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Above the Law (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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Above The Law
Steven Seagal plays a Chicago cop who takes on CIA types in this action thriller from Andrew Davis (The Fugitive). Davis brings muscle to the project, including some strong set pieces that make Seagal (who also co-wrote and co-produced the film) look awfully good. Costars Pam Grier and Sharon Stone give a big assist in that department, too, yet nothing can really mitigate such ridiculous moments as Seagal's getting profound with a villain in his raspy monotone: "You think you're above the law. But you're not." The DVD release includes full-screen and widescreen presentations, production notes, trailers, optional Spanish soundtrack and optional French and Spanish subtitles. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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There are a few problems that might cause the purist to cringe. The goal of Aikido is to execute technique with a minimum of movement, and it is not intended to be as agressive as it is in this movie.
Nevertheless, this is a very good movie. Enough plot to fill the space between the fight scenes, and the fight scenes are very well executed. As has been pointed out, you realy need to watch the scenes in slow motion to appreciate them, but that's half the fun.
Steven Seagal tends to try much too hard, and there are moments where it's just a bit cheesy, but you can't have everything.
This is a must view for someone who appreciates the "art" in martial arts (the technique is amazing!), and is probably pretty decent (though a bit slow) for the action movie fan.
Mentioned in the same breath with Eastwood and Norris, Seagal stood out with a mystery surrounding him with no ties to other stars; Norris had Bruce Lee... Eastwood had...who didn't Eastwood have, but Seagal seemingly came from nowhere and no-one and this man from nowhere electrified audiences with a "new" brand of martial arts and a fresh, moody, whisper breathed persona.
Director Andrew Davis, his apparently fave location Chicago, and a familiar stable of his actors add character and value to this film.
The story is certainly adequate and the theme noble, action sequences very well done, good music and a more than acceptable performance from the unexperienced lead actor. It's certainly easy to armchair quarterback this fellow but throw ourselves in front of a movie camera for the first time and I doubt we'd fare any better.
I believe this film and Under Siege are Seagal's best. As for his other films I suspect his growing power in the industry intimidated his peers who lost the guts the speak up when his performances floundered and his physique expanded beyond the point of acceptability for an action star.
I feel outside of these two films (and maybe MAKED FOR DEATH which did have a [cool] department store battle)Seagal has fallen short of his potential. Some performances, most obviously THE PATRIOT, was basically "phoned in". I would love to see him take 5 years off, re-create himself and make the comeback of the decade.
My own armchair quarterbacking aside, Above the Law remains a very good first time film and worth a fresh look now and then.
Nico Toscani's Sicilian background adds to the color of the drama. There are even hints of his family background being not too far removed from the wiseguys. I mentioned Nico being macho. I'd like to qualify this by saying that he's not devoid of charm and his role is less one-dimentional than one would expect. The tough-guy persona is just a facade for an individual with strong convictions and a democratic political outlook. Equally competent is Nico's partner, Delores Jackson, played candidly by the veteran Pam Grier. The main villain, the pure evil CIA doctor Zagon, is played by the veteran villain actor Henry Silva.
Don't expect any critics' choice awards for this movie, because the script does have its share of cliches. Seagal plays a cop who is on to something very big, defies higher authority and, as expected, is taken off the case - like in so many other cop movies of the genre. The outcome is predictable. You know that good is going to triumph over evil in this movie. Despite it's predictability, the plot is fresh and to a great extent realistic. Most importantly it's entertaining.
There are surprisingly bold political statements made in this movie about the dubious role played by the CIA in the affairs of many a third world country.Read more ›
Steven Seagal is best known for his action movies, in particular the parts where he does his hand to hand thing. In his case, he's an aikido expert, and that's hard to explain. Most martial arts movies talk about Kung Fu and Tae Kwan Do where people punch and kick and you can generally tell what's going on. Aikido, on the other hand, is about redirecting an opponent, making him basically want to fall down. In the movie, it looks a lot like a bad guy rushes as Seagal, he touches them with his little finger and then they decide to throw themselves in the air in ways you thought were impossible. The moves take, oh, about two seconds to perform, with Seagal's part being only about 2 microseconds. If you want to watch Seagal in classic aikido action, be prepared to pause, slow motion and rewind. It's amazing looking and absolutley bizzare (since being marveled by the movie, i have gone out and studied aikido, and it seems even more impressive, although realistic, now)
The movie's about an ex-CIA officer turned Chicago cop (and, in my opinion, an extremely unlikeable one; that macho Italian family man thing to me just looks like a dull-witted bully control freak). He runs into some old CIA friends from 'nam who are doing naughty things
This movie has a plot, and a darn good one at that. It's a very, very interesting movie, much unlike, say, all the big budget movies he did after this one. While his later movies are bad jokes, new age mantras and B-movies, this one is really, really good.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is not just a good Seagal movie, it's also a good movie. One of his best.
Great score, great story, great action. This is Seagals best film next to Under Seige. Too bad he fizzeled out after a coupla good ones. Read morePublished on March 9 2004 by Tuco
A COP [STEVEN SEAGAL] BATTLES POLICE CORRUPTION AND DRUG DEALING. THIS WAS SEAGAL'S FIRST MOVIE. IT HAS SOME VERY GOOD ACTION SCENES. Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2004 by MICHAEL TAYLOR
It's always fun to watch Steven Seagal beat [up] 10 people at once, then start running like a 5 year old girl. Read morePublished on April 25 2003
steven seagal's entry into the movie world as a young 35 yr old martial arts man and chicago cop. Read morePublished on March 28 2003 by schackdaddy
It seems like half the cast of Code Of Silence reunites for this little action flick. Steven Seagal plays a believable charactor unlike most action flicks. Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2003
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