6.0/10
27,993
112 user 50 critic

Above the Law (1988)

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0:31 | Trailer
A former Special Operations Vietnam vet works as a Chicago cop, and uncovers C.I.A. wrongdoing.

Director:

Andrew Davis

Writers:

Andrew Davis (story), Steven Seagal (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,932 ( 1,789)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Seagal ... Nico Toscani
Pam Grier ... Delores 'Jacks' Jackson
Henry Silva ... Kurt Zagon
Ron Dean ... Detective Lukich
Daniel Faraldo ... Tony Salvano
Sharon Stone ... Sara Toscani
Miguel Nino Miguel Nino ... Chi Chi Ramon
Nicholas Kusenko Nicholas Kusenko ... FBI Agent Neeley
Joe Greco Joe Greco ... Father Joseph Gennaro (as Joe V. Greco)
Chelcie Ross ... Nelson Fox
Gregory Alan Williams ... FBI Agent Halloran (as Gregory Alan-Williams)
Jack Wallace ... Uncle Branca
Metta Davis Metta Davis ... Rosa Toscani
Joseph F. Kosala Joseph F. Kosala ... Lieutenant Strozah (as Joseph Kosala)
Ronnie Barron ... CIA Bartender
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Storyline

Nico learned martial arts in Japan, and was in Vietnam for the CIA, and now is a cop in the vice squad of Chicago. A junkie tells him about a big drug deal; However it turns out that the deal was about C4 explosives and that one of the parties was the CIA. Nico gets ordered to keep out of it, but can't imagine why the CIA would sell C4, so he investigates further. While risking his and his young family's life, he discovers that the CIA tries to cover it's connections to drug dealers in Middle America and wouldn't even stop from murder. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a cop who believes no one is above the law. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Seagal chose the film from a pile of scripts Warner Brothers had been saving for Clint Eastwood. It was re-written to focus on Seagal's actual backstory. Many of his stories have never been confirmed. See more »

Goofs

During the shootout in the garage, when Nico drives a car, his right front tire is punctured. Afterward, the right front tire is intact, but the left front tire is damaged. See more »

Quotes

Kurt Zagon: [pulls a knife on Nico] Hey I can make you disappear
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the film got a 16-rating, all German Versions are cut for violence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Above the Title (2011) See more »

User Reviews

Terrific Film
12 November 2001 | by InvictusSee all my reviews

I was watching television the other day, just flipping through the channels when I came upon 'Above the Law'. I hadn't seen this movie in years, and was anxious to watch it again. I must say that I was impressed. I believe it deserves no less than a 9/10. Why? The martial arts in superb as well as the action in general. Moreover, this movie operates on many different levels of meaning.

M.A. Rogers, in his commentary believes that Seagal's behavior contradicts his affirmation that nobody is above the law. This is not so. I believe that his actions are morally justified, inasmuch as there exists in the plot-line no other way for justice to be done. If the police force is corrupt and the C.I.A. are up to no good (not to mention the usually scum), what is one to do? It is therefore up to Toscani (Seagal) to take on a 'poetic license' of sorts and bring the transgressors back to justice.

M.A. Rogers, however, cogently points out in his commentary, that Seagal portrays a double-edged character. On the one hand he is easily angered, while on the other he puts out this "Mr. Cool" who is rife with obnoxious comments. This is why the film does so well. Important also is the scene in which his wife (Sharon Stone) pleads with him. She asks him to put down his 'pride'. She loves him because he is not like other men, but begs him to think of his family and back down. One cannot help, upon viewing this scene, to think of book six of "The Iliad" by Homer, where Andromache pleads with Hektor to stay in Troy for her sake and for the sake of his new-born son Astyanax. The emotion of the scene in Above the Law is heightened because of Seagal's show of restrained emotion: one isn't convinced that he is a 'family man'. He is. His stern face shows that he is a hard man, with a burden on his shoulders and an obligation to save his society as well as his family from an ailment that abounds everywhere. There is lots more to say on the matter, but I will leave that to another commentary. If you are at all a fan of the genre, than you must see it, even if you care only for the action. But I must make it clear that this movie is just as deep and sophisticated as any current drama. One just has to look beyond the surface.

Michael W. Helfield


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

22 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Above the Law See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,037,938, 10 April 1988

Gross USA:

$18,869,631

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,869,631
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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