* * *1\2
AKA: Righting Wrongs
Directed by: Corey Yuen
Starring: Yuen Biao, Cynthia Rothrock, Corey Yuen, Roy Chiao, Siu-Wong Fan, Peter "Sugarfoot" Cunningham, Melvin Wong, and Karen Sheperd
The great Yuen Biao plays Hsia, a prosecutor who is tired of seeing the bad guys
go free and the justice system constantly protecting villains and
ignoring the victims of their crimes. Some seriously bad dudes are out
there annihilating entire families to keep them quiet. So Hsia decides
to go after the baddies in his off time, which works out well because
this lawyer is also an incredibly skilled martial artist. Cynthia Rothrock
plays Cindy, a CID agent who is constantly on Hsia’s tail. Their
conflict is about the nature of justice and law in society. Her partner
is Bad Egg, a slovenly cop played by the director, Corey Yuen.
But will Hsia or Cindy triumph in the final battle with the super-evil
bad guy (who I can’t reveal because it is too close to a spoiler)?
the law is simply awesome. It delivers the goods to the audience in
with slam-bang action right from the first minute. The pedigree of the
film is impressive, with not just familiar names such as the amazing
Yuen Biao and Cynthia Rothrock (who also delivers one of the better
performances we’ve seen from her), but the producers got some American
fighters to fly to Hong Kong such as Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham and Karen Sheperd, who have both gone on to good careers since.
As you may know, Yuen Biao came from the same Opera School that produced Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung.
His skills in fighting and stunts are at least equal to his classmates.
But for some reason, outside of action circles, he never reached their
level of fame. Notably, an uncredited Sammo choreographed the final fight. Siu-Wong Fan,
who plays the character of Wen, a teenage witness, went on to play the
title role in Story of Ricky. The reason Melvin Wong looks so muscular
and pumped up here is because he trained under Bolo Yeung.
Above the Law features, on top of the ace fighting and stunt work, the same crowd-pleasing wacky comedy and lovable characters known in Hong Kong productions.
(Interestingly, some scenes were shot in Auckland, New Zealand). Also
featuring some killer music, the movie is just a blast, an incredibly
fun rush of fast-paced action setpieces.
For an over-the-top 80’s HK action film, it’s hard to top the first-rate Above the Law.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty
Check out a write-up from our buddies at 10k Bullets!