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Above the Law [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

In his sensational screen debut, Steven Segal smashes his way into the top ranks of action stars, playing a maverick Chicago cop tracking down ex-CIA operatives trafficking drigs”­and plotting a political assassination. Director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Under Siege) unleashes the fury all over the Windy City as Nico and partner Jax (Pam Grier) close in on a psychotic crimelord (Henry Silva). Through it all, Seagal is ”°a one-man lethal weapon”± (Pat Collins, WWOR-TV/New York).

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

Customer Reviews:

  • Above The Rest & Still The Best
    Suck in the gut, remove those jowls, straighten the hair, and bring back commitment to the script and story: apply these steps to Steven Seagal and you end up with "Above the Law", our hero's 1988 breakout hit and possibly his best movie ever. While the action star's name hardly inspires thoughts of greatness, "Above the Law" reminds us what made him king of the hill back in his heyday: featuring at least twice as much story than most action vehicles of the time, our hero delivers big when in his element and handled by a competent director (Andrew Davis, who would also direct Seagal's top-grossing "Under Siege"), for the film has no shortage of thrills, shootouts, martial arts, and hammy characters to chew on whilst enjoying the best that 1980s celluloid had to deliver.

    Nico Toscani (Seagal) is an ex-CIA vice cop working the drug rings of Chicago with his partner Jax (Pam Grier, "Jackie Brown") when he busts one of the biggest dealers in the region (Daniel Faraldo, "Trenchcoat"). But when the crook walks and a brick wall is thrown in front of Nico, he goes against jurisdiction to uncover a sinister plot involving an intercontinental drug cartel, an invasion of Nicaragua, the assassination of a US senator, and a sadistic CIA operative gone bad (Henry Silva, "Ghost Dog").

    For starters, this is probably the best dramatic performance that Seagal has ever given. That's not saying much, but he pulls off the tough-guy persona without missing a bit, manages to display some definite emotion in the presence of his friends, and does a good job at pulling off a Sicilian-American accent. Not to be outdone, the supporting cast is probably the best that Seagal ever worked with, period: Pam Grier shines as a tough woman in a man's world, bad-guy Henry Silva is effectively hammy in his evilness, and Daniel Faraldo, Ron Dean ("The Dark Knight"), and Sharon Stone ("Basic Instinct") do their respective roles with an attention to detail absent from many of Seagal's later films.

    The action scenes are no slouch, either: Seagal has never been in better shape than when he rides the roof of a moving car and performs what are probably his most technically-sound fight scenes done without a stunt double (the convenience store brawl is probably the best demonstration of practical aikido that's ever been filmed). There isn't a single disappointing gunfight in the film - all four of them are top-notch.

    What makes this movie stand out, however, is the fact that Seagal's character is able to exist without either ruining the film with his invincibility or appearing too restrained. Nico Toscani is tough, but he's grounded by his very-defined family and friends. He makes very clear what he feels is right and wrong, but doesn't ever appear to be delivering a social sermon (a'la "On Deadly Ground"). He dishes out the violence in gratuitous amounts, but even the most pacifistic viewer will be hard-pressed not to agree that they deserved it (SPOILER: when he slowly snaps Henry Silva's arm, the only thing louder than groans of the disgusted will be cheers).

    Also, aesthetic aspects that Seagal has since omitted from his films play a part in the story: family, friendship, religion, race, and parenthood are prevalent and handled in a manner that they don't become attractions - they're simply essential parts of building a world that's more intricate than one would expect from our hero, and this era of action films in general.

    As far as I'm concerned, this is Seagal's magnum opus - deeper than "Under Siege", more realistic than "Exit Wounds", better moderated than "Out for Justice", and more of a definitive `Seagal movie' than "Hard to Kill". Action fans of any sort won't go wrong here. As for Seagal fans, this is definitely the film to introduce Master Steven to your friends with....more info
  • Segal's First And One Of His Best
    Like many bargain priced eighties Above The Law is a bare bones DVD with no features to speak of. However at 9.99 no one is going to buy this movie for the features even though a commentary would have been nice. As for the movie,Above The Law is a hands down action classic. This was the debut of one the early nineties biggest action stars Stevn Segal. The direction by Andrew Davis was tense and the fight sequences are cool. Steven Segal's first is still one of his best. ...more info
  • no one is above seagal's law in this,his first movie
    andrew davis(the fugitive,under siege) directs steven seagal's first movie with great gusto and keeps everything moving so fast that any plot holes are just steamrolled over and leaves us with seagal's best movie after under siege which was also made by davis.
    seagal is an ex-c.i.a. agent now a chicago cop who stumbles onto a group of ex-c.i.a. men running drugs and killing anyone who gets in their way.
    seagal isn't a great actor but he co-wrote the screenplay so it doesn't give him anything he can't handle,and the action is very well done. so if you lake action this is a good one to watch!! check it out!!!!!!!...more info
  • Good action movie.
    This is not just a good Seagal movie, it's also a good movie. One of his best.
    Go Nico!!!...more info
  • Segal's First And One Of His Best
    Like many bargain priced eighties Above The Law is a bare bones DVD with no features to speak of. However at 9.99 no one is going to buy this movie for the features even though a commentary would have been nice. As for the movie,Above The Law is a hands down action classic. This was the debut of one the early nineties biggest action stars Stevn Segal. The direction by Andrew Davis was tense and the fight sequences are cool. Steven Segal's first is still one of his best. ...more info
  • Flawed entertainment
    The best bit of this film is the opening few minutes where we see Steven Seagal doing Akido, at which he is an acknowledged master - 7th Dan in fact. This is one of his earliest films and in my view, of those that I've seen, its second only to 'Under Siege'.

