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Film / Raw Deal (1986)

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Whoa, okay, we get it; Schwarzenegger is in this movie!

"The system gave him a Raw Deal. Nobody gives him a Raw Deal."

"This must be what they mean by... poetic justice."
Mark Kaminsky

A 1986 action movie produced by Dino De Laurentiis, directed by John Irvin (Hamburger Hill), and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mark Kaminsky (Schwarzenegger) is working a dead-end job as a small-town sheriff after being forced to resign from the FBI. He and his wife Amy would give anything to get out and return to the big city. An opportunity presents itself when FBI Chief Harry Shannon (Darren McGavin) calls Mark in on a secret assignment of revenge. Henchmen of a Chicago mob boss named Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker) have murdered Shannon's son, an FBI agent protecting an informant with information on Patrovita. Knowing that someone in law enforcement is selling information to Patrovita, Shannon wants Mark to infiltrate and destroy the Patrovita organisation from within; in return Shannon will get Mark reinstated in the FBI.

Mark accepts the offer and takes on the identity of an out-of-town criminal, quickly getting Patrovita's attention by causing trouble for his enemy, Jewish mob boss Martin Lamanski. Unfortunately this also earns Mark the enmity of Patrovita enforcer Max Keller (Robert Davi), who starts to dig into the background of his new rival...

Not to be confused with the 1948 Film Noir directed by Anthony Mann and starring Dennis O'Keefe.

This film provides examples of:

