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Raw Deal (1986)

1986 film directed by John Irvin

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Hows this for a Raw Deal, watching an Arnie movie thats awful when nothing better is on?

  • Aug 17, 2010

Channel surfing with OnDemand one day I came across a Schwarzenegger movie I hadn't seen, Raw Deal.  I heard of it, never saw it and never heard anything good about it.  Man, there is a reason why some movies stay obscure even when one of the most famous men on the planet is in them.

Arnie is a small town Sheriff who got run out of the big city by the mob and his old FBI boss wants Arnie to go undercover in the Mafia and ruin it from the inside.  The first thing I thought of while watching was License to Kill where James Bond gets on the villians good side and gambles in his casinos, whoos the villains girlfriend and ultimately brings everything down from the inside.  For what is seen as one of the weaker Bond movies by many, it's a superior movie to this Arnold movie in almost everyway, say for Arnie over Timothy Dalton, but at least Tim didn't look out of place watching and commenting on the casino games, smoking a cigar and acting debonair.  Arnold isn't debonair, he shoots guns, spits out one liners and destroys everything in sight.  He does do that at the end of this movie in a scene thats meant to emulate the far superior Commando where it's 60 to 1 against Arnie and Arnie wins, even when standing in the wide open.

I was bored by this, it wasn't anything Arnold hadn't done better before and while Arnold's movies are: corny, silly, stretching belief, they shouldn't be dull.  At least his action movies.  Even his later and less popular movies like Last Action Hero and Collateral Damage had their moments.

This movie had the no hype for me since I never heard anything great about it.  It's a mundane Arnold movie that doesn't have quite the action it should save for a decent car chase into a construction yard and it was all seen before in again other, better movies.  I saw the trailer for this and you better believe that this is hyped up.  This was two years after The Terminator and a year following Commando no way did they NOT try to hype this.

For an Arnold movie, it's a little obscure but it's not to say that it wasn't big when it came out.  Sandwiched in between Terminator, Commando and later Predator, no way did this movie stand a chance when up against those other movies.

I'm scoring this a -1.  It's not a BAD movie but as I watched with Arnold getting his lines in, Arnold shooting bad guys and not getting shot and Arnold hamming it up, I realized I could be watching Arnold do this in Commando or something else he's done.  Why am I watching this inferior movie?  Maybe to remind me of why the good stuff is good, so that when I go back to Commando and watch him fist fight with Bill Duke and Vernon Wells, I can say "damn this is awesome!"

The best way to reccomend this movie is to an 80's action film fan.  It's not BAD, I must reiterate that but it's best watched as your first Arnold movie before you see his other, better movies.

You might have noted that I keep calling Arnold's character, well Arnold in this review, thats because in almost all of his movies, Arnold is a larger then life guy who you could say is being himself, its how some people make that distinction between a movie actor or the movie star with Arnold being the star, you watch them on screen being themselves.  Arnold on screen in this movie is supposed to act like someone else and being a spy and trying to blend into his surroundings like a big wheeler and dealer which he does a couple of times here doesn't work cause I have a hard time believeing that Arnold is anyone else but a scene chewing man of action and gusto.  A different star would have been the best thing here to make this character work better.  It's kinda why Arnolds The 6th Day movie got a pan, it's cause Arnold is trying to be an all around normal guy and it's the last thing we think of when he's on screen.  Maybe he can leap off the screen and get in a better movie.

Hows this for a Raw Deal, watching an Arnie movie thats awful when nothing better is on?

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August 18, 2010
don't laugh....this would actually be in one of my SO BAD IT'S GOOD list. I dunno, I did liked the soundtrack and the action was abundant...I guess I am a sucker LOL! Nice review!
August 18, 2010
To me this is so average it's average and nothing about it stuck out at all. I guess it's better then some movies out there but theres a sameness to it compared to Arnies other movies.
August 18, 2010
I have to agree. I guess Arnie hairdo got to me LOL!
August 18, 2010
"You shouldn't drink and style!"
More Raw Deal reviews
Quick Tip by . September 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Arnie's a country sheriff who gets called back to the city to go undercover in the mob. Not as good as it sounds. Watch it if it's your first Arnie movie so you can appreciate his better movies more.
review by . December 29, 2009
The acting's bad and the accent's think. Another one of Arnie's sadistic flick's.
Raw Deal is another one of Arnold's starring vehicle's showcasing his talents. He can blow people away and he's a big dude. Other than that, there's nothing going for him as an actor (except when he's playing a cyborg). In Raw Deal he's just a down home country type of fellow (yeah right, with that thick Teutonic accent) who tangles with the MOB!!! I wonder who wins this fight, Arnie or the MOB. I guess you'll have to watch Arnie shoot, maim and pummel his way through …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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