Excellent combination of faces that could have been taken from a weird comic book strip. Nicolas Cage does one of his finer performances and an ex-boxer is shockingly good as a bounty hunter from hell getting some of the best scenes. To appreciate this film you really need to suspend your belief in order to accept that a female cop marries a multiple offender and idiot and steal a baby out of own selfish reasons.
3.5 stars. Cage at his most pretty and likable. The film sometimes comes close to feeling sneering, but Cage is committed and generous enough (as in 'Wild at Heart') that proceedings are mostly kept daffy and feel-good, not cruel. 'Raising Arizona' is goofball; throw-away; but it is also as serious as you allow it to be. What other film has you rooting for two child kidnappers?
Hugely inventive but not without flaws. The editing & character motivations are clumsy, while some of the jokes feel sneering & unnecessarily cruel. However the level of ambition is astonishing. Capturing the tone of a Tex Avery cartoon brought to life, the film blurs genre elements with an encyclopedic dexterity; bounding from scenes of screwball comedy to post-apocalyptic nightmare & ending on a vision of heaven.
The Coens exemplify that school of thought that advocates mastering the rules before breaking them. Precision filmmakers, w/ an undeniable grasp on formulas/devices/tropes & how to play w/ them. Sometimes it's delightful. Others, e.g. here, feel manipulative; like I'm being tricked into laughing at stuff I don't find funny, via well constructed set-ups. Still, beautifully executed. Even if I do resent the baby jokes.