29 December 1998 | Wolfie-9
Worth watching for Sammo's martial arts; good comedy as well as drama.
"Martial Law" is your standard cop show in one way - the actual "cop stuff" is the usual nonsense you can see anywhere on TV, the "same old same old" which makes real cops wince. What makes this show worth watching is the incredible martial arts prowess of the cast - especially Sammo Hung. Just like Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-Fat, Sammo trained at the Peking Opera School, which makes for a unique - and often funny - style of martial arts. The entire cast works well together, and they can all actually *act* - unlike a certain 'Texas Ranger' who comes on after this show. Lots of comedy in this show - they don't (usually) go for the cheap "Chinaman in America" jokes, and they actually seem to remember what they've done from one show to the next. All of the martial arts used on the set are real - Sammo, obviously, is an expert, and Louis Mandylor ("Louis") is trained in "muy thai" (Thai kickboxing), while Tammy Lauren ("Dana") is a black belt in Karate [I haven't heard a real reason for her departure], and Kellu Hu ("Grace / Pei Pei") is a brown belt in Karate. Tom Wright ("Lt. Winship") is a former stuntman, and does his own stunts in the show as well. And, just as with Jackie Chan's movies, at the end of every episode they have a brief "outtakes" section, showing some of the goofs that occured during the filming of the episode.
Good acting, decent plots, and plenty of kick-butt action, as well as many comedic moments (Sammo playing "Smoke On The Water" on the guitar...) make this a show to watch.