  • Aesop: Mark hands us one after Amy throws a cake at him.
    "You should not drink and bake."
  • Air-Vent Passageway: After the mobsters use up all their ammo shooting up the Empty Elevator, Mark enters by sliding down the ventilation shaft.
  • AM/FM Characterization: Kaminski blasts the bad guys at the construction site while blaring The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" from his car radio.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the opening scene, Mark is seen chasing an apparent motorcycle cop, who turns out to be a crook dressed up as one so he can shake down speeders. The man claims to be on his way to a fancy dress party and merely stopping the motorist to ask for directions. Mark charges him with extortion, resisting arrest, reckless driving, impersonating a police officer, and lying to the sheriff.
  • Avengers Assemble: The mob pulls their own version at the beginning of the movie, as the assassins assemble via train, boat and car for the attack on the FBI safehouse.
  • Babies Ever After: Notable in that Mrs. Kaminski (i.e. the woman actaully having the baby) does not appear at all in the ending.
  • Bar Brawl: Mark tears up a gambling joint. He then finishes the job by ramraiding it with a tow truck.
  • Bar Slide: Kaminsky does this to a mook he's interrogating in the dressing room of a Drag Queen bar, of all places.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Subverted in the final gunfight. Both sides had to reload frequently after a few shots. Even Mark, when out of ammo, has to grab the gun/magazine of a mobster he recently killed to continue the fight. This proves a problem to Baxter near the end when he finds all the guns empty.
    • Played straight earlier in the film during the hit on Lamanski, Mark fires over a dozen times from his revolver without reloading.
  • Bulletproof Vest: A mafia hit squad decides to murder Patrovita by running their car off the road. When Mark points out that the limo is heavier than their vehicle, the leader replies: "Not if you shoot the driver." Cue an Oh, Crap! moment when the bullets are seen bouncing off window glass marked BULLET RESISTANT.
  • Car Fu:
    • The mooks at the gravel pit try to crush Arnie's car between two huge earthmoving vehicles.
    • For the hit on Martin Lamanski, Keller tells Mark to shoot the driver so they can run their much larger vehicle off the road. Unfortunately the car is bulletproof.
  • Car Chase: Mark chasing the fake motorcycle cop, and the hit on Martin Lamanski.
  • Celibate Hero: Mark stays loyal to his wife, handling Monique simply by pretending to pass out drunk, much to her disappointment (she had his shirt off by then, so had a good view of those muscles). When she falls for Mark he has to confess he's Happily Married — Monique is not pleased.
  • Character Title: The Market-Based Title on the Latin American market is "Kaminski".
  • Construction Vehicle Rampage: Duriing the rock quarry shootout when Mark is driving his car around firing his submachine gun at mooks everywhere, he gets attacked by two heavy construction vehicles, an excavator and a dump truck, which corners him from both sides. Mark dives out just in time as both vehicles obliterates his car, firing and killing the excavator operator in the process before running for cover.
  • Cowboy Cop: Mark was thrown out of the FBI for brutally beating a suspect who molested, murdered, and mutilated a young girl. Given Schwarzenegger's penchant for playing the Papa Wolf, this isn't too surprising.
  • Cue the Falling Object: Halfway through the aforementioned Bar Brawl, Kaminsky drapes some poor mob soldier over a pipe that is hanging low from the ceiling. He pulls him back down as he's leaving to add insult to (further) injury.
  • Deadfoot Leadfoot: Averted to point of inversion. Mark headshoots the driver of a dump truck moments before its about to crush the prefab cabin he's in. The truck comes to a complete stop instantly.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mark.
    Patrovita: Smart I like. Smart-assed I don't!
  • Destroy the Security Camera: Before the final shootout, Mark uses his shotgun to blast both surveillance cameras outside Petrovita's penthouse, all which were seen on video footage. This is so they won't see him enter through the air vent instead of the elevator.
  • Dirty Coward: Marvin Baxter cowers in fear as bullets fly and mooks die during the Storming the Castle scene.
  • The Dragon: In theory, Patrovita's chief enforcer Paulo Rocca, but Max Keller is the one Mark butts heads with the most.
  • Dull Surprise: Arnold has quite a lot of dialogue compared to his early hits, and even by his own standards doesn't handle it very well. It's probably the only one of his (non-obscure) roles where he really seems like someone speaking a language he doesn't fully understand. His English actually sounded much better in Commando, released a year earlier, because he and screenwriter Steven de Souza went through the entire script and reworked the dialogue where necessary to suit his accent.
  • Empty Elevator: After the mobsters use up all their ammo shooting up the empty elevator, Mark enters by sliding down the ventilation shaft.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Mark and Shannon laugh after Shannon manages to walk a few steps on his rehab.
  • Evil Pays Better: Mark jokingly points to Shannon that working for the Mob has given him the chance to wear awesome clothes and get paid handsomely for a work that grants him plenty of free time. He still remains loyal to his old friend.
  • Faking the Dead: Mark does this to himself to assume his role as The Mole. And he does it with style, turning an entire abandoned oil plant into a gigantic fireball to invoke Never Found the Body.
  • Firing One-Handed: Mark, all the time. Especially in the quarry scene when he's shooting a submachine gun while driving.
  • Flare Gun: Mark fakes his death by opening the valves on a refinery storage tank, then firing a flare gun into the spilt fuel. Ironically, he only uses a single flare despite this particular model (a Heckler & Koch EFL) having a five shot magazine.
  • Flipping the Table: When Mark first makes his presense known by showing the gamblers the dice table is rigged via a pair of ball bearings that get drawn to the middle and stick together:
    Mark:"Magic? (Mark flips table) Magnet!"
  • Food Slap: Monique finds out Mark isn't making the moves on her because he's Happily Married. She takes off the dress he bought her and throws it at him, then storms out of the restaurant in her fur coat and lingerie, running into Max Keller (who'd set her up with Mark as a Honey Trap) on the way. She then grabs a drink off the nearest table and tosses it in Keller's face.
  • Godzilla Threshold: How desperate does Petrovita get when Kaminsky comes gunning for him? Desperate enough to call the police down to his gangster headquarters.
  • Gun Porn: During the Lock-and-Load Montage, we get a good look at the guns Kaminsky loads up with for Storming the Castle. In particular, the HK94 carbine with extended barrel and distinctive vertical foregrip gets much attention, and it's this particular gun is probably what the film is best remembered for these days.
  • Hero Insurance: Mark is allowed back into the FBI after a rogue undercover operation that starts with him blowing up a petrochemical plant and ends with him shooting dead a whole bunch of people. As Mark showed up to shoot them, he can hardly argue self defense.
