THE EXPERT

the expert

THE EXPERT (1995)

IMDb rating: 4.1/10
Tagline: Judge. Jury. Executioner

Fool me once? Shame on you.

Fool me twice? Shame on me.

Fool me thrice? I‘m a masochist… and you’re Jeff “The Speakman” Speakman.

Yes, the meaty martial arts maverick returns to kick our DVD player right in the slot.

In previous posts, both ‘Running Red’ and ‘Land Of The Free’ have been taken up the aisle by the Brides Of Crapula, but two doses of Jeff is never enough Jeff. Once you’ve enjoyed some Jeff, you hunger for it, senselessly crave it. So, when we heard that sweet siren song of huge fist on innocent face in the form of ‘The Expert’, like a Bad Film plot, we chose the path of least resistance.

the expert

Speakman softly and carry a big stick

You don’t have to be a Jeff Speakman expert to guess that the film’s ‘Expert’ must be Jeff Speakman – a lethal SWAT instructor, with an unconcealed sensitive side. This is confirmed when Jeff reveals that he likes to visit museums “for the solitude”. Museums. They are always empty. If history has taught us anything, it’s that Jeff prefers a quiet environment as it softens his urge to kill dozens of people. Classic Speakman.

’The Expert’ wastes no time – or budget – in setting up the motivations behind Jeff’s unconscionable driving force throughout the movie. In the past we’ve seen his family kidnapped, his friends threatened and his pets slain. But that’s Daniel O’Donnell compared with events in ‘The Expert’.

The very same establishing shot at the start of the film’s third scene introduces us to both Jeff’s kid sister and the obvious serial killer who without doubt, will be brutally murdering her before the end of Act I. Little Sis – who we learn precisely nothing about during her appearance – is soon knife fodder but thanks to Jeff’s help – him being an unwitting eyewitness to the murderer’s escape – the killer is soon in custody and ready to face trial.

Now left-leaning, un-Jeffed pinkos might contend that smashing through a two-way mirror at a police ID parade in an attempt to slay your sister’s murderer might not expedite the judicial process, but who is foolish enough to mention this to an angry Speakman? They can see he’s got mousse in his hair and anger in his heart. Thankfully, the defendant’s lawyers forget to mention this mild infraction in court, so the killer is swiftly jailed for life. Justice is done and we can all go home.

We can’t go home. Because ‘justice’ isn’t enough for Jeff. The very idea of an appropriate court-mandated sentence, carefully considered and lawfully applied is like acid in his mouth…and deep heat on his balls. A roaring fire of vengeance blazes within him, a fire that can only be extinguished by the sounds of snapping bones, popping eyeballs and screams of agony. That’ll show those lily-livered liberals, pen-pushing their way around Washington while they hike up taxes and gay-marry one another.

the expert

Actions Speakman louder than words

A classic Speakman plan is formulated- bonkers, illogical, hyper-violent.

Splendid.

He will break into the maximum security prison that houses his nemesis to deliver a giant dollop of Speakman justice. Justice that so righteous, it qualifies for gift aid.

His plan is patently barking. And violently obsessive. Thankfully though, for the moralists among the audience, the killer is right in the middle of a blood-strewn jailbreak when Jeff arrives, so any kind of punishment he chooses to mete out is perfectly acceptable… if not downright justified.

Of course, this is Jeff… so it’s never going to be as straightforward as finding the bad guy, exacting a little sweet revenge, and leaving quietly through the side door. There will be at least half a dozen other nefarious prisoners who will stand between Jeff and the man who will soon be the bloody pulp dripping off his enormous knuckles.

But, hell, they knew the risks when they committed the crime, right? Maybe the next time they take part in a small scale securities fraud or plead guilty to knocking down a pensioner, they will remember the time they were viciously butchered by a crazed maniac breaking into their high security facility on a mission of righteous vengeance and they’ll think again.

Prisons are designed to keep the inmates in but surely more thought should have gone into keeping Jeff Speakman out.

the expert

Speakman: Man at A & E

Of course, after bloody dust has settled, there are no realities for Jeff to face when the new day dawns, no questioning of his actions or motivations, no charges to face. Just a long, cool gulp of soothing justice before the final credits roll.

It’s exactly this kind of glorious deus ex machina used to vindicate what are pretty horrifying actions that makes Speakman’s movies such perfectly crafted examples of Bad Film.
Despite leaving such a trail of murder and mayhem in its wake, The Expert is actually a pretty tame affair when compared with the gruesomeness of our previous run-ins with Speakman. So much so that we’re putting the film’s 18 certificate down to a combination of the lead character’s abhorrent internal politics and the movie’s egregious use of mid-90s fashions.
Any terrible action movie can employ the unholy triumvirate of gung-ho protagonists, morally questionable motivations and suspicious authority figures. In fact, most do. However, it takes a special kind of expert (pun fully intended) to take these basic Bad Film elements and inject them with the kind of extremist right-wing paranoia we’ve come to know and love with Jeff’s work, creating in the process something entirely new: fundamentalist fundamentals.

Evil never sleeps. It just cowers in a quiet corner getting its breath back. Speakman will return to his Museum of Solitude, but we will revisit Jeff again.

Every museum has its closing time.

 

There are no comments, yet.

Why don’t you be the first? Come on, you know you want to!

Leave a Comment