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Above the Law (1986)
"Zhi fa xian feng" (original title)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 663 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 37 critic

Yuen Biao plays Jason Chan a lawyer, angry at the way the law seems to protect the bad guys, he decides to take the law into his own hands when a key witness and his entire family are ... See full summary »

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Title: Above the Law (1986)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Biao Yuen ...
Hsia Ling-Cheng / Jason Chan
Cynthia Rothrock ...
Cindy Si / Sandy Jones
...
Roy Chiao ...
Magistrate / The Judge
Corey Yuen ...
Bad Egg / Joe Do
Ma Wu ...
Uncle Tsai / Joe's Father
...
Yu Chi-Wen / Sammy
Paul Chang ...
Four Eyes Bill (as Paul Cheung)
James Tien ...
Chow Ting-Kwong / Johnny Kwong
...
Yu's Grandfather
Gei Ying Chan ...
Hsia's Girlfriend (as Sandy Chan)
Peter Cunningham ...
Black Assassin
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Siu Ping Cheng ...
Mrs. Leung (as Cheng Siu Ping)
Yuet Sang Chin ...
Buffalo
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Storyline

Yuen Biao plays Jason Chan a lawyer, angry at the way the law seems to protect the bad guys, he decides to take the law into his own hands when a key witness and his entire family are murdered. but Cindy Si is soon on his case and it all spirals into a situation only a few will survive. Written by <justrob2001@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Release Date:

27 November 1986 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Above the Law  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In preparation for his role as a credible villain, Melvin Wong trained with Bolo Yeung to build up his physique. See more »

Goofs

In the Mandarin cut of the film, the character of Cindy Si survives. However, there are still a few shots in this cut during the fight between Hsia and Wong in which you can see Cindy's dead body pinned to the wall in the background. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Best of the Martial Arts Films (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic slice of '80s Hong Kong action
16 January 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm a big fan of the kind of action film that came out of Hong Kong in the 1980s: this was the decade where Jackie Chan was at his very best, in terms of stunts, action and directing, and Sammo Hung made all of his best films as director. Mention must also be made of Yuen Biao, though, who often joined up with both Chan and Hung to contribute some very good action to these kung fu flicks. Occasionally, Biao got the chance to go it alone, as he does here playing a Charles Bronson-style prosecutor who, tired of seeing criminals getting away scot free time after time, decides to take the law into his own hands. The resultant film is an action-packed spectacle, very much along the lines of the IN THE LINE OF DUTY films and just as enjoyable.

Of course, the story is slim and very predictable, and there are plenty of unbelievable things going on. There's a huge sub-plot involving a cop named Bad Egg, who's played by choreographer Corey Yuen. This is played entirely for laughs, focusing on the cop's slobbish nature, and the humour is definitely for those with acquired tastes. Nevertheless ABOVE THE LAW, as a whole, is good entertainment. There's the usual mix of GREAT martial arts sequences, along with a nifty set-piece involving crashing cars in a multi-storey car park.

Yuen Biao adopts the heroic mantle very well indeed, proving himself more than a match for the likes of Jackie and Sammo. He's ably supported by a fantastic cast of Hong Kong greats, too. Cynthia Rothrock's on hand as a tough imported cop, kicking ass with the best of them. Melvin Wong pops up in a rare villainous role and doesn't he do well! I'm used to see him in straight, non-martial arts roles like his turn in BEWITCHED, but he gets to play a tough bad guy here and his fighting's excellent – he really convinces. Roy Chiao pops up as a lenient judge, much like he did in DRAGONS FOREVER, and an almost unrecognisable teenage Fan Siu-Wong is a young innocent caught up in the crimes – Fan later bulked up to tackle the lead role in infamous gore flick THE STORY OF RICKY!

Great action is dotted throughout the movie. There's a memorable showdown between Biao and US kickboxing champion Peter Cunningham, and he really puts our hero through his paces. Rothrock gets to tackle another female fighter in a great, extended fight, as well as tackling Biao himself in another good bit. The best, though, is inevitably saved for the climax, an extended bout in a warehouse which doesn't disappoint, and then there's a James Bond-style bit on an aeroplane which makes for a nice change (I haven't seen anything like this in any other Hong Kong film of the 1980s). Weirdly, the film has two alternate endings. One's the original, downbeat version which takes nihilism to a new level, while the other is a lighter, more predictable conclusion. I have to say I prefer the original! Either way, this film's got a harder edge than most, and there are some really vicious murders going on – it's definitely not for kids, despite the bumbling comedy found elsewhere.


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