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  • Before he was "out for justice" on the mean Brooklyn streets and "under siege" by terrorists on a U.S. Navy battleship, he was above the law. Yes, I'm talking about that quick-fisted, pony-tailed martial arts hero Steven Seagal and his 1988 starring debut "Above the Law."

    Though his career hasn't panned out the way this debut promised, it is nonetheless a dynamic introduction to the mysterious world of Seagal, who plays Nico Toscani, a Chicago cop who as a child took up the Japanese martial art of Aikido and was some time later recruited by the CIA for covert operations in Vietnam.

    After witnessing the cruel torture and executions of some Vietnamese hostages by ruthless CIA chemical interrogator Zagon (Henry Silva) and his cohorts, who also seem in on a secret drug running operation, he walks away from his career and retires to life as a cop on the streets of Chicago with wife Sara (Sharon Stone) and partner Jacks (Pam Grier). Things get dicey when two suspects collared in a recent drug bust are allowed to go free. The department silences concerns by announcing that the two men are part of a huge undercover investigation. But Nico doesn't buy it.

    He suspects that something bigger is underway, and he's right. It isn't long before he stumbles onto a covert drug running operation right under his nose that involves his old CIA buddies, a local drug kingpin, some corrupt FBI officials and old nemesis Zagon, who is also involved in a political assassination plot. So Toscani, Jacks, and his Aikido fists of fury go to work on some really bad guys.

    Directed by Andrew Davis and co-produced by Seagal (who also shares a story credit), "Above the Law" promises a mean and gritty portrait of law enforcement with the magnetic screen presence of the charismatic (if not necessarily wooden) Seagal in the lead. The picture opens with some black & white home movie footage of Toscani and accompanying narration, showing us this mysterious man's history. Seagal, who became the first American to open an Aikido dojo in Japan and at the time held a sixth-degree black belt in the art, was a world-renowned security expert before he started appearing in the movies and snapping necks, bending limbs, and using his opponents' own momentum and strength against them.

    "Above the Law" does has some script problems, but it's balanced out by some rough & tumble action shoot-outs and nasty fights where Seagal throws his opponents into things and breaks and twists limbs 180 degrees in the opposite direction. But that is what his chosen sport Aikido does, as it employs joint locks, pins, and other methods meant to redirect and utilize an attacker's own strength and power against him. And Seagal does it perfectly.

    Is "Above the Law" a sensational debut for Steven Seagal? Certainly, at least for his loyalists. As a casual fan, he has certainly made better movies since then and improved his "acting" skills but what will always dazzle us are the nifty arm-twists and breaks that prove he is a master of his Aikido craft.

  • In Japan, the Sicilian martial arts expert Nicolo "Nico" Toscani (Steven Seagal) is recruited by the CIA Special Agent Nelson Fox (Chelcie Ross) to join the Special Operations Forces in the border of the Vietnam and Cambodia. In 1973, Nico witnesses the torturer Kurt Zagon (Henry Silva) interrogating prisoners of war and he is disgusted and quits the CIA, returning.

    Fifteen years later, Nico is married with a baby with his wife Sarah (Sharon Stone) and they live in the same house of his mother. Nico is a tough and incorruptible narcotics detective of the Chicago Police Department very close to his partner and friend Delores 'Jacks' Jackson (Pam Grier) and his friend Detective Lukich (Ron Dean). When Nico and Jacks investigate a drug traffic operation, they arrest the gang of the drug dealer Tony Salvano (Daniel Faraldo) but they find that they are smuggling the plastic explosive C4 instead. However there is an interference of the FBI and Salvano and his partner are released by FBI Agent Neeley (Nicholas Kusenko) and the detectives are forbidden of proceed with the investigation. But Nico does not stop and is suspended from the police force. But when there is an explosion in the church of his neighborhood and his friend and parish priest Joseph Gennaro (Joe V. Greco) is murdered, Nico chases Salvano and discovers a corruption ring that is planning to kill the American Senator Ernest Harrison (Joe D. Lauck) that is investigating the involvement of the CIA with drug traffic.

