Holy Shit! After being years since the one and only time I've ever seen Raw Deal I decided to revisit the title to see if it lives up to my memory. This, you may already know, is a lofty goal and many a film fail. Raw Deal does not fail in any sense of the word. In fact it manages to bend my childhood over and rapes it in only the most tender and caring way you can when dealing with fully automatic weaponry.
I oft forget how much I loved Arnie before his recent political career. Thankfully we have a catalog of old awesome action films to remind us. Sadly though it's pretty easy to forget flicks like Raw deal when you have the insane classics like Predator, Commando, Total Recall, The Conan Movies and of course, Jingle All the Way. With those ever so quotable films looming on your pop culture referencing minds it's easy to skip over a flick like this which really only has one really quotable line “You shouldn't drink..and bake”. There are others, but that's really the best one.
Raw Deal is the story of a disgraced FBI agent, Kaminsky, played by Arnie. All we know is that Kaminsky enjoys punching people in the face enough times to put them in the ICU. He's now the sheriff in some podunk hick town where he still manages to fit in a daily car chase and yet is bored to death. His wife is a drunk, she apparently drinks and bakes. Darrin McGavin offers him an opportunity to play mole and one man army all at the same time. He is to implant himself into the Chicago mob syndicate and take them out from the inside. You see, they were responsible for killing off McGavin's son and he no longer cares to stay within the realm of the law. No one knows Kaminsky is there except McGavin. I don't see any way that could possibly go wrong, right? Regardless it hardly matters because the second he';s found out he kills the only people that know and initiates his attack plan on the mob. The Climax is so brutal and violent you will giggle like a little girl and any little girls unfortunate enough to have seen this will have a nice couple days growth on their face and talk a few octaves lower. It's that powerful!
|Kolchak is an emotional powerhouse|
Here's the thing though, Raw Deal has easily one of the best stories of any Arnie flick. It's pretty shallow, but not as shallow as his typical fare. Darren McGavin also gives the film a much needed touch of class. There's a scene where he's telling Arnie that his son was killed and the director made the right move in keeping the camera on McGavin's face instead of cutting to Arnold's reaction. Darrin McGavin is what we like to call in the business...an ACTOR and with this particular skill set he manages to make the film slightly more believable. Be thankful for this too because without him Raw Deal is just another generic 80's action flick with decent violence. Raw Deal would still stand out though, it has some of the best comeuppance I've seen on film in a long time. The bad guys get it real good like!
|Imagine these guys...only dead|
Raw Deal is as cathartic as film gets. It has everything you need for pure satisfaction; a great story, great violence, a shitty tacked on love story, sarcasm and amazing comeuppance. In fact, how this film doesn't top the list of Bosh's favorite films is beyond me, except maybe that it's a little too well known and wasn't direct to video. It will forever remain a mystery
5 out of 5
Drink up, I've got movies to watch
P.S. - If you've never seen Kolchak: The Night Stalker, do yourself a favor and watch it. It's amazing television.