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"Martial Law"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Martial Law" More at IMDbPro »

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

One Of The Few Great 1990's Action Series

Author: Big Movie Fan from England
23 May 2002

The 1990's were quite disappointing for fans of action shows. Martial Law was one of the few good shows.

Sammo Hung played Sammo Law in this show. He was brilliant. I am not a big fan of Martial Arts shows but this was entertaining. The stunts and the fight scenes were just amazing. Sammo was very agile for his size and there was always fun in watching him beat the bad guys; he always used their own weapons against them. No bad guy could beat Sammo-even if they had a gun or a knife. Sammo just kicked their butts.

Add to this the chemistry between all the characters and the great villains throughout the series and you have one really great show. Check it out.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Worth watching for Sammo's martial arts; good comedy as well as drama.

Author: David Masters (Wolfie-9) from Wilton, NH
29 December 1998

"Martial Law" is your standard cop show in one way - the actual "cop stuff" is the usual nonsense you can see anywhere on TV, the "same old same old" which makes real cops wince. What makes this show worth watching is the incredible martial arts prowess of the cast - especially Sammo Hung. Just like Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-Fat, Sammo trained at the Peking Opera School, which makes for a unique - and often funny - style of martial arts. The entire cast works well together, and they can all actually *act* - unlike a certain 'Texas Ranger' who comes on after this show. Lots of comedy in this show - they don't (usually) go for the cheap "Chinaman in America" jokes, and they actually seem to remember what they've done from one show to the next. All of the martial arts used on the set are real - Sammo, obviously, is an expert, and Louis Mandylor ("Louis") is trained in "muy thai" (Thai kickboxing), while Tammy Lauren ("Dana") is a black belt in Karate [I haven't heard a real reason for her departure], and Kellu Hu ("Grace / Pei Pei") is a brown belt in Karate. Tom Wright ("Lt. Winship") is a former stuntman, and does his own stunts in the show as well. And, just as with Jackie Chan's movies, at the end of every episode they have a brief "outtakes" section, showing some of the goofs that occured during the filming of the episode.

Good acting, decent plots, and plenty of kick-butt action, as well as many comedic moments (Sammo playing "Smoke On The Water" on the guitar...) make this a show to watch.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

HEAVIER THAN THE HEAVIES.

Author: ALAN MOUNT from CARDIFF, WALES
6 September 1999

The first season of this unusual action series improved immensely as it progressed.The inclusion of Arsenio Hall into the cast seemed like a belaboured attempt to give the series a "RUSH HOUR" appeal but fortunately Hall put a lot into his role and settled in quickly and is far funnier than Chris Tucker in that over-rated Jackie Chan movie.A fault with the show is that it has too many leads,Louis Mandylor was definitely put into the sidelines after Hall's appearance which is a pity as he is a tough and personable young actor and still manages to hold his own in the action sequences.This is certainly true of beautiful Kelly Hu who is a real find.More of her please. Ultimately,the show belongs to Sammo Hung and he brings a pleasing take on the much used invincible martial arts hero role and brings a gentle and warm humour to the show which makes a refreshing change from the mugging of Jackie Chan although his English,like Chan's leaves a lot to be desired.In an era of slim,wiry heroes it is unique to have the hero of a US action series who is heavier than the heavies.Sammo Hung does have a skeleton in his closet though.He once made a movie with the unbelievably awful title of "PANTYHOSE HERO",a title so bad that,for me at least,diminishes his credibility.We can all bet our lives that had Bruce Lee lived,he would never,ever have chosen a title like that for one of his movies.Or if he had,he would not be remembered with such reverence as he is today.Hard luck Sammo,wipe that one off your c.v.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Simply enjoyable

Author: gunnar.oeie from Trondheim, Norway
30 September 2000

"Not slow, just fat"

I've been watching this show from the beginning, and I think I'll continue to do so. The action is good, and the story is, as far as I can see, devoid of stupid little flaws. (Then again, I haven't been looking for them). However, the first episode of the second (?) season (the one with the new chief and Jerry Doyle as McQueen) had a small flaw that I noticed without running it on slow motion: A pair of handcuffs breaking, then being whole again in the next cut. I hope there's not a lot of these, as I will be looking forward to the next episode.

The best things about it, in my opinion, are Sammo's wit and a great pace.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One word: Awesome!

Author: wishkah7 from Brooklyn, NY. (Where I'm from originally.)
8 December 1999

When I saw Martial Law for the first time when it aired, I was immediately hooked! And I made it my Saturday night ritual! Sammo, Terrel, Grace, and Amy are all very provocative, coloful, and cool characters in their own way. I miss Louis, though. I'm also a big fan of Jackie Chan's movies, too. And the director of this show is the same who did those Jackie Chan movies! In this show, you not only have crimes being solved, you have comedy, cool karate moves, and most of all a fun show to watch!

Even Arsenio Hall is learning some of those slick karate moves, himself, and I love his comedic antics! Sammo is awesome, Grace (Kelly Hu) would make a good role model for young girls who watch this, & she has cool moves like Sammo, and Amy too, and she's cool as the boss!

