A low budget knock-off of MIDNIGHT RUN (1988), RAW JUSTICE lacks the chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin that made the earlier film a surprisingly engaging mismatched-buddy movie.
When his journalist daughter Donna is murdered, Mayor Stiles (Charles Napier) calls on former cop Mace (David Keith) to stop chasing bail-jumpers and bring in the killer. Mitch (Robert Hays), who once dated Donna--with disastrous results--and is now accused of the crime, professes his innocence.
Mace has an uneasy relationship with the regular police force, especially Detective Atkins (Leo Rossi). We soon learn that Mitch has been framed by Deputy Mayor Bob Jenkins (Stacy Keach), who killed Donna so he could steal a disc from her computer, fill it with false accusations of incest with her
father, then blackmail the Mayor into refusing to run for office again. Jenkins has also corrupted much of the police department.
Mace tackles his mission wholeheartedly until Mitch is nearly pulverized by a bomb planted in his home. Mace and Mitch are ambushed and pursued; they barely escape, accompanied by Sarah (Pamela Anderson), a hooker who witnessed the attacks and must go into hiding with the bounty hunter and his
unjustly persecuted prisoner. Mace threatens Bernie (Bernard Hocke), a bail bondsman, with a baseball bat to find out who posted Mitch's bond and wanted him killed out on the street. Atkins uses the same bat to beat Bernie to death, setting Mace up to take the fall; later, Mitch saves Mace from a
gunman in his hotel room.
Mace finally realizes that Deputy Mayor Jenkins is somehow involved in the string of attempted rub-outs. Jenkins reveals his gubernatorial machinations to Mayor Stiles while the crooked cops pursue Mace, Mitch and Sarah across the bayou, finally cornering them in a clip joint. In the climactic
series of stand-offs, Mace shoots Atkins with a bow and arrow before Atkins can kill Mitch and Sarah. Jenkins takes Stiles hostage and demands safe passage out of the city. Disguising himself as a pilot on Jenkins's escape copter, Mace parachutes to safety just before the whirlybird plunges into a
RAW JUSTICE is full of plot holes and wildly implausible behavior. The action sequences are predictable and ineffectively staged, and the film's leads don't give their roles the sparkle they need; Keach is especially poor as the corrupt deputy mayor. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity,extensive nudity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: A low budget knock-off of MIDNIGHT RUN (1988), RAW JUSTICE lacks the chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin that made the earlier film a surprisingly engaging mismatched-buddy movie. When his journalist daughter Donna is murdered, Mayor Sti… (more)