    "Above the Law" is the excellent debut of Steven Seagal in the cinema industry. When I saw this movie for the first time twenty-five years ago, I immediately became fan of this actor that used the style of Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood associated to great fight choreography and violence. Today I have seen it again on DVD and the story is still full of action and has not aged after all these years. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "Nico Acima da Lei" ("Nico Above the Law")
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Born in Palermo, Sicily and raised in Chicago, Nico Toscani (Steven Seagal) is a martial arts hero in serious trouble...

    When his eyes are about to be opened, he is recruited into the CIA by a crazy drunk guy named Nelson Fox...

    Toscani holds the record for having more relatives under federal indictment than any other cop in the city... He hates the cocaine lawyers and the bad weather, but he is a loving husband and a caring father with no sins to confess...

    Nico is a narcotics cop who can't swallow his pride... He smashes crack dealers' faces into their cocaine mirrors, and wiretaps bad guys' phones without asking for permission... He assaults his opponents in bars and starts putting them in orbit... Nico wants to be number one on the most wanted list...

    Toscani makes a big drug bust, and discovers some plans to kill a senator who can't be bought out... He stands against a psychopathic leader who have used his 'little beauties' many times to extract information...

    'Above the Law' is the first Steven Seagal movie which reveals the chilling truth about a powerful institution always political, largely ineffective and frequently corrupt...
  • GOWBTW9 February 2005
    It's near the end of the 80's, and this movie "Above the Law" will be one of Steven Seagal's starter hit. It was not a sleeper from the beginning. The action there was almost non-stop, I liked the part where one of the thugs had a machete, that was used against him, that person ended up sliced and diced Seagal style.

    Unlike those thugs there, the real deal were inside law enforcement, and that's where the fun begins. Pam Grier as Jacks maintains her toughness in this movie as she did in other blaxportaion films. Gregory Alan Williams was there way before "Baywatch", Sharon Stone, way, way, way, before "Total Recall" and "Basic Instinct".

    Seagal character was just as a juggernaut in this movie as he was in "Hard to Kill". He was still driving the car with its front wheels shot out, and he shrugs off the cocaine murder attempt by one of the rogues. Everything turns out well in this movie, and the reviews should go well with the fans as well. Rating 3 out of 5 stars.
  • This was Steven Seagal's first movie and pretty much summed up the way his films were going to go: marital arts-crime stories with overly despicable villains and our hero saving the women by out-fighting everyone. Jean Van Damme and others followed with the same recipe which, by and large, has been pretty successful.

    Before I saw this, I had read national critics blasting Seagal's acting talents but that was unfair; he's not a bad actor. It was also a surprise to see Sharon Stone playing a nice role and without makeup! That certainly changed quickly with her Basic Instinct-type persona.

    It was fun to see Henry Silva again. As a kid growing up in the '50s and '60s, I used to see Silva on television a lot. He always played a bad guy, and played the part he still does.

    Overall, a decent action flick but not one of Segal's more memorable films. He make a big upgrade with his next film, "Hard To Kill."
  • Steven Seagal made his debut with this lean and mean actioner filmed on location in Chicago(My Hometown)Illinois.

    Seagal is Nico a Chicago-Cop with a bad past.Once a CIA operative in Vietnam who quit over a torture loving Boss Zagon(Henry Silva)from hell.Cut to the present where his past rears up to bite him in the ass In the form of a Drug Dealer he is trying to put away with Ties to Zagon.As a mini war erupts on the Streets of Chi-Town.

    This is Seagal at his best.He starts with the pain right away in a nifty scene that recalls 1985's Underatted Chuck Norris Actioner Code of Silence.(also Filmed in Chi Town)From there on its shoot outs,Bone-breaking's,Heady car chases,and Intrigue.Just when you think its gonna let up it starts roaring again.