Even though we're still left hanging from last season's cliffhanger, this show is getting better in every episode they make. I hope CBS renews it for a third season! Either way, it's still an awesome and spectacular show! If you haven't seen it yet, feel free to see this one!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Today's lesson: How to ruin a TV show

Author: Wizard-8 from Victoria, BC
20 September 2010

When "Martial Law" premiered, I was hooked. Sure, it wasn't great art or fabulous writing on display, but the show was goofy fun. But then bit by bit, the producers tinkered with the show, and with each adjustment, the show became worse.

The first misstep happened shortly after the theatrical movie "Rush Hour" became a hit. The producers must have thought "Hey! What this show needs is an obnoxious, hip, and streetwise partner for Sammo Hung!" Shortly afterwards, Arsenio Hall became a cast member, and his character was EXTREMELY annoying.

The next misstep was when the second season of the show premiered. First, the producers had fired several cast members, despite these fired actors and their characters being a very likable bunch. They also ignored or quickly wrote out the plot threads that had been going along in the previous season.

After some time, the producers tinkered with the show again. Suddenly Kelly Hu's character had a COMPLETELY different background, and the show suddenly had the characters fighting with a secret organization that threatened the city each week. This organization was treated with the same goofiness of the evil secret organization in the "Inspector Gadget" animated series.

Fortunately, the show was cancelled after the second season had played out. (And around this time, to Arsenio Hall's credit, he admitted that the show was terrible.) Since this series only ran two seasons, it is highly unlikely that the show will be seen in syndication, at least in North America. Just as well. If you DO get the chance to see the show, watch it until Arsenio Hall appears. Then stop watching!

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

this show is awesome

Author: anonymous
4 April 1999

I can't say enough good things about this show. As a 18-year old action loving teenager, I think this is the best action show on television. But enough about me, let's talk about the show. The show centers on Sammo Law, played by Sammo Hung, as a Chinese cop who trades places with a cop from L.A. Sammo and his student, Grace/Pei-Pei, begin to work as detectives on the L.A.P.D., under the command of Lt. Windship (Tom Wright). Arsenio Hall was thrown into the mix, just for comic relief, as Tyrell Parker. And Louis Mandylor rounds out the group as detective Louis Malone. The characters all work great together. The best part of the show, however, is Sammo's martial arts moves. Sammo is a big guy, but he still manages to kick butt like it's nobody's business. Martial Law is way superior to Walker, Texas Ranger, Nash Bridges, and Sons of Thunder all put together. More people should watch this show so it won't canceled or anything like that.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great stunts but story lacks attention to details

Author: Hoopla from Pittsburgh, PA
14 December 1998

It's great to see Sammo performing stunts in his own show. It's neat that he has made references to training in the Peking Opera and his bouts with the police martial arts instructor provides a good mix of action and comic relief. With the addition of Arsenio Hall the show has gotten better although Arsenio needs to act more like himself than Chris Tucker from Rush Hour.

While you can't always expect a solid story in a stunt show, if the script editors were more thorough they would catch some of the many flaws in each episode. For example: In one episode Sammo and Louis are searching an apartment and Sammo announces where one of the occupants is from. Louis thinks Sammo has used some kind of Chinese detective methods to conclude this but Sammo matter-of-factly states that he read it off the luggage tags. The flaw here is that later in the story we find out that the owner of the luggage flew in on private plane and that would mean no luggage tags would have been issued.

Guest appearances with Jackie Chan or Yuen Biao would be great for the viewers who know the connection between them.

I look forward to this show every week for its action, humor, and foreign flavor. I hope that it can continue to strengthen its cast and story to ensure many more seasons of success!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Thoroughly enjoyable entertainment !

Author: JBall75487 from Lincolnshire, UK
27 August 2002

I tuned in to 'Martial law' a few days ago on UK satellite TV. Well, I've never seen a 'police' series quite like it - it makes Hawaii 5-0 look positively archaic by comparison, Sammo,Grace and Company combine to offer a beautifully choreographed and seemingly non-stop sequence of action packed episodes (aided by some dazzling stunts and clever camerawork ) One can forgive the fact that the rest of the city police force appear to be surplus to requirements and that the plots are sparkling gems of improbability - the whole programme is propelled forward by an irresistible combination of incandescent martial arts skills, transcendental displays of the powers of deduction,coupled with what appears to be an undercurrent of good humour which is never far from the surface.This is a programme which is a fine example of the type of professionalism which maintains credibility but doesn't take itself too seriously.A first class example of comedy/action which is a sheer joy to watch, and mercifully free from cliches and stereotypes.Strongly recommended to those who want to enjoy themselves !

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This show is great!

Author: Steve316 from Michigan
10 March 2000

I started watching this show a while back thinking it would be something decent to watch on a Saturday, thats kinda like Nash Bridges. After a few episodes, I liked this show more than Nash Bridges and I've liked it ever since. Sammo Hung is really good at martial arts and reminds me a lot of the Jackie Chan movies. Areseno Hall adds his fighting style and comedy to the show. Overall the show is really good and you should all watch it!

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