Raw Justice (1994) Not The Breast... I Mean Best June 13, 2020 08:30
There's no arguing Pamela Anderson was one of the hottest women in the 90's, an upgraded modern version of Farrah Fawcett for the glam rock generation, but it's pretty clear she took about any film role she was offered, and those were bottom of the barrel to say the least.
Raw Justice features an amazing cast of low budget character actors that are sadly squandered on a sloppily written script, cycling through countless chase scenes that act more as time fillers than to progress the story, a soundtrack that consists of two songs played ad nauseam, and a script that's simply lazy in terms of progressing the story in a nonsensical manner.
David Keith stars as Mace, an ex-cop hired by the New Orleans Mayor to tail the recently bailed suspected murderer of his daughter (and Mace's former girlfriend). Unbeknownst to Mace he's caught between a power grab as the Deputy Mayor is attempting to overthrow the current regime and take control. Mace teams up with Mitch (Robert Hays), the man he's been hired to tail, to find the real murderer when it becomes blatantly clear someone is out to frame them both.
I'll admit it I'm not a connoisseur of direct to video releases, so the sloppiness of the story may be par for the course. And to be clear I'm not referring to the overall camp of the film but transitions in the story which are simply cop-outs for coming up with a feasible way to progress the story. For example the second chase scene which features Mace chasing Mitch on dirt bikes for about five minutes through shopping malls and downtown New Orleans only to lose him by flipping over a car. Sounds reasonable up to this point, until Mace returns home and finds Mitch in his house waiting for him at gunpoint! What are the odds that the guy who was running away from you because he thought you were trying to kill him (and has no idea who you are, not to mention where you live), would run into your house and magically find a gun no less!
Or at the end of the third chase scene when Sarah (Pamela Anderson) is trying to escape two goons chasing after her with Mace on the hood of a car. Of course the most logical thing to do after a chase scene is allow the stranger who stole your clothes at the beginning of the film, and whose now put your life in danger, to let him strip you down and lick your entire body!
As a whole Raw Justice is a film that has a few good ingredients such as a decent cast and average premise, it's the execution and the flow of the story itself that's poorly done. David Keith is an excellent casting choice as Mace the off-the-rails ex-cop with a lot of wit and an itchy trigger finger, but sadly that's about as good as it gets. The film starts out entertaining, but about 20 minutes in you start to see a pattern, which always starts with a chase scene, and begins to feel more like watching the story-line to a side scrolling video game.
As for Pamela Anderson her character really serves no purpose in the film. From the promotional pictures you'd think she's some bombshell detective whose working with Mase to solve the case. Nope. She's a prostitute whose clothes he borrowed at the very beginning of the film to trick and catch a guy who skipped probation. She doesn't appear again until about halfway through with basically the sole purpose of providing a couple extremely forced nude scenes that are setup so poorly they make those in erotic thrillers look good. Let's be honest here, if you're watching this for the sole purpose of Pamela Anderson's ten to thirty second topless shots you're wasting your time.
Overall, Raw Justice leaves a lot to be desired. More Pamela Anderson, and less repetition would have greatly helped. Swapping Anderson in the role of the dead beat ex-cop and making Keith the suspected murderer would have made things more interesting. While Robert Hayes is a decent actor the premise that the daughter of the Mayor of New Orleans would have even gone on a date with him doesn't fly, get rid of him and put Pamela front and center. It was clear this film was not meant to be taken seriously so why waste the best asset(s) this film has with so little screen time? In the end, if you want a good ridiculously campy film starring David Keith and a playmate (in this case Kathy Showers) I'd suggest the much more entertaining The Further Adventures Of Tennessee Buck.