    Its a pretty standard plot: The CIA want to assassinate a US Senator whos going to expose their dealings with drug cartels etc. Nico being ex special forces is going to try to stop them. There is plenty of action and in some ways some of it reminded me of the 'Dirty Harry' movies. Unfortunately whilst Seagal is undoubtably a real tough guy he does not have the screen presence or the acting ability of Clint Eastwood. The film has an interesting supporting cast. Sharon Stone plays Rico's wife and Pam Grier is pretty good as his partner in the Police.

    In places it is just ridiculous though. Nico seems to have a magic force field around him which prevents him from ever being hit by a bullet. Believe me a lot of bullets are fired at him but none ever touch him.

    To its credit it is a short film that I could happily watch again. Just don't expect too much from it.
    ...more info
  • the greatest Seagal Film ever
    I personally think that this is Steven Seagal`s best performance, not only does it have a strong realistic plot but it entertains you the whole way to the end, and what an ending, I personally like when baddies get there due and Seagal kicks "butt", if your gonna rent a movie let alone a seagal or an action flick pick up this movie its a must see, good acting, known stars(Seagal,SharonStone,PamGrier,& RonDean), great action sequences, and Seagal in his debut role which instantly made him the world known action film movie star, that is a household name we know today....more info
  • Segal uncorks the film world and takes it for the very first time!
    This was a hugely significant moment in film history. Above the Law was the first ever film of the now ledgendary Steven Segal. Yeah, this was his first film, but the man looked like he was in the zone from the first second of the film when we see him in his karate getup with two of the most ferocious sideburns to ever grace the big screen. To set the scene, the movie was made in 1988, and it was set in Chicago. And to top it all off, Segal's name in the film was Nico Toscani. So, basically, this film stared Segal, a few other people we know, and about 35 Bernie Kosar look-alikes with black curly A.C. Slater mullets and all.

    One of the people we knew was the infamous Sharon Stone. She was about 4 years away from her breakout role in Basic Instinct here, and clearly fell into the category of Not Ready For Prime-Time. She was far from hot. Actually, she looked "a little chubby." (direct quote from an honorary Sid the Elf member for part of the movie) They even had her play the wet blanket wife in this one. Another person we knew was Segal's buddy from Vietnam who later became the CIA guy. It was the guy who played Eddie Harris in Major League and the bum that tried to run Coach Norman Dale out of Hickory in Hoosiers. This guy's got it. When he was having his terribly acted argument with Segal, Sid was waiting for him to break character and say, "Are you saying Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?" But it never happened.

    That's one of the reasons we, Sid the Elf, could only give Above the Law 4 stars. Don't misunderstand, this is a terrific action B. But, it just was missing something. Sid's theory is that the lack of the Segal ponytail, double chin, and big gut made this one feel different. So, Segal was skinny and ponytailless but he did have what appeared to be the begining stages of the Myers hair we all saw in Urban Justice. Also, Segal didn't have the role of goomba rouge cop perfected yet. This was the only role he played in his early movies, so he had enough practice to get it down by the time he nailed it perfectly in Out for Justice. While Nico was not as tough as Gino Felino, he was still man enough to take on the main villan who was played by Henry Silva wearing a Chevy Chase mask. One other thing, Segal DID kick a multitude of butt in Above the Law, but there was a serious lack of explosions. You don't get 5 stars as an action flick with no explosions. Not gonna happen.