    Seagal actually does a neat Job channeling Dirty Harry.He's engaging,intimidating,and funny.Veteran actress Pam Grier is along for the ride as his partner.What more can I say?She's Pam Grier!Sharon Stone Pops up as his wife displaying some early acting chops.The always fine Henry Silva adds the slimy menace needed.He very cool.The rest of the supporting cast is just as good.Michael Rooker pops up for a blink and you'll miss him cameo.

    Andrew Davis(Code of Silence,The Fugitive) gives the movie style,pace,and gets the best acting out of Seagal yet.At least until they re-teamed for the even-better Under Siege.

  • bowen-s30 September 1999
    This movie obviously isn't deep, but it is fun. The plot moves along quite nicely, there's plenty of humor, and the martial arts scenes are very well done. Seagal actually does have a presence on screen (as opposed to say, Chuck Norris or Claude Van Damme). The movie is low budget, but it has the virtue of recognizing the fact and not attempting effects shots that don't work (as opposed to "Under Siege 2").

  • Invictus12 November 2001
    I was watching television the other day, just flipping through the channels when I came upon 'Above the Law'. I hadn't seen this movie in years, and was anxious to watch it again. I must say that I was impressed. I believe it deserves no less than a 9/10. Why? The martial arts in superb as well as the action in general. Moreover, this movie operates on many different levels of meaning.

    M.A. Rogers, in his commentary believes that Seagal's behavior contradicts his affirmation that nobody is above the law. This is not so. I believe that his actions are morally justified, inasmuch as there exists in the plot-line no other way for justice to be done. If the police force is corrupt and the C.I.A. are up to no good (not to mention the usually scum), what is one to do? It is therefore up to Toscani (Seagal) to take on a 'poetic license' of sorts and bring the transgressors back to justice.

    M.A. Rogers, however, cogently points out in his commentary, that Seagal portrays a double-edged character. On the one hand he is easily angered, while on the other he puts out this "Mr. Cool" who is rife with obnoxious comments. This is why the film does so well. Important also is the scene in which his wife (Sharon Stone) pleads with him. She asks him to put down his 'pride'. She loves him because he is not like other men, but begs him to think of his family and back down. One cannot help, upon viewing this scene, to think of book six of "The Iliad" by Homer, where Andromache pleads with Hektor to stay in Troy for her sake and for the sake of his new-born son Astyanax. The emotion of the scene in Above the Law is heightened because of Seagal's show of restrained emotion: one isn't convinced that he is a 'family man'. He is. His stern face shows that he is a hard man, with a burden on his shoulders and an obligation to save his society as well as his family from an ailment that abounds everywhere. There is lots more to say on the matter, but I will leave that to another commentary. If you are at all a fan of the genre, than you must see it, even if you care only for the action. But I must make it clear that this movie is just as deep and sophisticated as any current drama. One just has to look beyond the surface.

    Michael W. Helfield
  • action-619 December 1999
    Above The Law(called Nico in Norway)is Steven Seagal`s first film, and it`s still a good film. Steven Seagal plays Nico Toscani, a hard-boiled cop, who`ll do anything to get the bad guys. On a bust, Nico discovers C-4, with which he is familiar with from his own past as a CIA-agent in Kambodja. The FBI drop the case against the man, who had C-4 in his car, but Nico continues to investigate on his own. Above The Law is good, violent and oldfashioned fun, and is definetely worth a look for the hardcore actionfan or Seagal-fan. 8/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Steven Seagal was one of the more established action stars that have emerged from Hollywood. Unusual for the fact that unlike Eastwood or Bronson, he had a relatively more "action hero" background: he was a 6th degree (presently 7th) black belt in Aikido and has served as a personal bodyguard for numerous personalities. In short, all that he needed was a movie camera to follow him around and somebody could have made an action movie already.

    Most action movies of the era were rather low in the script department ("Commando", "Cobra" etc.) and of course that would be very understandable since producers were undoubtedly banking on the popularity of the stars and the individual amounts of carnage each would inflict on screen. This of course would sit poorly with the more educationally inclined people and they have made it a habit to criticize each of the new movies of the genre and their countless spawn.

