Above the Law (film)
|Above the Law|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrew Davis|
|Produced by||Steven Seagal
|Screenplay by||Steven Pressfield
|Story by||Steven Seagal
|Music by||David M. Frank|
|Edited by||Michael Brown|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
Above the Law (also known as Nico) is a 1988 American action film written, produced and directed by Andrew Davis, and also produced by and starring Steven Seagal in his film debut. The film co-stars Pam Grier, Sharon Stone, Daniel Faraldo and Henry Silva. This came about after a successful screen test, financed by Michael Ovitz, leading to Seagal being offered a contract by Warner Bros. The film was set and filmed on location in Chicago. The film was released in the United States on April 8, 1988.
Sergeant Nicolo "Nico" Toscani (Steven Seagal), a native of Palermo, Italy, is a detective in the Chicago Police Department’s vice squad. At an early age he became interested in martial arts, and moved to Japan to study.
In 1969, Nico was recruited into the CIA by Special Agent Nelson Fox and was involved in covert operations on the Vietnamese-Cambodian border during the Vietnam War in 1973. There, he became disgusted with Kurt Zagon, who tortured prisoners. A stand-off occurred when Nico tried to stop a torture session, and he left the CIA. Nico returned to Chicago, joined the CPD, and got married.
Nico and his new partner Detective Delores "Jacks" Jackson (Pam Grier), are now investigating a drug ring, and after busting two of the dealers, including Salvadorian drug dealer Tony Salvano, Nico finds C4 explosives. Shortly afterward, the men that Nico and Jacks arrested are released at the request of Federal officials, and Nico is asked to stand down. Later, the priest of Nico’s parish is killed in an explosion during Mass. Fox calls Nico and tells him to move his family to a safer location, saying that Nico is in danger.
Under pressure from the Feds, Nico is asked to turn in his badge. Nico eventually finds that the dealers he busted are linked to Zagon, who is still with the CIA, and who is accused of human rights violations by a Central American priest who was being sheltered by Nico's priest. While Zagon is torturing the priest, Nico bursts in and a gun battle ensues. Detective Lukich (Ron Dean) and Jacks are wounded during the shoot-out, and Nico has to flee.
Senator Ernest Harrison is investigating Zagon's group to reveal their covert operations and drug dealing. When Nico finds out that Zagon killed the priest and is planning to kill Harrison, he goes after Zagon. Nico confronts Fox, but they are interrupted by Zagon's men. Fox is killed and Nico is captured.
Nico is held in the kitchen of a hotel during a Harrison campaign rally. Before Zagon can kill Harrison, Nico breaks free and kills Zagon and all of his remaining men. After, Nico meets Sen. Harrison, who has been informed of everything. Harrison promises justice for what they did and Nico says he is now willing to testify on his experiences with Zagon and covert operations in the CIA.
He also warns about keeping CIA and people like them in check in order to prevent them from thinking they are above the law, the root of Zagon´s behaviour.
- Steven Seagal as Det. Sgt. Nicolo "Nico" Toscani
- Pam Grier as Det. Delores “Jacks” Jackson
- Henry Silva as Kurt Zagon
- Ron Dean as Detective Lukich
- Daniel Faraldo as Tony Salvano
- Sharon Stone as Sara Toscani
- Miguel Nino as Chi Chi Ramon
- Nicholas Kusenko as FBI Agent Neeley
- Joe V. Greco as Father Joseph Gennaro
- Chelcie Ross as Nelson Fox
- Gregory Alan Williams as FBI Agent Halloran
- Jack Wallace as Uncle Branca
- Metta Davis as Rosa Toscani
- Joseph Kosala as Lieutenant Strozah
- Ronnie Barron as CIA Bartender
- Michael Rooker as Man in Bar #1
- Rex Linn as Man in Bar #2
It has been reported that Seagal was asked to make the film by his former aikido pupil, agent Michael Ovitz, who believed that he could make anyone a movie star. It was set and filmed in Chicago, Illinois, over 60 days between April 27 and June 26, 1987.
The film grossed $18,869,631 in the U.S.
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DVD was released in Region 1 in the United States on January 28, 1998, and Region 2 in the United Kingdom on 26 April 1999, it was distributed by Warner Home Video. It was released on Blu-ray Disc on April 7, 2009.
- Goldstein, Patrick (1988-02-14). "Steven Seagal Gets a Shot at Stardom". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- Canby, Vincent (1988-04-08). "Review/Film; 'Above the Law,' a Detective's Battle". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Perfect People". perfectpeople.net.
- "Above the Law". Rotten Tomatoes/Flixster. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
- Roger Ebert. "Above the Law". Rogerebert.com (Chicago Sun Times). Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Above the Law". Washington Post. 1988-04-09. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Canby, Vincent (1988-04-08). "Review/Film; 'Above the Law,' a Detective's Battle". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- "ABOVE THE LAW". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009. Retrieved November 22, 2009.