9/15/2020

The Perfect Weapon (2016)

The Perfect Weapon (2016)- * * *

Directed by: Titus Paar

Starring: Johnny Messner, Sasha Jackson, Richard Tyson, Vernon Wells, and Steven Seagal












Axon Rey, code-named "Condor" (Messner), is a hitman who lets his silencer-laden guns do the talking. (Mostly what they say is "pew pew"). In the year 2029, we all live in a dystopian future controlled by The State. There is an underground freedom movement trying to disrupt the all-consuming central powers of our evil government. 



That's why The Controller (Tyson) runs Condor and tells him who to mercilessly kill. Haunted by memories of his lost love Nina (Jackson), Condor begins to question his life and his missions, which leads him down a road of no return. Naturally, the evil dictator is Steven Seagal as "The Director". What will become of Condor, and his status as THE PERFECT WEAPON?



Wait. Isn't there already a movie called The Perfect Weapon, starring a certain Jeff Speakman? You would think makers of action movies would know this, and pick a different title. How quickly have they forgotten "No Gun. No Knife. No Equal"? Anyway, get ready for Hitman (2007) meets Blade Runner (1982), DTV-style, with a sprinkling of Seagal added into the mix. 




After the near-countless production company logos that precede the film, we see a future where, in true Blade Runner style, giant electronic faces of Steven Seagal are illuminated on skyscrapers as he watches us all. This is not a future I want to be in.



Messner as Axon Rey, AKA Condor - not to be confused with Comdor from The Silencers (1996) - is strongly reminiscent of Mark Strong. At least he's a tough-guy hero and not a fey millennial as we've been seeing lately. Of course, there is the Prerequisite Torture of the hero, along with all the gun-shooting and beat-em-up action. 



Most importantly, though, he talks to his home personal assistant, which is a crystal/plastic pyramid like the one Evie talks to on Out of This World. While, on the whole, there is perhaps a bit too much of the romance subplot, which slows things down, we see why the filmmakers went that route. There's an actual reason but we won't give it away.



It was nice to see fan favorite Vernon G. Wells, but it was a missed opportunity to have him be in the cliched torturer role. He should have done something more interesting, like maybe punch Seagal in the face. Our old buddy Seagal isn't in the movie much overall, but it does seem that he has a strong southern accent in the beginning, but completely loses it at the end. He only does minimal Martial Arts, and it's at the final battle. He wears loose-fitting black robes. We'll just leave it at that.



The Perfect Weapon is in no sense original, but it is made well, especially for the budget. It's better than a lot of other DTV product out there, but once again there is an over-reliance on CGI when there needn't have been any at all. It's not overly long, which is more for the win column.



It won't change your life, but there are certainly worse ways to spend your time. 


Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett 

Also check out write-ups from our buddy, DTVC! and The Video Vacuum!


9/08/2020

Operation Delta Force (1997)

Operation Delta Force (1997)- * *

Directed by: Sam Firstenberg

Starring: Jeff Fahey, Ernie Hudson, Frank Zagarino, Joe Lara, Natasha Sutherland, and Hal Holbrook












When some evil terrorist baddies led by Johan Nash (Lara) break into a South African research facility and steal vials of both an ebola-like virus and the "anti-serum", there's only one thing to do. Call the Delta Force, of course. Soon, Captain Lang (Fahey), McKinney (Zagarino), Junger (Sutherland), and Maj. Tipton (Hudson) are unleashed to take down Nash and his underlings. Admiral Henshaw (Holbrook) is at the command center to keep an eye on the situation. 

Although the typical Washington empty suits are bickering about what to do, the Delta Force continues on with their mission - until a development occurs that threatens the whole thing. Will OPERATION DELTA FORCE succeed, or will Johan Nash's evil ponytail rule us all? Dare you find out...?


We don't know how or why, but Nu Image continually - almost stubbornly - keeps churning out these run-of-the-mill actioners. It all feels like we've been here countless times before (maybe because we've seen that same train footage in so many other Nu Image movies) but nothing stands out during Operation Delta Force. It's the same-old same-old.


While there is plenty of gun-shooting and good-quality explosions, and it's shot well, somehow a certain spark is missing. A certain je ne sais quoi, if you will. A grounded helicopter blows up, and Joe Lara gets to show off his Afrikaans accent, but somehow that's not enough. 







It does feature some fan favorites, such as Jeff Fahey, Ernie Hudson, Frank Zagarino, and the perpetually-elderly Hal Holbrook. Hudson tries valiantly to inject some sort of energy and presence, but it's tough going. Holbrook is trapped in a Joe-Estevez-in-Money-To-Burn situation where he just looks at screens the whole time. He does tout the new technology of "VidLink", which evidently was like the 1997 version of Skype.


One of the more noteworthy subplots involved Zagarino's character, who, apparently, is a misogynist and doesn't approve of Junger being there because she's a woman. It didn't really go anywhere, but it should have, perhaps in a fight between the two. Interestingly, One of Natasha Sutherland's only other credits was in the Joe Lara TV series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures.


At almost-random intervals, it looks like some older stock footage of planes and such is trotted out. It doesn't even come close to matching the newly-shot stuff for the movie at hand. It seems like at any moment, a graphic is going to come on screen that says: "America's Navy: Join Today!" It didn't exactly liven things up, but it shows we were paying attention.


There are many, many similar films out there that are just like Operation Delta Force. Unfortunately, this is just another one. It's not badly made, but it doesn't engage the audience and there's nothing different, special, unique, or weird about it. It's just sort of there.


It seems like the sort of thing that Cinemax or one of the other pay channels would have shown in the 90's just to fill a bit of airtime, perhaps in the afternoon. Director Firstenberg has done some awesome movies in the past, but let's face it: this is no Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty

Also check out write-ups from our buddies, Cool Target and The Video Vacuum!