    But then let us face the fact: not all of these movies are bad, brainless or both. I have learned that one must sift through each of these movies to fully know if they have delivered what they were supposed to deliver: great action. It would be unfair if we would generalize the capabilities of action movies for we all know that not all dramas or thrillers are top notch.

    "Above the Law" is a shining example of the "Action Hero" genre. Story wise, it had a degree of complexity to it, obviously not found in Seagal's later works and the works of his contemporaries. It had the script that involved death squads, political assassinations, illegal immigrants and other questionable elements of the American government. While no one would mistake the script to be an adaption of a Ludlum novel, it gave a rather meaningful and resonant thematic edge to the movie. (Like the recent "Edge of Darkness")Add this with the inner dynamics and daily interactions of city cops and you have a movie that balances perfectly without becoming too preposterous. The script made you watch the movie even if no one was getting shot on screen.

    Now the greatest question would be: "Does the movie deliver the action?" Seagal here is in top form: lean and mean. His Aikido skills provide the main source of exhilarating entertainment of the movie. Here he bloodies and throws around me twice his size and dispatches assassins with acute and deadly precision. The blood and violence quotient might not be as high as Seagal's later works ("Marked for Death", "Under Siege", "Out for Justice") but it pops out when you least expect it and you are offered shootings, bone breakings, some dismemberments etc.

    Acting wise, Seagal actually delivers here. Playing a former Special Forces agent turned cop, he delivers the right mixture of toughness and sincerity in his role. He is joined by an equally believable cast (including the menacing Henry Silva as Zagon) that delivers their roles without overacting. In a movie that is only supposed to deliver action, I was quite surprised at the attention given to the performances.

    Overall, a very exciting marriage of a political thriller and a down to earth "action hero" movie.

    PS: Seagal's movies have been less ambitious about the plot after this one. Most would focus on the action elements. He has also been less ambitious about losing weight for the past six years.
  • This is a great guy movie, A awesome example of the Lone Hero movie. This particular movie is great because it is Steven Seagal's first movie, in addition he produced it and was one of the writers. Seagal was the rebirth of the confident tough guy, threatening to defeat his enemies and then proceeds to snap his enemies like pencils. Seagal started to form relationships with his special effects guys to masterfully show martial arts can be used to detach body parts like mr potato.

    This movie was low budget, yet a brilliant fresh story with plenty of action. This is a solid Seagal movie, for more see Under Siege and Glimmer Man.

    Well worth renting or buying used.
  • People miss the strong political message in this first of Seagal's movies: the Amnesty movement sponsored by religious leaders in the US especially in the Catholic church that is hiding refugees from death squads in Central America has learned of a plot to assassinate a US Senator investigating CIA involvement in drug-running and torture and assassinations in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua. Seagall learns that the same people who were involved in drug-running and torture in Vietnam are behind plot to assassinate the Senator during a speech in Chicago sponsored by groups against US involvement in Central American civil wars. The open anti-war position and critique of US policy by an honest cop gets ignored as is the tie-in between mafia drug dealers and the CIA.
  • This and Under Siege are Seagal's best easily. The rest of his movies are strictly average or below, and he has been responsible for some real crapsters, like Ticker and On Deadly Ground.

    This may not have a great story, but, this film, better than his rest, really showcase Stevens Aikido skills. The fights in this a great, and theres a lot of them. In his first few films, which all felt remarkebly similar, this, Hard to Kill and Out for Justice, he had lots of fights, simply filmed. Under Siege was a fun movie and great but had very little in the way of fights, since then his films have been poor and he hasn't worked with as good directors in terms of action.

    Add to that fact that this is Seagal in the best shape of his career. He's not the muscleman, oily chested, cheese grator ab's, hardman like Lundgren, Van Damme and Ah-nuld. He seems more of an everyman with a real toughness to him. He had a real "don't mess with me" aura in his old films, now it is sad to see him looking as old and out of shape as he does.

    He seems to have got worse over the years as an actor. This is the best performance I have seen from Seagal, he actually seems human and plays his character with some personality. Andrew Davis seems to get the best out of him, in this and in Under Siege.

