 stars, but I really like this movie because it is one of the best examples of Arnold just tearing things apart in a movie that really doesn’t bother with a creative plot or lots of humor so much as focusing on some great action with Arnold.