Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Above The Law (1988)     * * *

Cast: Steven Seagal, Pam Grier, Henry Silva, Sharon Stone

Directed by Andrew Davis

Seagal plays Italian-Catholic cop Nico, a detective who battles a straggle of corrupt cops and crooked ex-CIA agents involved with funding missions to kill Latin-American drug lords, while also trying to take out the senator who is going to bring light to their plans. Above The Law has sturdy directing, and does in fact have some good action sequences, but the story is so routine and forgettable that the film never works as either a political thriller or straight forward action. Seagal is admittedly decent and a departure from the action star he plays today, but the plot is just  another cop Vs group of baddies movie.  Andrew Davis tends to direct smarter action flicks that focus on suspense but in this case he has not enough story to draw from. Above The Law is often so by-the-numbers and predictable that it barely registers and once it hits the credits you often struggle to remember what happened before.  Above The Law then is recommended though with some reservations. The film is action packed and fairly well paced but I have the feeling this will appeal solely to Seagal fans who will enjoy the action,  but personally I thought Seagal was better showcased in Out For Justice and Hard To Kill. Fans of Blaxploitation great Pam Grier will be especially disappointed by how little she is used.  That said the film is still fairly enjoyable it's just that the film doesn't come together like it should. Above The Law despite its shortcomings is still worth seeing.

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