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Above the Law (1988)

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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 »

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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

In Japan, the Sicilian martial arts expert Nicolo "Nico" Toscani is recruited by the CIA Special Agent Nelson Fox to join the Special Operations Forces in the border of the Vietnam and Cambodia. In 1973, Nico witnesses the torturer Kurt Zagon interrogating prisoners of war and he is disgusted and quits the CIA, returning to Chicago. Fifteen years later, Nico is married with a baby with his wife Sarah and they live in the same house of his mother. Nico is a tough and incorruptible narcotics detective of the Chicago Police Department very close to his partner and friend Delores 'Jacks' Jackson and his friend Detective Lukich. When Nico and Jacks investigate a drug traffic operation, they arrest the gang of the drug dealer Tony Salvano but they find that they are smuggling the plastic explosive C4 instead. However there is an interference of the FBI and Salvano and his partner are released by FBI Agent Neeley (Nicholas Kusenko) and the detectives are forbidden of proceed with the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a covert agent trained in Vietnam. He has a master 6th degree black belt in Aikido... and family in the Mafia. He's a cop with an attitude. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

22 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,037,938, 10 April 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,869,631
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Seagal personally selected every weapon seen in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Jackson looks at the ID card, the coroner says, "An aide to Senator Harrison". The ID does not mention which senator the man works for. See more »

Quotes

Nico Toscani: [on seeing CIA torturing someone] You guys aren't soldiers... you're fucking barbarians
See more »

Alternate Versions

German uncut DVD came out in 2006 with all violent scenes intact. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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