The 1980s were full of action movies that provided great fun and provided lots of entertainment. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), The Terminator (1984), and Die Hard (1988) were all great action full that defined the 1980s with action. But there are some action movies from this time period that stick out like a sore thumb. And this one is no exception. This film basically shows you how NOT to make a good action film. Above the Law (1988) stars Steven Segal as a cop who used to work for the CIA and now works for the Chicago Police Department. He plays Nico Toscani, and the plot revolves around him trying to stop terrorists from assassinating a state senator.
Above the Law is a bad film in that it makes a cliché of everything we’ve seen already in an action movie. The acting is very miscast and it seems that the actors are there just to read their lines and get their paychecks. The direction is sloppy and it felt like this was someone’s first time sitting in the director’s chair. The camera feels like it just wants to do whatever the operator says. I mean we have scenes that drag on too long, and most notably, there are scenes that use slow motion in which they clearly do not need it at all. The music in the film is terrible and it just doesn’t fit well with the action going on screen.
The only good things that I found enjoyable about this movie were the setting, the plot, and the action sequences. Above the Law takes place in Chicago during the late 1980s, and we get a rough and gritty atmosphere for the film. The plot is somewhat interesting, because you want to know what happens in an action film. And as a good surprise, they leave some clever twists to keep you more interested. Unfortunately, the pace of the story drags on a little too long. Finally, the fighting and action sequences are fast, quick, and do what they need to do: keep us entertained. Above the Law is a humble film, but the negatives overcome the positives.
Overall, Above the Law showcases how not to make a good action but not boring us to death. The acting and directing are bad, and the whole film doesn’t stand justice with other memorable films that feature action from the 80s. With only a few positive aspects for this movie, Above the Law is something you should avoid.