The Perfect Weapon (1991)

Posted: 17/11/2012 in Trash movies
Tags: , , , , ,

90es were the golden age of Martial Arts/ Action film and sheer number of genre films produced guaranteed some classics that are staples of Action Cinematography ’till this day but of course there is also the other side- every hack producer/ director and every half- assed martial artist thought they had a HIT in their hands!

One of the perfect examples of this is Jeff Speakman’s awkward love letter to Kempo Karate in the form of nonsensical, unwatchable mess that also goes by the name-  THE PERFECT WEAPON!

“No gun. No knife. No equal.”

(One of these three thing is actually correct)

Jeff Sanders (Speakman) is a humble construction worker by day and deadly Kempo Karate master by night! We learn the second one by watching him do what he does best… rocking out a Kata ( Karate Form) to SNAP’s super-hit “I’ve got the power” He looks surprisingly like a buffed up, oiled up, slowed- down version of one of the Boldvin brothers… but from the acting standing point I guess that is a grave insult to Boldvins,  because even William Baldwin is an exceptional  actor when compared to  Jeff here!

I mean… he’s got the powah!

For some reason he decides to returns to his old neighborhood and visits him old mentor, played by non other
than veteran actor Mako.While he rides his car we are treated with a dozen of flashback each one more pointless than the last one. First we have his traumatic childhood, father hating him because he didn’t act normal after his mother died?! He wanted to send him to military school just to torture him but he dodged that one thanks to Mako- Mako enrolled him in a Martial Arts School instead ( his extensive karate training involved everything but sparing for some reason) And finally him knocking out an irritating jock to defend his little brother (who is also a little jerk). His Cop father finally can not take it any more- apparently he just hates his firstborn to much to let him do much of anything and he trows him into the street despite the fact that young Jeff is only 16!

Interesting fact- Mako calls Jeff’s karate style a 2000 years old martial art despite the fact that a style is obviously Ed Parker’s American Kempo that was founded in 1940es.

Ed Parker with his favorite student!

We quickly found out that Mako has problems with Korean mafia (all Asian people are Koreans in this film despite the fact that most of them are Japanese, Chinese or even Vietnamese) not wanting to let them use his Antique shop for stashing drugs. They decide to show their power (common theme in this movie) by thrashing the place but that Jeff jumps trough the window (Batman fan perhaps?) with the immortal phrase “Is there a problem here?” and start laying the smack down on their asses. There’s also a irritating Asian boy who think he’s black
here for some reason. After reminiscing the old times Mako goes to bed and Jeff decides to take a walk.

Then a giant Asian fellow (ex- wrestler Dr. Tanaka) breaks in a strangles the poor Mako. Jeff finds the corpse but it’s already too late. Or is it? Jeff reaches inhuman speed of approximately 70 km/h and almost catches the car but his body betrays him and he remains on the street sorely disappointed. Then couple of idiotic criminals appear out of nowhere and “they get what the want” if what they wanted was an ass- kicking.

Behold the Speakman!

Soon bunch of police officers is in the scene (for once) the detectives must be Ned Flanders’s cousin cause I never heard a person in a live- action movie use  “diddly” in the sentence before. We also have a supposedly emotive reunion of brothers (his younger brother being cop now, like their evil father) but the scene abruptly cut before we get to see anything happening.

On Mako’s funeral we get Asian people wearing white (their traditional colour of mourning) and Caucasian people wearing black suits and Speakman wearing his usual brown leather jacket and jeans for some reason. Did he consciously decide to disrespect his mentor of is he really than much of a bum, not having anything else to wear? Anyway irritating kid shows up, Jeff tries to catch him and interrogate him but he fails miserably and the kid gets away. Then he menages to get in a argument and a fight with his brother and younger Sanders is tempted to shoot him… that would make all our lives easier but we’re just not that lucky.

He than procides to take justice into his own hands, start beating people up- including but not limited to people in night club of unusual kind, place is called Croc- Pit and their gimmick is they have live alligators in their club!!! After achieving nothing  “humble” Chinese fellow Yung (also playing a Korean) ofers his assistance. He reveals he is one of the four bosses of crime in Korea Town but that Mako was his friend and he wants to help Jeff get his revenge. Jeff, being the sucker that he is accepts the help and information just to find out he was double crossed afterwards. After disposing of approximately half of his man mafia boss sam explains that it was in fact Yung who is responsible for Mako’s death and that he used Jeff mearly as a weapon against his rival bosses. Irritating Asian kid confirms that.

Jeff now gets his sights into killing Yung but there is just one problem, a big, big problem- Yung is always protected by his bodyguard Tanaka (aka ex- wrestler Dr. Tanaka) and as we are about to learn Tanaka is unstoppable. In fact if we had The Incredible Hulk going against Dr. Tanaka I would bet my money on the vicious Asian Dr.
Knowing that even perfect weapon that is himself is powerless against Tanaka Jeff devises a plan, gets irritating
Asian kid to testify that Tanaka was a killer (not a bad thing because he really is the killer) and then uses a
mess that surrounds the arrest to personally destroy unguarded Yung. A rare glimpse of intelligence from Speakman, bravo!

Unfortunately it doesn’t really work out Sounders Jr gets destroyed by Tanaka (he can obviously survive a
car crash (and even throw away the wrecked car with his bare hands) and sustain being tasered by 1000 volts without even fliching twice). Cops get mauled by Dr and even Jeff ends up empty handed because Yung wasn’t even in the said car. Jeff almost got his brother killed for nothing but knowing that they are not in the best of terms anyhow- who cares.

            Tanaka reveling in his indestructibility!

Irritating kid somehow overhears that Yung is planing to escape county by boat (how original) and informs Jeff.
Jeff fueled by vengeance equips himself with some knives and sticks (he doesn’t use firearms for some reason- maybe they remind him of his asshole father) and after destroying a perfectly fine bed to display his weaponry he gets going. He breaks into factory on the dock and starts causing a ruckus incapacitating one henchman at a time including the ones with guns. He distract them and then slays them with his mighty trowing knives.
After easily reaching Yung and almost killing him Dr. Tanaka joins the fun and starts trowing Jeff around like a ragged doll. Jeff puts all his Kempo mastery on display but it just isn’t enough but at the last moment he figures out Tanaka’s only weakness EXPLOSIONS! After blowing up a propane tank mighty Mr. Tanaka finally meets his doom and Jeff gets Yung but for some reason doesn’t kill him- the fact that he just killed the man before that seem not to disturb his notion of honor.

Vengeance! Vengeance!

Film ends with Jeff finally back in his old Kempo Dojo, exchanging glances with a possible love interest that was for
some reason left unexplored- and bows to his master .Than we have credits that dedicate this film to the late and great Ed Parker, and even though he endorsed Speakman you have to wonder did the film live up to his expectations… I would be surprised if it did.

Vedict: Even though the story is nonexistent and large chunks of choreography are just pure nonsense
(moves are neither effective, nor look good on camera) Speakman is- truth be told- a better martial artist than most of his comrades in action movie industry but his acting ability is so atociously bad that there’s just no punching/kicking combo in existence, hell in a whole Multiverse that can possibly redeem it!

One thing is for sure- Speakman’s got the powah!

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