17th Jun2017

‘The Perfect Weapon’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Steven Seagal, Sasha Jackson, Richard Tyson, Johnny Messner, Vernon Wells, Lance E. Nichols, Kimberly Battista, Emilien De Falco | Written by Titus Paar, Alex Brenner, Jesse Cilio, Ulysses Oliver | Directed by Titus Paar


When you see a DVD cover like the one pictured above, for Steven Seagal’s latest opus, you expect yet another derivative action movie in which Seagal will, probably, lumber around the screen, trying to act like his old bad-ass self and failing miserably. What you DON’T expect, and what you get here with The Perfect Weapon, is a cyberpunk, Blade Runner-esque sci-fi action thriller in which Seagal plays THE BAD GUY and our hero is an unstoppable assassin played by Johnny Messner, in total hard-ass, take no prisoners, mode!

The Perfect Weapon is set in a not too distant future, where a totalitarian state secret government organization controls all aspects of life. All “Enemies of the State” are executed by a secret group of assassins, who go by a secret code-name which is known only by the state and a few others assigned to the same mission. The best of the assassins is a code-name “Condor” (Messner) – the perfect weapon of choice. However, in his latest assignment, he fails to kill all winesses to his latest assassination and finds himself on the run from the very same government agency that hired him…

Johnny Messner has been carving his way through a number of DTV actioners in recent years – including the likes of Assassination (aka Decommissioned); The Good, the Bad and the Dead; and Weaponized. Here he plays a more stoic, silent killer; the kind who kills first and asks questions later… In fact his character is almost cyborg-esque, showing hardly any emotion yet Messner still manages to enthral with performance.

I just feel sorry for those people who pick The Perfect Weapon up expecting to see Seagal take the lead; this is Messner’s flick through and through. Seagal is hardly in this film at all, probably about as much as he’s in a traditional modern Seagal DTV flick (given that he’s VERY frequently body-doubled these days). I get why you’d advertise this as a Seagal film in terms of marketing: to bring in the unsuspecting action fans who, despite Seagal’s advanced years, will still buy his films sight-unseen, especially at the budget price they’re sold for in supermarkets… But that’s going to leave a LOT of people very disappointed.

However, for those that stick with The Perfect Weapon, there’s a decent – if slowburning – dystopian cyber-thriller, with enough twists and turns to keep audiences intrigued long beyond the initial disappointment… And surprisingly, for a 15-rated action movie, The Perfect Weapon is packed with a number of gory set pieces (some even of the practical variety it looks like) – including a tremendous exploding head sequence that rivals a classic like Scanners!

A refreshing change of pace for Seagal, The Perfect Weapon is out now on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


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