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The Perfect Weapon (1991)

R  |   |  Action, Drama  |  15 March 1991 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 2,402 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 20 critic

Jeff, a young delinquent, is enrolled by his father in a kenpo school, in the hopes of teaching the boy some self-discipline. Years later, Jeff's mentor, Kim, is being threatened by one of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Det. Adam Sanders
...
Kim
...
Yung
...
Jennifer
...
Jimmy Ho
Beau Starr ...
Capt. Carl Sanders
Seth Sakai ...
Master Lo
Professor Toru Tanaka ...
Tanaka
...
Detective Wong
...
Kai
Tom Hermann ...
Jeff - Age 17
Micah Roberts ...
Jeff - Age 11
Ryan Bohannon ...
Adam - Age 6
Justin Webb ...
Adam - Age 12
Edit

Storyline

Jeff, a young delinquent, is enrolled by his father in a kenpo school, in the hopes of teaching the boy some self-discipline. Years later, Jeff's mentor, Kim, is being threatened by one of the Korean mafia families. Jeff tries to help his old friend, but is too late to prevent Kim's death at the hands of an unknown hitman. Vowing revenge, Jeff takes on all of the families, using his martial arts skills to find the man who killed his friend. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No gun. No knife. No equal. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for martial arts violence and for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El arma perfecta  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$14,061,361 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(edited)

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Four of the actors from this movie - 'Mako', Dante Basco, James Hong and Clyde Kusatsu - would work together again in Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Storm (2005), in which all four voiced characters. See more »

Goofs

In the fight with Yung during the last scenes of the film, Yung attacks Jeff from behind with his hidden blade, but it sticks into one of the escrima sticks hidden beneath his jacket. Jeff removes his jacket, which falls to the ground, but the stick is still attached to the knife. See more »

Quotes

Master Lo: I have shown you the way of the dragon, but you have not seen it. Experience will be your teacher.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the credits there is the following line: 'This film is dedicated to Ed Parker and the spirit of Kenpo.' See more »

Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Oriental Flower
Written by Peter Morris
Courtesy of Ole Georg/Capitol Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Electric
12 July 2002 | by (Montreal West, Quebec) – See all my reviews

Jeff Speakman's performance in "The Perfect Weapon" is awesome. This plot is able to magnificently interweave furious action sequences with the literary theme of the return home. While the plot differs markedly from that of "The Odyssey" by the epic bard Homer, there is still one vital thread that can be explored: both heroes return home after a long exile to kick ass and reclaim their positions in society. The ensuing list of possible contrasts and comparisons is exhausting if not infinite. However, if one is to understand one point, it is that in both works, martial arts are employed to signify the process of social transition; the re-integration of the hero into society.

To be a little less formal, let use the martial arts aspect as a segue into a nifty little observation. Jeff Speakman is a reasonably well known proponent of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate, developed in U.S. during the 1940s and 1950s. "The Perfect Weapon" is an excellent primer on the power and wisdom of this art. The clearest example of this exposition is at Master Lo's Kenpo school, where Speakman learns both the skills and valuable lesson he will keep with him for the rest of his life; the most important being the difference between the tiger and the dragon. Yet, the movie is set in Koreatown, where Tae Kwon Do is the martial art du jour. The korean flags are prominent in the gym scene, and the references to Korean culture abound. There appears then, to be a subtle not so subtle match up between Kenpo Karate and Tae Kwon Do. The climax of this tension comes as Speakman confronts Leo Lee (Bandana) in the gym, looking for a guy who is 'good in Tae Kwon Do.' Does the ensuing three on one fight symbolize the clash of fighting styles? No one will ever know what Ed Parker or Mark DiSalle wanted to achieve here, but the contrast is too present to be simply a coincidence.

Alas, all reviews must end somewhere, and though I have much more to say, I will end my two cents with a small criticism of the action in the film. Anyone with a decent amount of martial arts experience will note that in the final warehouse scene, the knife attacks are undoubtedly more akin to training exercises than to real street techniques, but then again that may have been purposely done. It is also worth noting that this author has minimal training in Kajukenbo (an art based on Kenpo) and is far from an expert in the field.

The one thing that I can say with reasonable auctoritas is that this movie is electric from start to finish.


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name some other martial arts movies... n01-1
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