Raw Deal (1986)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller  |   Release Date - Jun 6, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - Netherlands, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Brian J. Dillard

This fairly standard-issue exercise in muscles, guns, and explosions isn't completely lacking in charm. Star-on-the-rise Arnold Schwarzenegger has fun wrapping his thick accent around the copious puns and tongue-in-cheek dialogue that populate Saturday Night Fever screenwriter Norman Wexler's script. The best line comes early, when a long-suffering Arnie advises his alcoholic wife: "You should not drink and bake." Alas, the food fight that precedes this moment of wit soon gives way to spurious plot twists and generic femme-fatale poses from Kathryn Harrold, a quality actress who's clearly out of her element. Elsewhere, despite some decent set pieces, the film never really generates much of an impression either way. However, a few plot holes and moments of gratuitous sentimentality toward the end help tip the scales toward a thumbs down. Schwarzenegger historians consider this to be one of the action dinosaur's least wooden performances, but it's also one of his most disposable, least distinctive vehicles.