The Perfect Weapon (1991)
By: Devon B. on July 29, 2012  | 
DVD
Paramount | Region Free | 1.78:1, 1080p | English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 | 85 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Mark DiSalle
Starring: Jeff Speakman, James Hong, Mako, Professor Toru Tanaka, Mariska Hargitay
Screenplay: David C. Wilson
Country: USA
External Links
IMDB Purchase YouTube
I haven't always had a love for so-bad-it's-good cinema. In fact, when I was younger, I used to get really annoyed at stupid things in movies that I would find hilarious now. A clear turning point came in 1991, with the release of The Perfect Weapon. The film was a vehicle for Jeff Speakman, whose big claim to fame up to that point was a bit part in Wrong Bet. The Perfect Weapon was intended to launch Speakman as a new action hero, but his hair wasn't as interesting as Steven Seagal's so he almost immediately fell into the Direct-To-Video category, whereas Stevie got to appear in theatres for another decade.

In The Perfect Weapon, Speakman plays "Jeff," which I'm sure was a stretch for him. Jeff didn't cope with the loss of his mother as a boy, and his father struggled to raise him. A friend of the family suggested Jeff take up Kenpo to teach him discipline, and while that didn't really work for anger management, it certainly taught Jeff how to fight so good he can knock people out through their football helmet – I woulda thought that would just break Jeff's foot, not hurt the other guy, but that's just how badass Kenpo is. After the jock beating, Jeff was ostracised from his family, and grew up to be a still pretty angry guy who is still studying Kenpo. When the family friend is being bullied by drug dealers, Speakman finds out about it because he coincidentally rings just as the bullying is happening. Speakman comes 'round for a visit, and immediately beats up the Korean mafia. This results in his friend getting murdered, which sets Speakman on a vengeance-seeking rampage.

I didn't really like the movie back when it was released, but there was one ridiculous plot point that instead of annoying me just made me chuckle. It happens fairly late in the film, so if you haven't seen the movie skip the rest of this paragraph unless you want a spoiler. When Speakman sets off on his vendetta, he meets up with a gangster (played by the great James Hong) who tells him who murdered his friend. Speakman fights his way in to kill the guy, but the guy just tells Speakman he's got it wrong and it was Hong what done it. Speakman then immediately stops that vendetta and begins one against Hong. I could not believe this was happening when I first saw the movie, and even one of the characters comments that it's an odd situation. This may well have been the point in my life where I decided it was okay to laugh at things that movies got horribly wrong rather than get upset and confused. If only I'd stopped The Perfect Weapon and played it again from the beginning I might've really loved the movie with my newly developed power of positive pisstaking.

Because this movie is fucking ridiculous from the get go. It starts oh so subtly with Speakman doing a topless kata to the song "Power." It's not just a topless kata, it's a loooooong topless kata. Maybe it was meant to draw in women, but I like to think it was included for the all important gay audience, the target demographic that helped make things like Commando so special. After the first scene, The Perfect Weapon is plagued with bad dialogue, ham fisted plot points and awkward flashbacks. It's a formulaic 80s actioner, though it was released in the early 90s, and if you can laugh between the fights, it's fun. The fights aren't always directed well, but Speakman had skills, and he makes a good army-of-one protagonist, and he's given a high-quality final adversary from Professor Toru Tanaka, perfectly cast as a virtually indestructible henchman.

The Perfect Weapon is a bit of stupid fluff, but it's an enjoyable popcorn flick. It's a shame Speakman didn't get a series after this one, because if fuckin' Dudikoff could get a franchise anyone should've been able to.
Video
The film is presented at the slightly cropped ratio of 1.78:1. There're a few spots and some edge enhancement, but usually the movie is clean. The print is at times a bit soft, but usually there's good detail. The colour seemed a bit muted in some scenes, but overall I'm pleased with the transfer. Millions weren't spent restoring it, but it's perfectly suitable.
Audio
Audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track, and a lossless presentation of the film's original mix is never gonna be baulked at by me. It won't test the set up too much, but there're some pleasing thumps when people get hit.
Extra Features
Scene selection?
The Verdict
For me, this is what Blu-ray is all about: a nice looking transfer of a movie with the original audio. An interview or something would've been appreciated, but if you're not fussed about extras the film itself is well presented here. 
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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