Above the Law Reviews
"Nico" or "Above The Law" was Steven Seagal´s breakthrough film and generated him a spot as the new action hero in Hollywood. I remember that I thought this was a cool new action star and I reckon at the age of 16 years old you have hardly developed a analytical sense of what actually works on the screen or not. Action movie or not. With that said I do look upon this movie a bit differently today, but when I saw it again the other week it does have a base that is not too shabby. Seagal is ok (compared to later in his career), Pam Grier is always good, nice to see a young Sharon Stone, Henry Silva is always good as a bad guy and director Andrew Davis, who directed Chuck Norris best film "Code of Silence" in 1985, knows how to do classic action vehicles and he also knows how to incorporate a city in to the storyline. The main problem with "Nico" is that the plot is not really clear, everything is a bit wishy washy and fragmented in my eyes. Steven Seagal shows off his skills and here we actually get to see him in action all the time. And not a stuntman doing his action sequences like in most of his films the past 15 years.. I bought a copy of the film at a fleemarket and to my surprise they had made some cuts in the final confrontation between Nico and Zagon in this version I got hold of. Cuts that was as well part of the version I saw in 1988. A clear minus in my eyes as I assumed these cut copies were dead and gone. Censorship is not something I support and never have. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times stated "It contains 50 percent more plot than it needs, but that allows it room to grow in areas not ordinarily covered in action thrillers." In a negative review, Hal Hinson of the Washington Post criticized it as "woefully short on originality." Trivia: A sequel was confirmed August 2nd 2016. Produced by Steven Seagal under his Steamroller productions. It is currently unknown if Andrew Davis will return to direct.
In his debut film, Steven Seagal plays his most familiar role, a cop with a mixed background of military and aikido, which is a theme for most Steven Seagal films.
But unlike the films he is known for in later years, this film is a nicely put together action thriller with a good plot and entertaining action sequences.
Directed by Andrew Davis, who previously made a similar cop film set in Chicago (like this film) with Chuck Norris called Code of Silence. In fact, if you watch both films, you'll notice that the soundtrack is exactly the same, but it doesn't ruin it. It even has the same actor playing the main villain, played brilliantly in both by Henry Silva.
Of course, this ain't an action classic like Die Hard or a classic martial arts film like Enter the Dragon, it's better than most action films of this kind, and it's one of the better Seagal films, especially compared to his later work, where you'll be most likely disappointed with if you watch one of them after watching this one.
Nico stayed the same age from Vietnam to 1988. Holding the baby is awkward. Not the most climactic ending, but the film was watchable enough.
with good performances from the supporting cast.