Ego Derails ‘The Perfect Weapon’

In the hands of better filmmakers and storytellers, this could have been an action movie with hidden depths, a story of pawns discovering their true power in a game of kings.

The Perfect Weapon takes place in a not-so-distant future where people live under constant surveillance from the State, which is led by a mysterious figure known as the Chairman (Steven Seagal). The State employs brainwashed assassins to take out the resistance. Condor (Johnny Messner) is one of these assassins, and he proves to be one of the State's most effective assets. But something goes wrong in his programming, and he gets glimpses of memories that he's not supposed to have. Condor discovers that the life he's living is a lie, and is soon fighting for an entirely different cause.

But things aren't really that simple, if you can call it simple. There is more than one twist in this story, the lead character forced to question his allegiances multiple times throughout this story. In the hands of better filmmakers and storytellers, this could have been an action movie with hidden depths, a story of pawns discovering their true power in a game of kings. But a very distinct sense of egotism rumbles its way into this story, and in pushing out its twists the film becomes even more toxic than it already is.

The first act of the film is mainly there to awkwardly establish the rules of this world, and introduce the protagonist as the unstoppable killer that he is. It does so without having the ostensible hero deliver a single line of dialogue. There is always merit to trying to convey more with less, but in a story as twisty as this one, some clarity and personality might have worked better. It is actually a little difficult at points to distinguish the hero from the waves of thugs that he dispatches. The film then tries to build its emotional center, and that doesn't work out at all.

The whole conceit of the film is that Condor is starting to remember his past, and this comes into fuller focus when he encounters a person from those memories. It's a little difficult to talk about in general terms, but the problem is that it never makes any sense, and the relationship as portrayed on screen never works. And then things get worse. More twists are deployed, and the film seems to take on a strange authoritarian bent. It isn't so much that the film asks the hero to question his allegiances. It instead makes the strange case that all the supposedly good things that the hero is fighting for aren't so good after all.

I might be reading too much into it, but the involvement of Steven Seagal seems to have guided this story in this strange direction. He is the villain of the piece, but he is basically not allowed to lose. The film carries out the practical beats of a standard action film, but the story gives leeway for the Seagal character to take a heroic position at points. And this is not a good thing at all. The more Seagal is on screen, the worse this movie gets. Not that things are much better with the other members of the cast, but Seagal just consumes this movie with palpable misguided ego.


The Perfect Weapon is a bad low budget action movie that could have at least been a little fun, or maybe a little strangely thoughtful. But it does feel like Steven Seagal got in the way of both of those goals. The need for him to be at the center of everything really handicaps this story, burning away whatever chance it had of delivering a cogent argument. And whatever time is spent with the aging action star is time away from just doing what people want this film to do: deliver old-school action in an age of overblown bombast. It's just no good.

My Rating:

Related Content

Movie Info

The Perfect Weapon
Action, Science Fiction
User Rating
1 user
Your Rating
Critic's Rating
Read review

Share the story


Recent Posts

Press Releases