  • Honey Trap: Monique has her gambling debts cancelled by Max Keller in exchange for gathering information on Mark. Mark is wise to her though, and she eventually falls for him.
  • Hollywood Silencer: On the silenced M-14 rifle during the safehouse assault.
  • Impersonating an Officer: The Dramatic Chase Opening has the deliberately-confusing sight of Mark in plainclothes chasing a motorcycle cop who turns out to be a con man shaking down speeders. Later on Patrovita's men disguise themselves as a bomb squad to steal a huge stash of confiscated drugs and cash from police headquarters.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills / Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the gravel pit scene, Mark kills half a dozen mooks firing at him with automatic weapons, using a H&K carbine fired one-handed out of the car he's driving.
  • The Infiltration: Kaminski infiltrates the Patrovita mob to find The Mole that gave the information that led to Shannon's son's death.
  • In the Back: Mark shotguns Luigi Patrovita as he's fleeing after using up all his bullets and mooks.
  • Ironic Echo: "Resign or be prosecuted".
  • It's Personal: For Shannon, the death of his son because he was in the way of the Patrovita mob taking out a witness is what makes him decide they are all better off dead. For Kaminski, it's the moment Patrovita sends him off with Keller to kill a nosy cop... who happens to be Shannon. That was the biggest, and last, mistake they ever do.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol:
    • When it transpires that Special Federal Prosecutor Marvin Baxter, who had Mark kicked out of the FBI (telling him to "resign or be prosecuted") is in fact in the employ of Patrovita, the following exchange occurs:
    Mark: This must be what they mean by 'poetic justice'. Because of you, a lot of people are dead. And now it's your turn.
    Baxter: No, no, no...
    (Mark drops a pistol in front of the prosecutor.)
    Mark: Resign or be prosecuted.
    (Mark walks out. From behind the closed door comes the sound of a single gunshot as the prosecutor chooses to "resign.")
    • In the DVD/Bluray version, Baxter takes the pistol and tries to shoot Mark. He gets shot on-camera instead.
  • Left the Background Music On: Mark sticks in a tape of "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones before driving into a shootout at the gravel pit. The music comes to an abrupt halt when he drives into a very large dump truck.
  • List of Transgressions: When a fake motorcycle cop claims to be on his way to a costume party, Mark charges him with Impersonating an Officer, resisting arrest, fraud, reckless driving and lying to the sheriff.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Though rather than strapping on his weapons, Mark places them in a nylon gunbag.
  • Mad Bomber: The plan Mark comes up with to make the police evacuate the building where $100 million dollars worth of mob drugs and cash is being held. They set off a small bomb in a police station, so the police will take a threat seriously and evacuate the building. Then the mob goes in dressed as the bomb squad.
  • The Mafia: The Patrovita crime family is Mark's target, and the Mob War between Patrovita and Lamanski gives him the necessary opening for his infiltration.
  • Market-Based Title: For the Latin American audiences, two: "Kaminsky" and "Triple Identidad (Triple Identity)". For Japanese audiences, it is titled "Gorilla".
  • Meaningful Echo:
    "I've had better days".
    "Wanna see them again?"
  • Missing Floor: Mark gets into a hotel elevator and tells the operator to take him 'down'. When the operator replies "There is no 'down'", Mark gives him a big tip and is taken down to an illegal gambling den.
  • The Mole: Mark for the good guys, and Marvin Baxter for the villains.
  • Neutral Female: Averted with Monique, who helps out when Mark is attacked by Lamanski's hoods, and later turns up with a convenient car when he needs to make a quick getaway.
  • Never Trust a Title: "The System gave him a raw deal. Nobody gives him a raw deal." It's not immediately apparent what this title and tagline are even referring to compared to most of Arnold's other films. It's apparently a reference to the "Resign or be prosecuted" ultimatum used as a Call-Back at the end of the film. However, the eponymous deal is in the main character's backstory and barely relates to the film's plot, and not only was that character given a raw deal, he also took it, and has been out of the FBI for years. It's only pure coincidence that he gets a chance to get back at the individual (i.e., not really the system) that screwed him over.
  • Out of the Inferno: In order to fake his death, Mark drives his squad car into an oil refinery, opens a few valves then blows it up with a Flare Gun. Cue shot of Mark riding out of the flames on a motorcycle.
  • Papa Wolf: Shannon pulls one by proxy by asking Mark to kill all members of the Mafia organization that killed his son. Mark also showcases that he's got chops in this field when we hear that the reason he was kicked out of the FBI was because he applied Police Brutality to a man that killed a kid.
  • Physical Therapy Plot: In the end, Mark visits Harry at the hospital, with Harry initially refusing therapy (this was after Harry got severly wounded in the shootout that forced Mark to blow his cover). Mark pushes him into walking by asking Harry to becoming his child's godfather in exchange for therapy. Harry accepts and manages to walk to Mark.
  • Resigned in Disgrace: Kaminsky was forced to "resign or be prosecuted" from the FBI for brutally beating a suspect who sexually abused and killed a young girl.
  • Revolver Cylinder Spin: When Mark is loading and packing up his weapons, he gives the cylinder of his revolver a spin before snapping it into place by flicking his wrist.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kaminsky starts down the path on the behalf of Shannon. The climax has him pulling all the stops, annihilating Patrovita and all of his goons, when Shannon gets shot by Keller.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Mark once he starts infiltrating the mob.
  • The Sheriff: Kaminsky starts the film as a small town sheriff, since it was the only job he could get after being forced to resign from the FBI.
  • Show Some Leg: A mobster is sitting in his car, gaping at the sight of a female jogger running braless towards him. She leans down with a big smile, sticks a gun in his face and suggests he go tell the drug house he's guarding that he needs to take a leak. With the sentry taken care of, a squad of detectives pull a crash-bang-gotcha on the occupants.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Mark does the 'fake snoring' version while Monique is talking to Max Keller on the phone about the (fake) ID she's found in his wallet.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" during a drive-by Storming the Castle.
  • Storming the Castle: Schwarzenegger does his usual One-Man Army approach when Patrovita and his mooks hole up in their basement gambling den.
  • Tuckerization: A sign at the entrance of the oil refinery that Kaminsky reads "Irvin Oil Processing Company." The film was directed by John Irvin.
  • Vigilante Man: What Mark is at the end. He certainly doesn't try to arrest anyone!
  • Wall of Weapons: All of the guns Mark uses on the climax (and a hefty amount of ammo for them) are both in some pretty fancy war-bags.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: None of the hitmen from the opening scene ever appear again in the film.