Before the hair transplant, before he ate all the pies, before he went mad, and before everything was uttered in an inaudible whisper Seagal made his debut with this confusing, over-plotted thriller directed by Andrew Davis. Seagal plays Nicola Toscani, a ludicrously-named ex-CIA cop (as are virtually all Seagal characters) with family in the Mafia. Seagal conjured up the story (which was then expanded, of all people, by Steven Pressfield and Ronald Shusett) and it's probably his first effort at ego-massage. The opening narration is semi-biographical and the beginning of Seagal confusing fantasy and reality.
The plot, despite being from 1988, still comes across as contemporary and relevant. Nico quits the CIA in the 'Nam after witnessing a crooked superior taking advantage of the war to become a drug baron. Many years later he encounters that same villain who is abusing his status of being 'above the law' to seize more drug territory and pump more drug money into the CIA. War is always profitable.
It would be an intriguing plot for a 135-minute movie. But Above the Law tries to cram it all into 99 minutes and in the style of early 80s Charles Bronson. Don't get me wrong, Andrew Davis has always had muscular direction and takes the material seriously, but the heavy story and ambitious commentary are mostly squandered for the sake of making sure the credits roll after an hour and a half. The ending seems rushed, leaving just a little to much confusion and too many dots unconnected.
Still, it's interesting to see Seagal young, thin, and talking clearly.
The Blu Ray looks good in 1.78:1 1080p with Dolby TrueHD sound. The only extra is a trailer.