    This film boasts a good cast, including sexy ladies like Pam Grier and Sharon Stone. There is a good pace to it all and a message, as with most Seagal films, but the message is actually given subtlety, not ramned in your face like in his horrible eco-warrior films. Overall this is a good fun movie. ***
  • This was an amazing beginning for Steven Seagal. He actually acts in this film unlike his recent work and actually portrays emotion and feeling into the role he plays. He is a good actor who genuinely got mixed up in the same role over and over and I think he realized this and it simply dulled him. As for the rest of the film, Pam Grier is bad ass as always here and doesn't disappoint. The plot is a typical police plot but executed well with the help of director Andrew Davis, director of another great cop film, The Fugitive. With help from Sharon Stone and villain Henry Silva, this film is an excellent action/drama that is filled with emotion and excitement for all. This film is class.
  • I saw this movie once it came out in the 80's and recently I got on DVD for fun and I realized it was a terrific movie. Nico Toscani has done it all, Martial Arts, CIA, has a mafia family and now is happily married, has a new born son and has a partner he can talk naughty to in front of his wife. Whilst getting his young cousin out of a bar her boyfriend immediately tells Nico of a deal about to take place. Nico follows up on that tip and finally finds out that the guy he arrests is involved with the FBI. He gets a warning to back off from their turf, but Nico is consistent when the local priest is murdered. Seems the local priest wasn't supposed to be killed but another priest who was hiding in the basement was to die due to information confessed to him from someone. Nico discovers that a group of assassins are in town. When his family is put in danger he goes on a rampage.

