Action Rewind: The Action-Thriller MEMORIAL DAY is for Jeff Speakman Die Hard Fans Only

By: Eoin Friel

I’m not sure why it’s so hard to find the correct plot synopsis for this movie; on IMDb it says “An embittered satellite expert gets the opportunity for revenge against the USA by aiding terrorists in a plan to destroy the country’s military base”. Yeah, that’s not what the plot is and if you go to Rotten Tomatoes it says “A SWAT team leader (Jeff Speakman) tries to stop a ruthless industrialist from launching nuclear weapons”. Also not what the film is about.

I guess if we’re looking for a proper idea of the plot it’s about a soldier called Edward Downey (Jeff Speakman) who was institutionalized after he tried to blow the whistle on a shady government agency who have built a destructive laser satellite. He is brought out of the institution to take out a Presidential hopeful but ends up saving the day instead. It’s all overly complicated and doesn’t really matter; we’re just waiting for Speakman to kick ass which he eventually does but it takes a while to get there.

Memorial Day is a rather odd action thriller that takes 30 minutes before Jeff Speakman actually gets to do anything. For the most part Memorial Day involves the evil government types in suits looking dodgy while creating a new terrorist organization called Red Five so they can get more funding to “protect” America.

It’s sort of like an evil James Bond type organization complete with pipe smoking villain whose face we don’t see until halfway through the film… but we know who it is as it’s plainly obvious from early on.

I thought it was also similar to Under Siege 2 in terms of having a destructive satellite, but I’ll take Ryback over this any day.

Speakman spends practically the first half of the film in a mental institution being experimented on because years ago he tried to tell a reporter called Robin Conners (Stephanie Niznik) about the laser satellite but the government managed to put him out of commission before he could do any real damage.

I’ve never loved this movie and to be honest I think it’s one of Speakman’s lesser efforts; it has a few action scenes with some lackluster fights and the final 20 minutes has him taking out the trash but generally it’s not especially exciting and the script is instantly forgettable.

I liked seeing Frederick Coffin as Presidential hopeful Senator Jerald Lancaster who you’ll remember from Hard to Kill; he was great at looking jaded and did the best he could with the material.

The score made little impact and is very much of the time but it worked for the cheap looking film; I love the obvious models exploding during one of the laser attacks…

Overall, Memorial Day is one for diehard Jeff Speakman fans only; the action is not a patch on The Perfect Weapon or Speakman’s better movies so if you haven’t seen it you can probably live without it. Now that I think about it I probably should have posted this on May 31st as that is in fact Memorial Day… oh well.

About the Author: I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with The Action Elite to share my love for the genre with everyone.

Check out Eoin’s Site at

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