The Perfect Weapon

release year: 1991
genre: martial arts action
viewing setting: home Bluray 2/15/13 and home VHS 6/30/04 and 11/21/97

synopsis: Kenpo master Jeff returns to the city he grew up in, then fights Korean gangs after an old friend is killed.

impressions: This is one of those little-heard-of martial arts movies, probably because Jeff Speakman didn't go on to enjoy the kind of career that Van Damme or Seagal did. It's a shame too, because he can definitely fight and he's got a fair amount of screen presence. The movie had a lot of action, some weapons-play, and a solid simple plot. In a way, it's the perfect movie of this type: easy to watch and enjoy.

asses kicked by Jeff Speakman: 41. Four of them were literally in a five-second span. And among those beaten were Professor Toru Tanaka, Al Leong, Branscombe Richmond, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (see explanation below.)

acting: Jeff Speakman made a good debut here, even though he didn't talk much. John Dye plays his younger brother, who grew up to be a cop. Beau Starr, who played their father, did a good job as a bad dad. This movie also contains four Oriental actors who've appeared in many other movies I've seen. Professor Toru Tanaka (who was in The Running Man and An Eye For An Eye) is the lumbering tank of a bodyguard. Mako (who's quietly appeared in a zillion movies from Conan to An Eye For An Eye) is Jeff's friend who is stubborn and gets killed for it. James Hong, who played David Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China, is good as a Korean gangster lord. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (who's made a career out of playing #1 evil martial-arts-using henchmen) is good as a menacing #1 evil martial-arts-using henchman.

final word: Solid martial arts movie.

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