Arnold Schwarzenegger was on one hell of a run in the 80s, then came Raw Deal, a misfire of a film that ended up an explosion-filled shoot ’em up. Pure sheer charisma alone, though, Arnold almost saves it. Almost.
Dishonoured and forcibly retired from the FBI on the grounds of excessive brutality, Mark Kaminski (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is demoted to being a Sheriff in a small town, where his wife heads straight for the bottle, and his career goes nowhere. However, when the son of an old friend, Agent Harry Shannon (Darren McGavin), is killed whilst guarding a mob informant against the criminal outfit led by Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker), Kaminski is given a second chance if he can take Patrovita down.
Raw Deal isn’t a terrible film, but it does falter from the fact that Schwarzenegger is wholly miscast and does not fit the character of Kaminski in the slightest. Yet, goodness, does he try to make it work, and if you love a good old Arnie flick with him firing off the biggest guns possible, then you will, without a doubt, find something to love in Raw Deal. He keeps us thoroughly entertained as we go on for 100 minutes, and his charisma shines through when the film struggles; he shines and almost elevates it singlehandedly, though you cannot escape how miscast he is.
Arnold’s 80s films were him bashing his way through the villains in an entertaining manner; in Raw Deal, he shouldn’t be doing that, he should be sneaky, and as much as we love the big Oak of a man, he struggled at that time to do that. Kaminski has to infiltrate and have confidence. Can you imagine that character being able to do that? Raw Deal has enough to be an interesting action thriller, but too often, it pauses. You can tell the big action moments were added to breathe a bit more life into it; otherwise, it would be a forgettable movie.
The worst thing you can say about the film is that it feels very flat as if everyone was on the final film of a contract and just wanted to get out of dodge as quickly as they could. Thus, it makes Raw Deal one of, if not the worst, Arnold film of his 80s run. However, it is not necessarily a bad action film; there are just obvious issues that take you out from enjoying what should have been a home run of a film in a different director and star’s hands. But for Arnold, fans didn’t have to wait too long for a great movie of his to come out as 1987 was calling, and two polar opposite science fiction films in, Predator and The Running Man were on the horizon.
BRAND NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM
Arnold Schwarzenegger – The Man Who Raised Hollywood
Raw Deal – a Generic Gangster Movie
Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
Short and to the point, The Man Who Raised Hollywood is, disappointingly this is a copy-and-paste extra from Red Sonya. While the documentary is a good watch, the other main extra is that they are lifted from other discs and nothing other than the steelbook itself being the only new pieces. For a film like this, you would love for something more, but alas, it is not to be, and like Raw Deal itself, it is a bit middling but worth the purchase, especially if you are an Arnie fan and do not own the film.
The restoration is grand, and there has been a lot of care taken into it, though there are scenes where the darkness has not been corrected, and for a film that has moments of stark brightness, it is telling. For collectors, this is an easy buy, though.
Raw Deal is released on Monday 24th October 2022
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