Above the Law

Above the Law features a plot that is popular: a single person stands against a corrupt governmental agency risking his own life to expose the truth.

In this film, Nicolo "Nico" Toscani (Steven Seagal) is the person fighting a set of corrupt operatives in the CIA who are more interested in power than doing good. Zagon (Henry Silva) is their psychopathic leader whose special talent is in the area of "chemical interrogation". When a U.S. Senator puts the heat on them to reveal their undercover operations, he becomes their next target. Nico, a former CIA operative, gets caught in this web and must save himself and his family while taking Zagon out of business.

Seeing this film today (2001), it's not hard for me to understand why Steven Seagal didn't make it in the movies. While I'd love to say something positive, it's clear that he's way too serious. His stunt work, though pretty good, isn't of the calibre of Jackie Chan or Jet Li. Of course, comparisons to Stallone and Schwarzenneger might be justified, but the latter at least had some sense to inject some humour into his films. Comparisons to Clint Eastwood or Mel Gibson are not.

However, Above the Law is an enjoyable movie. Anyone who feels that the government is too powerful or likes the thought of invincible superheroes running around is going to like it. Seagal's character has the right mix of anger and coolness (though little else). His anti-authoritarian attitude will also hold an appeal.

I should say that even now I always think of the film title as referring to Seagal, and not to the CIA members the film refers to. Worth checking out.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org