Often imitated, but never duplicated, this is the movie that started it all - the bombshell that sparked a revolution in action movies that continues unabated to this day. As soon as it was released you knew that no action movie could ever be the same, and indeed, the influence of "the Ultimate Weapon" will probably be felt 50 years hence. Gone are the days when a top grossing action flick could expect to get by on marginal acting, low brow humor, a few car chases and exposed breasts, some brief colloquial dialog occasionally interrupting the constant bombardment of seizure inducing special effects. "The ultimate weapon" has changed the landscape forever. So much more is demanded now. Gone are the flat, one dimensional action heroes, little more than walking assortments of infantile one-liners and agonizing clichés. Enter Ben Cutter: a character so psychologically complex, affecting emotional states so vivid and true to life, that he seems almost to jump out of the screen and merge seamlessly into the viewers surroundings. He has a tangible, corporeal presence that the audience finds difficult to shake off even after the movie has ended. The framework of this movie is disarmingly simple. The plot seems to be yet another rehash of the same tired action formulas from decades past. But the movie manages to invest all these familiar thematic elements with an energy and aura all its own, something so difficult to describe and awe inspiring to behold, that no review can claim to do it justice. The truth is I can't really pin down what makes this movie so great. I'm able to discuss plenty of other great films with others, but when "the Ultimate Weapon" comes up an inexplicable silence falls on the conversation, and all that remains is certain knowing and strangely communicative glances between all involved that seem to convey a common understanding, wordless and enigmatic, between those who have had the privilege of witnessing this movie.
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