Archive for April 8, 1988

Above the Law

April 8, 1988

mov259955.jpgAfter directing Chuck Norris’ best movie (Code of Silence), Andrew Davis made Steven Seagal’s best (and first) movie. Seagal is Nico Toscani, a Chicago detective out to bust corrupt CIA assassins. Davis stages the shoot-outs and brawls crisply; here, and perhaps only here, you watch Seagal’s moves and see why Hollywood thought he could be a movie star. (He was for a while, before he became a joke.) Seagal, an aikido master and former bodyguard to the stars, relies more heavily on dodging and economy of motion than on simple punching and kicking. As usual in Davis films, the Chicago locations are convincing and lived-in, and the solid supporting cast includes the feral Henry Silva as a despicable CIA interrogator, Pam Grier as Nico’s partner, and Sharon Stone as his wife. Look quick for Michael Rooker in the early barroom scene. Cinematography by Robert Steadman; score by David Michael Frank; sharp editing by Michael Brown. Seagal’s next was Hard to Kill; Davis’s was The Package. The director and star would team up again in ’92 for Seagal’s second-best movie, Under Siege.