It might be time to give Arnold a break. Sure Dan and I love to quote him in the morning but sometimes the quotes are more memorable than the movie. Unfortunately for “Raw Deal” is doesn’t have enough of those classic Arnold lines to make it worthwhile.
The film follows the basic undercover story where Mark Kaminsky (like anyone doesn’t just call him Arnold) gets a chance to come back to the FBI by going undercover in the Chicago mafia. His goal is to find the mole in the Bureau who is feeding the mob bosses information and getting people killed.
Now not only does this follow the stereotypical covert movie plot but also suffers from one major flaw: who the hell wouldn’t suspect Arnold? I mean I know it’s a movie but he is the only person who has an accent and he’s also more muscular than everyone else. The point of being undercover is to not stick out and yet he is the only character that does.
As you might expect, the somehow sneaky Kaminsky quickly moves his way up the ladder with really only one person suspecting him. But he’s so calm and “cool” that he brushes him away and stays focused on his mission. Of course they also add a pseudo love story that essentially goes nowhere.
And I have to be honest; most of the acting was subpar. Yeah I may not be much of an actor myself but most of these characters were pretty bland and lacked any depth. Add that to the predictability of “Raw Deal” and you have a movie that’s not really going anywhere. I mean it’s not as if there were a lot of candidates for who could be the mole because they never showed anyone else from the Bureau!
In case the movie couldn’t get any lower, it decides to have the final act be basically nothing like the rest of the film. After almost killing his friend, Kaminsky decides to take down the mobsters himself. How you may ask? By sneaking in there (even though they see him coming) and taking them out in a large room with basically machine guns. It didn’t take any skill, any strong weapons or any real strategy, just move around as well as shoot a little and the dumb bad guys will lose.
Look I reviewed “Commando” a couple weeks ago and while it had some similar flaws, there were enough entertaining moments to make it worth watching specifically the one-liners. Unfortunately “Raw Deal” has very few of these instances so instead of an entertaining Arnold, you’re stuck with an awkward one. And unlike “Conan the Barbarian,” it doesn’t fit the “can’t hold up to the times” excuse. There are plenty of good undercover movies so if you want one, I’m sure you can find one. They probably all have at least one thing in common: Arnold is not the lead.