Righting Wrongs (1986)

Not Rated   |    |  Action, Comedy, Crime


Righting Wrongs (1986) Poster

Yuen Biao plays Jason Chan a lawyer, angry at the way the law seems to protect the bad guys, he decides to take the law into his own hands when a key witness and his entire family are ... See full summary »


7/10
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  • Karen Sheperd at an event for Righting Wrongs (1986)
  • Biao Yuen at an event for Righting Wrongs (1986)
  • Biao Yuen in Righting Wrongs (1986)
  • Righting Wrongs (1986)
  • Cynthia Rothrock and Karen Sheperd in Righting Wrongs (1986)
  • Cynthia Rothrock in Righting Wrongs (1986)

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2 April 2007 | chris_stoddard_78
8
| An underrated modern martial arts classic
Famed martial arts choreographer Cory Yuen (THE TRANSPORTER 1 & 2, X-MEN and ROMEO MUST DIE) directed a Hong Kong film, loaded with bone-crushing stunts and masterful fight scenes with an assembled cast of martial arts masters from the East and West to cross paths.

ABOVE THE LAW (aka RIGHTING WRONGS) obtained a vigilante story with dark toned aspects that relies on police corruption and the righteous bending the law to seek their own justice. The stunning martial arts choreography by Cory Yuen kicks into high gear to help make this underrated cop-fu classic a fan favorite.

Acrobatic kung-fu genius Yuen Biao (ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA, SHANGHAI EXPRESS (aka MILLIONAIRE'S EXPRESS), THE PRODIGAL SON) plays a court prosecutor whose relentless determination to do away with an untouchable gangster (James Tien- Bruce Lee's THE BIG BOSS, FIST OF FURY) has led him to employ a series of unethical tactics. His investigation becomes complicated by the arrival of a female inspector (played by 5-Time World Karate champion and weapons expert Cynthia Rothrock).

Out of all the '80s era fight flicks I have seen Yuen Biao perform in, ABOVE THE LAW was one of his better efforts as an actor and screen fight performer. He exchanges blows with undefeated kickboxing legend Peter "Sugarfoot" Cunningham in a (POLICE STORY-style) glass-shattering fight, he also battles Cynthia Rothrock in an engagement of traditional kung-fu, acrobatic fight moves and handcuffs. He has a Jackie Chan stunt moment where he uses his speed and flexibility to dodge speeding cars.

Cory Yuen staged these sequences wonderfully and the legendary fight between Cynthia and Biao shows their similarities in timing and skill, which makes their battle an all-time favorite. Karen Shepard, who is another skilled fighter from America and an expert in the mixed art form of Wun Hop Kuen Do kung fu, faces off against Cynthia with the lethal chain whip. Actor Melvin Wong (EASTERN CONDORS and DESCENDANT OF WING CHUN- the film referred in BULLETPROOF MONK-) also gets screen time to execute some martial arts against Yuen Biao. The results of the screen fights earned the film a nomination for Best Action Choreography at the 1987 Hong Kong Film Awards.

Of course, fans already know that Cynthia Rothrock is kung-fu's queen of action and a master in various forms of combat like Tae Kwon Do, Wushu, Northern Shaolin kung-fu and Tang Soo Do. Her skills made her a celebrated icon in the sport but unfortunately, she remains highly underrated and overshadowed by the mainstream success of Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Her roles in countless American movies suffer from bad plots and choreography but her presence in Hong Kong films shine like Jackie Chan, and Jet Li does internationally. Her capabilities give her the advantage over many of today's mainstream martial art stars and it is disappointing that her films in the East do not get the proper recognition.

For a film made in the '80s, ABOVE THE LAW was a great actioner in martial arts cinema, and all the skilled experts did a great job with their performance.

I hope the overshadowing of this classic in the West will end with the new Dragon Dynasty release and capture a wider audience to gain her the type of recognition she deserves as a star.

This film was also one of Cynthia and Biao's best performances in screen combat during that era but the praise goes to Cory Yuen because of his skillful direction and casting of martial arts action figures from both worlds to pull the strings. This film will remain a classic in the cinema of martial arts and an unforgettable clashing of two legends in martial arts that deserve the proper recognition.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

Karen Shepard didn't want her character to die in her fight against Cynthia Rothrock as was planned, claiming it would be harmful to her career. To appease her, Corey Yuen pretended to film her running away after the fight, but later filmed her character's death via a stunt double.


Goofs

When Siu-Wong Fan's character is assassinated, members of the production crew are seen reflected in his sunglasses.


Alternate Versions

Mandarin and U.K. Dubbed versions add/delete/change the following scenes:

  • Adds an extended dialogue scene with the witness family in the beginning.
  • The U.K. version removes Biao's speech in the courtroom about Law and Justice after he's heard about the witness family.
  • Adds a Rambo-esque sequence showing Yuen Biao's character getting ready to assassinate his first victim.
  • In the U.K. cut, most of the Mahjong game seuqence has been removed from Rothrock's opening scene. This scene also ends earlier than in all other versions.
  • U.K. version cuts Bad Egg's (Corey Yuen) opening scene where he opens a package of strange dirty meat and begins to make a pig of himself while making all the other officers feel sick.
  • The interigation scene with Bad Egg and the felon who assaulted a "white woman" has been removed from the U.K. Version.
  • The scene where Bad Egg gets a ticket has been shortened in the Mandarin version BUT the U.K. version was shortened even more to the point where there was no longer a joke-like vibe.
  • Added an extra scene where Rothrock's character explains more clearly why she has to look through the parking tickets - making more work office for Bad Egg and the other officers.
  • No hidden blade or stabbing is visible when the Boss kills the crimelord with his "special" pipe.
  • An added scene with Rothrock and her boss shortly after the villa scene.
  • The scene where Rothrock follows Biao to court and tries to arrest him in front of the Judge has been cut out. The sequence soon after where she shoots out an angry motorists tire was also cut out.
  • An added scene showing Fan Siu Wong and his mute grandfather - showing that he'd been stealing to feed him.
  • The scene were Badd Egg doesn't know how to spell "Heat" is cut out of the U.K. version.
  • When Rothrock stops Biao and Fan Siu Wong from escaping the parking garage (right after the fight with the black assasin), Biao escapes Rothrock's custody in the U.K. version. BUT in the Mandarin version, Biao volutarily goes into custody and encounters the boss while in handcuffs. Biao is then released soon after Rothrock's battle with Karen Shepard.
  • The final Hangar scene has been extremely altered to fit a different ending sequence. The changed parts are visible as Rothrock's hair is now a different style.
  • When Biao is sentenced in the Mandarin version, he is given life. BUT in the U.K. version, he is given eight years.

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Action | Comedy | Crime | Thriller

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