    Finally, like any good B Above the law was floating along and ended abruptly. It also had a few "wait, what's going on here?" moments and enough physically impossible things happening to make it certified B. Like when Segal was hanging onto the roof of the car going like 30 mph while choking the guy in the passenger seat. Sid loved that. It pushed the film into the upper echelon of action B and enabled us, Sid the Elf, to give Above the Law our Watchability Seal of Approval....more info
  • Political Intrigue, CIA Ties, and Aikido Master on the Hunt
    Steven Seagal's first movie, and many may still argue his best. I don't know why, but I got on a Seagal review kick tonight, and well, this movie started it all. I'm not much into sophist conspiracy theories (preachy plot), but the action is great and although light on Aikido action, it was the first time in a major motion picture that these skills were brilliantly portrayed. Andrew Davis handles silly dialogue well and keeps the pace going.

    Strong performances abound from Pam Greir and Henry Silva. But Seagal is the star in his debut and for the next four years, riding on the coattails of this movie, he becomes a bankable star, only to blow it by gaining a lot of weight and making substandard movies (his directing disaster is "On Deadly Ground", a stupid movie that would later prove he shouldn't direct movies or write scripts).
    ...more info
  • Before the pounds
    Go buy this movie and watch a slim Seagal, before he put on a hundred pounds and tried to cover up his fat rear. He now looks like the Michelin Man trying to do a karate kick. Try and remember the slim Seagal......more info
  • Superior fights & attitude make this a real quality flick
    One of Seagal's best. A piece of work former CIA operative turned cop gets vicious with thugs who are, oo, very nasty pieces of work. There are some great fights & good lines, great supporting work from Pam Grier and Sharon Stone.

    The martial arts work is top and there is plenty of high quality B movie cheese. Great stuff & superb entertainment. ...more info
  • THIS IS SEAGAL'S BEST...
    Personally, I really like Steven Seagal. His demeanor, his persona, and his martial arts stature are all very complementary to his hollywood style.

    Above the law is a cop thriller, and would be a mediocre one, if not for one man. That man is Nico Tosconi.

    The Italian loner cop, played by seagal, kicks the crap out of about 35 guys, with about 5 major fight scenes where you will stop and say "Wow!"

    Definetly one of Seagal's best (Along with 'Out for Justice') And I suggest watching it solely for the stellar martial arts/Aikido action!...more info

  • The First and the Best...
    I remember first watching this movie on VHS back in the late 80's. I had first started taking martial arts, and some guys in my class had seen the film and said it was a "must rent." I took their advice and was astonished.

    Nobody had shown anything like that on film since the days of Bruce Lee. Seagal was a hard core "street smart" style of Aikido that blew myself, and many other viewers away. This is the film that eventually made Steven Seagal the biggest star since Stallone and Schwartzenegger.

    Wrapped around the movie was an intriguing story, a good supporting cast (including Pam Grier and Sharon Stone) and good direction by Andrew Davis (who would direct Seagal in his one other decent movie "Under Siege" and would go on to direct "The Fugitive").

    The story is about Nico Toscani, a martial arts expert who is hired by the CIA and serves in Vietnam. While working on what he believes is a routine drug deal, instead of finding illegal narcotics, he finds a shipload of explosives. The perpetrators are mysteriously released by the federal government, which upsets the Toscani, who has a reputation for being a hot-headed rogue. His refusal to give up on the case leads him down the path of what turns out to be a very large conspiracy.

    Yes the plot is somewhat of a cliche, but Seagal is slim, confident, and sharp in this film. He looks every bit the part, and he plays the role in a very natural manner that works for this type of movie. The action is top-notch and the supporting characters help fill in the plot and make the movie enjoyable to watch.

    I consider this and Under Siege to be Seagal's two best movies in terms of action and plot. If you enjoy martial arts, or just action movies in general, I don't think you'll be disappointed with Above The Law....more info
  • Back when Seagal was really making movies
    A chicago cop [Steven Seagal, In his film debut] fights to shut down a drug ring. This, Which is Steven Seagal's first film, Remains one of his very best efforts to date. The film has plenty of good action, A good plot, And it never gets boring and you never get tired of watching. Seagal is backed up by a good supporting cast which includes Pam Grier, Sharon Stone, and Henry Silva. Rent this movie and just kick back and enjoy the action... Have a blessed day, Peace. ...more info
  • Seagal is a martial arts hero in serious trouble...
    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...

    ...more info
  • about the movie above the law.......
    A ver good action Seagal movie/films. A recommendation for those whom are interested in this genre of movie/films. The very first action tutle from Seagal.

    ...more info
  • This One Is Actually Believable
    In the annals of American action films this one definately deserves a spot at the top up alongside the Die Hard films though maybe a small step below something like the Terminator. Some will say this is just a Segal propaganda piece showcasing him in all his glory instead of an action film but if you've seen the rest of his films you'll know that the self-gratification and machoism found here is tame by Segal standards. There isn't all the usual inuendos about what an incredibly 'large' man Steven is, or the thinly veiled sexual assaults on weaker men you'll find in On Deadly Ground or Fire Down Below. This is just a straight-up cop-on-a-rampage-constitutional-rights-thrown-out-the-window type of movie. Rights are for pansies anyways.

