Above the Law

Lukich: "You know where to find this guy?"
Nico: "No, I do not."
Lukich: "Well then, you're gonna need help."
Nico: "Yeah, I'd like to you help me. Watch my family."
Lukich: "What are you gonna do?"
Nico: "You don't want to know."

release year: 1988
genre: action/martial arts
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/12/18 and 3/24/12 and 10/24/00, and home laserdisc 10/24/97, and several other times in the 1980s

synopsis: Police officer Nico Toscani is determined to find the connection between drug dealers, bombers, and assassins who are operating in his area of responsibility.

impressions: This was Steven Seagal's first movie, made long before his body and ego became inflated, and was made in that magical era of the 1980s when so many great action movies came about. In the early days of Seagal's film career, his movies guaranteed one thing: bone-breaking fight scenes. Well, this movie delivers. It's nice to see Seagal doing what he does best (breaking bones) rather than what he doesn't (directing, inserting environmental messages into his movies.) A lot of people ridicule his fighting style, but as someone who actually took aikido for a couple of years, I can tell you that it not only works, but that Seagal's moves are the follow-throughs that we were never allowed to do in class (for the simple reason that we stopped at joint locks and holds instead of continuing on with the move and breaking ligaments or tendons.) Anyhow, enough of that. This movie is a good police/action story with some outstanding hand-to-hand fighting (and other sorts too) and a fairly complex plot.

number of asses kicked by Seagal in hand-to-hand combat: 17

acting: Seagal did a great job - he worried about fighting and being a bad-ass, instead of trying to deliver some sort of more meaningful message that the audience doesn't really care about. Pam Grier is one of his police co-workers, and Henry Silva was the main bad guy. Sharon Stone has an early and minor appearance as Seagal's wife.

final word: Seagal's first, and one of his best.

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