It’s a dystopian world where our worst fears have come horribly true! An all seeing state where the government monitors your every move! Where people who dare to question the state are hunted down and ruthlessly killed! Where twenty-four hours a day, government propaganda is beamed into every home and street corner via the state-controlled media! But so what? We already put up with such an overreaching government already! This is a future though that is a million times worse! Where one man controls everything and that one man is Steven Seagal! Nightmarish indeed!
I can think of a lot apocalyptic scenarios that I would never want to live to see. Zombie attacks, meteor strikes, plague, even more Law & Order TV series, but what keeps me up at night is the idea that I might wake up one day to see Steve’s jowly face, complete with absurd orange-tinted granny glasses staring down at me from every electronic billboard in town! His creepy pro-statist messages no doubt peppered with the threat of being sent to re-education camps for those who don’t obey, where they will be forced to watch Sniper: Special Ops, Code of Honor and Against the Dark until their mind melts! Or at least until they beg to see The Asian Connection!
This Steven Seagal movie though features a very special guest star! Steven Seagal! Yes, this is another one of those “Steven Seagal presents some other dude who does all the work while Steve shows up for about fifteen minutes, twisting people’s hands, lounging with a sexy babe and babbling incoherently about honor and the benefits of an intrusive centralized government” movie!
This time around the focus is on a government assassin codenamed Condor. Condor is the best there is, but he keeps having these pesky flashes of memory about the love of his life, Nina. His assignments usually involve him killing everyone on the scene but during his most recent job, he let a beautiful woman go because she reminded him of Nina. Now Condor’s boss, the Controller, says he has to be taken in to be reprogrammed!
Once at the reprogramming center, Condor makes a break for it and in the course of his escape locates Nina in a nearby cell! But he saw her killed! And he buried her! They were just manipulating you, Condor, Nina advises.
Condor may be the best mindless killer the State has, but the emphasis has to be on the “mindless” part as he doesn’t stop to wonder why of all the reprogramming centers he was housed in the one where she was or why they are holding her captive. What’s the point of faking her death just to make Condor a cold-blooded killer and then just locking her up? What not just kill her for real?
Condor though isn’t the master tactician that everyone else in the movie turns out to be so instead of wondering at both the incredible coincidence and nonsensical situation Nina relates, he takes her back to his place to get his weapons.
But won’t the government be looking for them there? Condor acknowledges this but goes anyway and not only retrieves his weapons, but also takes a slow motion shower and has sex with Nina. Despite being the most wanted fugitives in an Orwellian surveillance state, it takes almost all night for the government to break in and capture them. (Again, Condor never questions this or even how he could drive a stolen government van through the city without being tracked. And are we really supposed to believe that a future of this sort wouldn’t have the ability to remotely disable vehicles?)
After being tortured live on TV, Condor’s boss rescues him and it is finally revealed that his boss is working for the resistance with Nina and they need Condor to kill the Director (Seagal). Normally, you might carp about the fact that in such a dictatorship, Condor is able to penetrate the Director’s headquarters by dispatching only three guards, but honestly that’s three more guards than Seagal needs!
After getting his ass kicked by Seagal, Condor then suffers the worst torture imaginable – having Seagal lecture him about what is truth! Then Seagal plays a video of Condor’s boss and Nina discussing how they tricked Condor into thinking he had a relationship with her when in fact they never met and that it was done to get Condor to kill the Director so that the Controller could be the new Director!
Only in a Seagal movie could the dictator of an oppressive state be portrayed as a decent guy! (Even before this, whether Seagal was truly villain was muddied when Seagal justified the way things were because it’s the only way to protect people after the war that nearly wiped out humanity. At worst, he’s probably just a bit overprotective, right?)
The only shocking moment in the film (other than Condor’s persistently shocking stupidity) is when he stabs Seagal and seems to kill him! How could Seagal allow that to happen? But then a second Seagal appeared and told the first dying Seagal that all was going according to plan! Most Seagalian future ever!
Fitfully terrible, mostly boring and always not making sense (Why is any of this happening? If Seagal had the video of the Controller coming up with the scheme all along, why didn’t he just eliminate the Controller to begin with?), The Perfect Weapon is the pinnacle of bad Steven Seagal movies, mixing a hackneyed Big Brother future, silly killer with a conscience storyline, and out of left field Seagal philosophy and plot twists. The movie even goes the extra mile with its ill-advised efforts at artiness, its lingering shots on Condor and his angst perfectly punctuated with schmaltzy music only serving to make things even more dull and sluggish than the confusing mishmash of bad ideas already is.
Of course this is still a Seagal movie so it ends with a bad special effects shot of his face inside a fighter jet flying away, presumably to keep working that perfect plan of his, whatever the hell it was.
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