    Note: Did anyone notice the scene where Nico is a fighting a bunch of guys in an Indian's guys store and one minute he is wearing leather boots and when he jumps out of the window he is wearing a black pair of sneakers? Oh and if I am not wrong Someone said Steve instead of Nico when the FBI starts searching Nico's house. A great movie to watch!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    now we all know Steven seagal is one of the greatest action stars ever and he is my favorite. what i like about Steven seagal is that he is different from all the other action stars. all the others are to much of the same thing. they do the same thing over and over again which seagal does but he does it different from everyone else. seagals movie above the law was excellent. great acting, great script, great action. what i liked a lot about this movie is that it covers certain things that other action movies don't cover. also i liked that seagals family in the movie, half of them were cops and half of them were the mob. so you would think that he is an untouchable cop. he's not. and i like that seagals character (nico) doesn't use his his half family thats is part of the mob to his advantage. he's a tough cop that does whatever he has to do to protect soon in the movie not just the people but his own family. see it. you won't be disappointed.
  • Above The Law is the first and one of the best Steven Seagal films.Steven Seagal is a man who is now releasing direct to video films but back in the early-mid 90's, he was a very big action star.I would say he is actually one of my favorites from that era.I just love his movies. I love how he never gets scared and just beats on baddies by breaking their bones.His older films such as this, Out For Justice, Marked For Death and Under Siege are classic action films.Exit Wounds was his last very good film.I have seen a handful of his "straight to video" fare.They are alright but nowhere near as good as his older films.Urban Justice and Pistol Whipped come fairly close though.Any Seagal fan owes himself to watch this movie! It's one of his better ones!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Good action flick that's entertaining with a fun performance from Steven Seagal. The main villain is very menacing and there is some great action scenes. Now this isn't anything spectacular but it does entertain you while your watching it. The direction by Andrew Davis is pretty good it has a pretty good pace and had some pretty cool shots as well. The opening is way cool and the story is pretty interesting but the clichés are there but who cares!!! it's an action film!!!!!. Put your brain in check and you will enjoy yourself. There is a bit of blood and violence we get lots of harsh bloody beatings, bloody gunshot wounds, and some people get cut up very badly. The acting is fine. Steven Segal is great here he is a VERY good action star and was just plain fun to watch. Sharon Stone is STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS but wasn't a well known actress at this time when she was on screen she did fine. and had decent chemistry with Segal. Pam Grier is great here and was pretty good looking , plus she had good chemistry with Segal Henry Silva is great and menacing as the main villain overall well worth the watch! *** out of 5
  • royw-123 April 2005
    This was Steven Seagal's best movie. It was the only one where he focuses mainly on his outstanding Aikido ability. His fight's always look real in this movie and it's not overdone with automatic weapons like his latter films. The story is very believable because the CIA was covertly involved in illicit operations in Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos. One of the best scenes (martial arts) is a simple one: In the middle of the movie he chases a suspect (thug) through the streets to finally catch up with him and get some information out of him . A friend of the thug is walking towards them and says to Seagal " get your hands off him" or words to that effect. Seagal walks casually towards him and drops him with a very realistic punch to the stomach. Fight over. If you've ever done Martial arts you know that the punch was realistic. Seagal can really do that. Watch this scene and believe me, it's how it really is after practicing to Seagal's level (many, many years).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Seagal really started with a burst, compared to other action heroes of those days he really had a different style. To me, only Jeff Speakman had a stunning style like that in his film ¨The Perfect Weapon¨ (if you leave the Chinese films out of the equation). Seagal's style is fast, fluent, and without compromise. You can see that he is learned in Aikido and Jujutsu. He's a joy to watch. The story, however, is a much used formula in the action movie business. In this film Seagal plays the narcotics police officer Nicola Toscani, who had a martial arts training in Japan, gets recruited into the CIA, fights in Cambodia or Vietnam (I'm not sure), gets involved in CIA drugs business and therefore, quits the CIA and joins the police force in New York. Here he gets into a lot of trouble because of his unorthodox police-work. Then he gets into even more trouble when he gets into CIA territory with one of his investigations. The film is not for mainstream movie-buffs, because the storyline is simple. You don't have to think a lot, just follow Toscani's experiences along his life as a police officer. Seagal's acting hasn't changed along the years that we have seen him in all the movies that he has made. But that isn't a thing to complain about, we have a lot of actors who do act good, but they aren't as good in martial arts as Seagal. For these reasons, I give this movie a 6 out of 10, but as for watching it, I have watched it over ten times.
  • This is my favorite Steven Segal movie. Some of the attributes portrayed are not that far from the truth with this guy. In a fight, I'd like to have him on my side, most definitely. As a martial artist myself, I know Mr. Segal " knows from where he speaks", unlike many of the run-of-the-mill action stars we see on TV and the movie screen. Segal can back it up. I actually have met Mr. Segal and his beautiful ex-wife ( then his co-star )and a few of the other cast while they were filming " Hard to Kill " in Ojai, California in the late 80's when I was employed by the State of California. My experience is remembered as Mr. Segal being gracious to us " cops " who were working the movie detail, and Kelly Lebrock...she was a knockout!
  • When it comes to action stars, they are at first, calm and collected in some scenes in an action movie. Some of those action stars tend to show off their skills like martial arts. But even though they may have that gift of turning the audience with their screen presence, we can sometimes forget that they are playing an character. A character who is essential and important to the movie.

    In Above the Law, Steven Seagal is the star of the movie. However, this is his first one. Seagal plays a Chicago cop who was recruited by the CIA in 1969 in Japan. In 1973, he was sent to Vietnam and while there, he witnesses a brutal torture of a Cambodian resident under the spell of a vicious man, (Henry Silva). Seagal's friend advises him to leave Vietnam and go home. 15 years later, Seagal is a Chicago policeman, working with a partner, (Pam Grier), who is retiring in a couple of months. When he learns that a major shipment is going down in Chicago, Seagal's character, Nico Toscani, finds out a cache of explosives. Things get worse after that. Toscani father's church is blown up and it's up to him to find out who is responsible for the bombing. This leads Seagal through a change of pace as he breaks the rule and risks his entire police career by trying to rights the wrongs.

