Whenever I watch a BMT film I try to put it in context of what we’ve watched before (or in the cases of adaptations/sequels what had come before it). In the case of a fairly mediocre, original action film like Raw Deal that can leave me at a bit of a loss for my initial reaction to the film. The one single thing that stood out for me with the film was the excessive violence committed by Arnold. Not only does he have a terrible home life (his wife is a drunk who hates him), but then he proceeds to fake his own death and kill approximately 40 people throughout the film. It was strange. It was very 80’s in the sense of “these criminals deserve to die and Arnold is fully justified in doling out retribution against them.” If you had to put it into context you’d have to compare it to the Sly Stallone classic Cobra that came out the same year. Obviously Cobra is a lot more hilarious than Raw Deal because Sly wrote it and he’s insane, but they do share that sense of retribution. The other odd thing they share is Sly and Arnold both harping on dietary health. They both tell people they shouldn’t be eating certain things at certain times. Very weird and very 80’s (which is how you can describe all the films this cycle).
Settings 101! This is a very Chicago film. It’s mentioned very frequently regarding the mob boss and you get some really nice scenes with the Chicago skyline. Additionally, since Arnold is undercover with a mob boss, the Chicago PD is featured prominently in the film, which provides a number of vehicles with “Chicago” printed on the side. However, there is nothing about Chicago in the film that takes it from a setting to a Setting. This could have been set in LA or Miami without missing a beat. So this is pretty clearly a C+ film. I feel like that might actually be the most common grade we’ll end up seeing: the film where the setting is mentioned numerous times, but doesn’t become integral to the plot.
‘Ello everyone! The only people who got a Raw Deal was the audience! YouknowwhatImean?! Uh, so yeah. Up until this point the cycles this year were killing it. We hit classic after classic to the point where I got bored with how classically bad everything was and I nearly forgot about the dire mapl.d.map cycles of yore. Well we are back. Somehow 1986 is just terrible for bad movies. The ones that are well know are barely movies and just dull, and there just aren’t a lot of them. And honestly, the future for the cycle doesn’t look bright. Bear with us and revel in the fact that this is our lives and not yours. Sigh. Let’s get into it.
- The Good – I thought Arnold was fine. I thought the main story was okay. It didn’t seem to go too over the top with the organized crime stuff, although it was a bit crazy in how they portray Arnold going undercover among people who are literal maniacs. That is about it.
- The Bad – Pretty boring and the action was nothing to really write home about. The screenplay is horrible, with a ton of WTF lines sprinkled throughout. The ending is somewhat unbelievable since Arnold literally goes around killing people and the local police and FBI just shrug their shoulders and say “good for you man, you killed all the baddies”. The immediate ending it laughable just from the perspective of Arnold making his former boss walk again through sheer willpower.
- The BMT – No, the movie is first and foremost probably a little too good. It isn’t a completely terrible movie beyond the screenplay which is an atrocity. But mostly it is just forgettable and a bit boring. If you aren’t paying attention it is confusing and if you are paying attention it is boring. And it isn’t like Arnold is somehow hilarious, he does a fine job. Just kind of blah.
Time for another Sklog-trospective. In this case what I noted in the preview was how interesting it was that two very accomplished Spaghetti Western writers are credited with a story credit. And indeed, you could imagine the film as a western. A former US Marshall disgraced after killing a suspect on the run operates as a small town sheriff on the frontier. His former partner comes to tell him a gang has been terrorizing a local area and has killed his son (also a US Marshall) and he’s looking to do a little off-the-record vengeance. The sheriff agrees and joins up with the band under the guise of criminal looking for a little action. Ultimately, the sheriff deals out some bloody justice in an extended shootout in his town, and rejoins the Marshalls, who are grateful for the help. Totally plausible. I would watch that (especially if it starred Arnold).