HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
Legend of the Demon Cat
Adventures of Sinbad, The
Wounds
Love & Peace
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Above the Law Steve Vs The C.I.A.Buy this film here.
Year: 1988
Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Steven Seagal, Pam Grier, Henry Silva, Ron Dean, Daniel Faraldo, Sharon Stone, Miguel Nino, Nicholas Kosenko, Joe Greco, Chelcie Ross, Gregory Alan Williams, Jack Wallace, Metta Davis, Joseph F. Kosala, Ronnie Barron, Thalmus Rasulala, Michael Rooker
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Chicago cop Nico Toscani (Steven Seagal) has an interesting past, having visited Japan as a young man and learned to be a black belt in aikido there. As he was doing that, he attracted the attention of the C.I.A. which recruited him for their own ends, largely to assist in the fighting of the Vietnam War which was raging at the time, something he felt it was his patriotic duty to do. However, one night the amount of torture he was being ordered to carry out began to truly sicken him, and his superior, Kurt Zagon (Henry Silva) was the worst of all his commanders in his eyes so he quit. But they would meet again...

Here's where the movie career started for Steven Seagal, a mysterious figure mainly through his own storytelling, which at the time offered him some cachet among action fans as all that stuff in the introduction about having been a C.I.A. operative and being an expert in martial arts was precisely what he claimed about his own background. There were a few sceptical eyebrows raised when he made these allegations, but it did appear to be true that Seagal had the conspiratorial mindset which saw the spies destabilising whatever countries and societies they could if it meant the United States won in this battle of oneupmanship.

Therefore Seagal appealed to the kind of person who liked to believe all that stuff that went on in the action thrillers of the day could well have been the God's honest truth, something which eventually divided opinion into those who kept the star's movie career going by buying anything with his name on - and keeping his music career going, too, for that matter - and those to whom he looked to be something of a self-important target of fun. Certainly when Above the Law was released he was intriguing a lot of moviegoers unsure quite what to make of him, which raised his profile to the extent that you can "blame" the success of this effort on the fact that he was still a star well into the twenty-first century.

The plot of this one, co-written by Seagal, did get bogged down in the paranoid parapolitics, but director Andrew Davis, who also had a hand in the script, made sure to keep the gunfire and fisticuffs flowing so that you could easily watch the entire thing and not feel troubled by the way Steve seemed to want to lecture you, indeed many were not enlightened at all by Above the Law and simply viewed it as one of those production line shoot 'em ups. Stop me if you've heard this one before: Vietnam veteran, now a maverick cop, trying to divide time between family and duty, going it alone to track down drugs traffickers... you get the idea, it could be any he-man star in the role.

Yet Seagal was angling for a more distinctive presence even if his debut, and his follow-ups for that matter, fit the usual template of whatever action runarounds were fashionable at the time. Here we can tell Nico is on the side of right because he's protecting not only the entire community, but the entire Catholic Church to boot as the baddies set off a bomb during a mass. What this has to do with the C.I.A. is questionable, but apparently they are dedicated to sabotaging a new senator's campaign which would expose them for the double dealers that they are, which is all very well but more interesting than that was seeing Seagal's cop partner was Pam Grier, firing off guns again like the seventies were still with us. Also present was Sharon Stone in a nothing role as Nico's wife, but Silva at least brought relish to his by the numbers bad guy. Whether you felt enlightened by all of this was debatable, but it was average enough. Music by David M. Frank.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2795 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: