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Cracking the Schwarzenegger Code: How ‘Raw Deal’ Changed the Action Movie Game

In the world of action movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a powerhouse. Known for his larger-than-life persona, chiseled physique, and iconic one-liners, he has solidified himself as one of the greatest action stars of all time. From classics like “The Terminator” and “Predator” to more recent hits like “The Expendables” franchise, Schwarzenegger has left an indelible mark on the genre.

One film in particular stands out in Schwarzenegger’s extensive filmography for its unique approach to the action genre: “Raw Deal.” Released in 1986, “Raw Deal” was a departure from the typical Schwarzenegger formula and marked a turning point in his career. In this article, we will explore how “Raw Deal” changed the action movie game and cracked the Schwarzenegger code.

The Plot of “Raw Deal”

“Raw Deal” follows the story of Mark Kaminsky, a disgraced former FBI agent who is given a second chance when he is recruited by the US government to take down a powerful mob boss. Kaminsky goes undercover as a hitman and infiltrates the mob’s organization, gaining their trust and working his way up the ranks. Along the way, he encounters betrayal, violence, and a personal vendetta that drives him to seek revenge.

What sets “Raw Deal” apart from other Schwarzenegger films is its gritty, grounded approach to storytelling. While Schwarzenegger’s previous films often relied on over-the-top action sequences and fantastical plotlines, “Raw Deal” opts for a more realistic and nuanced approach. The film delves into themes of betrayal, redemption, and the lengths one will go to for justice, allowing Schwarzenegger to showcase a more vulnerable and complex side of his acting abilities.

The Impact of “Raw Deal”

“Raw Deal” received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising Schwarzenegger’s performance and the film’s gritty tone, while others criticized its lackluster script and lack of originality. However, “Raw Deal” would go on to have a lasting impact on the action movie genre and Schwarzenegger’s career.

The success of “Raw Deal” proved that Schwarzenegger was capable of taking on more dramatic and emotionally challenging roles, paving the way for future projects like “Total Recall,” “True Lies,” and “Junior.” The film also demonstrated that audiences were willing to see Schwarzenegger in a different light, showing that he could bring depth and nuance to his characters beyond his usual tough-guy persona.

In addition, “Raw Deal” influenced the way action films were made in the years that followed. Filmmakers began to experiment with mixing genres, adding more character development and emotional depth to their stories, and exploring darker and more complex themes. Schwarzenegger’s willingness to take risks and push the boundaries of the action genre helped to usher in a new era of action filmmaking that continues to influence filmmakers today.


Q: Is “Raw Deal” considered one of Schwarzenegger’s best films?
A: While “Raw Deal” may not be as well-known or beloved as some of Schwarzenegger’s other films like “The Terminator” or “Predator,” it is considered a pivotal moment in his career and an important entry in the action movie genre.

Q: How did “Raw Deal” change the way action movies were made?
A: “Raw Deal” introduced a more grounded and realistic approach to storytelling in the action genre, paving the way for more nuanced and character-driven films. It also showcased Schwarzenegger’s range as an actor, proving that he could excel in roles that required more emotional depth and complexity.

Q: What impact did “Raw Deal” have on Schwarzenegger’s career?
A: “Raw Deal” helped to solidify Schwarzenegger’s status as a versatile and formidable leading man in Hollywood. It opened the door for him to take on a wider range of roles and explore different genres, leading to some of his most memorable performances in films like “Total Recall” and “True Lies.”

In conclusion, “Raw Deal” was a game-changer for both Arnold Schwarzenegger and the action movie genre. Its gritty and grounded approach to storytelling, coupled with Schwarzenegger’s nuanced performance, helped to redefine what an action movie could be. By cracking the Schwarzenegger code, “Raw Deal” set the stage for a new era of action filmmaking that continues to be felt today.

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