    This was back when Segal actually fought in his films instead of just shooting a bunch of people. Oh, there's plenty of that but there's some great aikido, great hand-to-hand combat mixed in there as well. Of course he's squinting up a storm and running like a duck with it's head chopped off in the midst of all this carnage, but hey, it's Segal! He doesn't live by our rules.

    The plot? Who cares! I'm too busy watching Segal force a United States Senator to undress, destroy an entire grocery shop, and empty a clip into the face of an unarmed criminal at point blank range. I think there was some stuff in there about him wanting to bring down a CIA led drug cartel. All around I would say that this was Segal's most compelling movie.

    Most important lesson to take from this film: It's common protocol in the CIA to use local bar owners to take out other agents....more info
  • Above the Law - Awesome Film!
    A great film featuring a then unknown Steven Seagal. This was the film that eventually made Steven famous. It is also the first film featuring street Aikido and very accurately portrayed by Master Seagal. There would of been no one better for the role then Steven Seagal, his past martial arts training and prior military experience blended excellent in this action packed cop flick. This film was very close to the personal life of Steven Seagal and is strangely biographical.This is my favorite police movie of all time. I watched it in 1989 and never stopped watching this film. Steven has become a legendary icon to the martial arts world and to the action star status. This film had it all ...more info
  • Segal uncorks the film world and takes it for the very first time!
    This was a hugely significant moment in film history. Above the Law was the first ever film of the now ledgendary Steven Segal. Yeah, this was his first film, but the man looked like he was in the zone from the first second of the film when we see him in his karate getup with two of the most ferocious sideburns to ever grace the big screen. To set the scene, the movie was made in 1988, and it was set in Chicago. And to top it all off, Segal's name in the film was Nico Toscani. So, basically, this film stared Segal, a few other people we know, and about 35 Bernie Kosar look-alikes with black curly A.C. Slater mullets and all.

    One of the people we knew was the infamous Sharon Stone. She was about 4 years away from her breakout role in Basic Instinct here, and clearly fell into the category of Not Ready For Prime-Time. She was far from hot. Actually, she looked "a little chubby." (direct quote from an honorary Sid the Elf member for part of the movie) They even had her play the wet blanket wife in this one. Another person we knew was Segal's buddy from Vietnam who later became the CIA guy. It was the guy who played Eddie Harris in Major League and the bum that tried to run Coach Norman Dale out of Hickory in Hoosiers. This guy's got it. When he was having his terribly acted argument with Segal, Sid was waiting for him to break character and say, "Are you saying Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?" But it never happened.

    That's one of the reasons we, Sid the Elf, could only give Above the Law 4 stars. Don't misunderstand, this is a terrific action B. But, it just was missing something. Sid's theory is that the lack of the Segal ponytail, double chin, and big gut made this one feel different. So, Segal was skinny and ponytailless but he did have what appeared to be the begining stages of the Myers hair we all saw in Urban Justice. Also, Segal didn't have the role of goomba rouge cop perfected yet. This was the only role he played in his early movies, so he had enough practice to get it down by the time he nailed it perfectly in Out for Justice. While Nico was not as tough as Gino Felino, he was still man enough to take on the main villan who was played by Henry Silva wearing a Chevy Chase mask. One other thing, Segal DID kick a multitude of butt in Above the Law, but there was a serious lack of explosions. You don't get 5 stars as an action flick with no explosions. Not gonna happen.

    Finally, like any good B Above the law was floating along and ended abruptly. It also had a few "wait, what's going on here?" moments and enough physically impossible things happening to make it certified B. Like when Segal was hanging onto the roof of the car going like 30 mph while choking the guy in the passenger seat. Sid loved that. It pushed the film into the upper echelon of action B and enabled us, Sid the Elf, to give Above the Law our Watchability Seal of Approval....more info
  • Action is too intense
    One of the best Steven Seagal movies made. He needs to stick to these types of movies....more info
  • Seagal at his best
    Steven Seagal could very well be the messiah of brutality and pain. If you like watching Seagal absolutely destroy random guys, and you enjoy his classy one-liners, Above the Law is an excellent choice. There is nothing wrong with this movie. Seagal is so ridiculously amazing - this debut may be his finest....more info
  • A Cop With An Attitude!
    Steven Seagal's first and one of the best movies he has ever made. This movie will blow you away! I think Steven Seagal is one of the best Martial-Artists out there...and there is only one action superstar that can take out the garbage, no it's not Chuck Norris....it's Steven Seagal! 5 stars all the way!...more info