    Seagal does an impressive job of playing an main character who is believable. In some scenes, he knows how to act calm and play it straight. When it comes tot he action scenes, Seagal knows how to show off his martial arts skills. Most action actors tend to lost their character by putting too much emphasis on their skills. But not Seagal. He may be different than Charles Bronson or Clint Eastwood, but you got to give him credit for what does best. It's a shame that he wouldn't repeat the same thing twice because after he starred in Above the Law, Seagal starred in another film called Hard to Kill and Under Siege. His career then started to take a turn for the worse when he decided to drop out of Hollywood and starred in a number of bad action movies. Those ween't really worthy of his career, but Above the Law certainly shows what Seagal is meant on the big screen.

    The supporting cast is also very good. Pam Grier, who was also a major star in the 1970's is very good and sort of surprising to see her starred along aside Seagal. Grier is very convincing as Seagal's partner. She is noticing just how his behavior is getting in the way of his police appearance.

    The movie was directed by Andrew Davis, who also directed Code of Silence, which is, perhaps, the best Chuck Norris movie ever made. Davis certainly knows how to make a city story interesting. He photographed Chicago very clearly and very skillfully. When it comes the action scenes in this movie, Davis knows how to step back and let Seagal perform his fighting skills, which is pretty impressive. After he made Above the Law, Andrew Davis directed Seagal again in the 1992 action thriller, Under Siege. According to my perspective, I believe that with the teaming of Seagal and Davis being strong, I think that with the tools they have to make a decent action picture, they certainly do know how to make them exciting, not nauseating. It's rare to find a bonding between actor and director, especially in the action genre. Most action directors now don't really work together to make scenes seem exciting.

    With the exception of Seagal's performance, Above the Law has a plot that is sort of complicated if you follow everything very carefully. But as an action movie, it is effective even when Seagal is on the big screen. This movie proves that he can act in character and even, if I dare to say so, out of character. He is that good. ★★★ 3 stars.
  • back in 1988,a new action hero emerged on the scene.exploded is a more apt description i guess.that action hero was named Steven Seagal.he makes quite an impression in his first film,exposing the masses to a little known fighting style known as Aikido.Seagal shows some acting promise as well,in this film,and even in a few more subsequent thing is certain he captured the public's interest,in a big way,for awhile at for this film,it has all the ingredients that are necessary for a good action it his best film to date?i don't think so,but it does rate fairly high among his films nevertheless.for me,Above the Law is a 7/10
  • Above the Law (1988) was the first (and best) Steven Seagal film (with the exception of BELLY OF THE BEAST). The movie showcases Seagal's action prowess (certainly not his brilliant acting skills). The film makers knew what his limitations were and carefully worked this film around them. This is the hardcore Seagal that we have grown to love. Nothing but bone breaking, limb popping, hand lopping, bruise making and bull crap spewing ultra violence from Steven Seagal. Watch him jump through a plate glass window and throttle some dumb punk who gives him lip. Seagal plays a former vet turned crime fighter who's out looking for those who are above the law! Watch out world, Steven Seagal is looking for the ones who defy the law!! Co-stars the always evil Henry Silva and Sharon Stone.

    Highly recommended.
  • ABOVE THE LAW is still Steven Seagal's best. He's done many entertaining films since, but this ones remains his best. It's a great urban crime drama with Seagal in peak form as a cop with lightning-fast moves and a knack for delivering justice. Okay, the story of a cop being suspended and ignoring orders to finish the case on his own has been done a gazillion times, but I've never cared about repetition. I just care about the overall outcome of the film. The story isn't great, but keeps you interested and moves at a good pace, with Seagal dispensing bad guys left and right. I love the gritty urban feel of the movie. Director Andrew Davis makes good use of his hometown Chicago's locations. Pam Grier is good, and (avoiding convention) isn't killed off for being the star's partner, and Sharon Stone, as Seagal's wife, has learned to act in the three years since KING SOLOMON'S MINES. Henry Silva is creepy as the bad guy, surrounded by a group of weasel henchmen who eventually all get their ticket punched by Seagal. David Michael Frank also composes a great contemporary-styled soundtrack that deserves a full soundtrack release; it's great music, and a great theme. The action is fun, the pace is good, and Seagal does a good job as always with his slick moves. It may not be great, but it sure is fun.
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