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Above the Law & Hard to Kill [DVD] [1990] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 59 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steven Seagal nostalgia 7 Dec. 2005
By Boy Rocket Scientist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This DVD set contains the first two Steven Seagal movies. The first movie (Above the Law) was a formulaic maverick-cop-vs-powerful-baddies story with somewhat slow pacing, but it introduced the audience to a new kind of action hero (Dirty Harry + Bruce Lee) that turned Seagal from a martial arts instructor into a big-time movie star. Seagal's brutal yet stylish fighting technique is a marvel to watch, although there were only a few fighting sequences in this movie. The second movie (Hard to Kill) was more exciting with wall-to-wall action that more fully utilized Seagal's fighting skills. Here Seagal plays a cop who recovers from a coma to avenge the killing of his family. These two movies were not Seagal's best, but they are good action flicks worth owning for nostalgia. (Seagal's best movies are Under Siege 1 and 2.)

There are two DVDs in this set, one for each movie. Each DVD is two-sided, with one side containing a full-screen version of the movie while the other side containing an anamorphic wide-screen version.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Above the Law/Hard to kill 26 Oct. 2009
By Professor Emeritus P. Bagnolo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In both movies, Steven Seagal, was at his slimmest and best. One of my students who was Martial Arts enthusiast told me that he went to Japan years ago to enter a Martial Arts world championship and a very young Seagal rolled through the competition without anyone ever landing a blow upon him. He said, "so quick was Seagal that no one wanted to go up against him, his hands and feet were a blur of action as one opponent after another fell without so much as minimal competition."

ABOVE THE LAW and HARD TO KILL were Seagal's first FILMS. Seagal wrote ABOVE THE LAW, in which he is a former C.I.A. operative, now a Chicago police officer, He plays Nico Toscani. (He is part Italian American) who is beset by old enemies from his CIA days and the action is brisk, violent and decisive. His wife in this movie, in a walk-on, off, pretty face here now, gone for the most part, role is Sharon Stone. Toscani battles with thugs, corrupt cops, CIA agents gone bad and protecting his wife and child. One of his best.

In HARD TO KILL, Seagal's second film he-Mason Storm, is a detective who has been shot several times and left to die, falling into a seven year coma. When he is revived there is hell to pay for those who set up the ambush to knock-off the man who is HARD TO KILL. Mason Storm (Seagal) awakens from a coma determined to find his would-be killers. Throughout the action, Seagal wisecracks with ironic, bitingly funny one-liners. Once his assailants know he is alive and well at a city hospital, they send a hit man to finish the job they botched years earlier. Kelly Lebrock, his nurse, helps rescue him from said hit man. Now free to get back into shape, Seagal sets his goals on outing the politician who set him up for assassination.

Steven Seagal's movies and DTV/DVD's have grossed over $850 million dollars worldwide. He has also created a few albums of his own music and is a hero of environmental and animal protectionists. As an action hero he has been the best draw over his so far 25 year career era. I gave the films a 4.5 star rating for this genre.

Segal has five homes scattered around the nation and a ranch in the Northwest, he cooks, writes songs serves many charitable organizations, mostly Progressive/Liberal causes, and turns out many DTV's/DVD's each year. The above were among his eight best films. In all he made about 37 movies. He is now making a cable reality show where he is, in fact, a deputy sheriff.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 8 Feb. 2008
By A. Pierre - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Remember the golden days of action movies? From 85 to 96, you could go to a theater and see the likes of Van Damme, Seagal, Stallone, and Schwarzenegger kick butt on screen and deliver some of the worst lines in the history or cinema? Ah. What a great time for movies. While Stallone is trying to relive his past with sequels, one is governing, and the last two are try to regain there glory years with horrible straight to dvd action movies. Ive made fun of Seagal many times in the past but I was quite surprised by these movies. His early films are really enjoyable, even if there are some moments of cheesy dialouge and acting. Both movies feature Seagal breaking a guy's wrist that looks very fake, that its funny. I highly recommend this to fans of action movies of the 80's and 90's. Too think I was going sell this set, im glad I didnt!
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best movies ever created 17 Feb. 2010
By DA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A physical law of the universe states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Steven Seagal seems to break the laws of the universe in two known movies as Hard to Kill and Above the Law. When you view these two films, you will see Seagal toss someone through a window, break arms, and even get on his knees and somehow deflect a charging knife attack, all just from simply flipping his wrists or doing some sort of strange chest slap.

One of the things that separates Seagal from other actors of his era, like Schwarzenegger, Norris, Damme, and many others, is that Seagal doesn't exactly fit his roles; everything about him and his movies are about exaggerations that are inconsistent. Other actors like Chuck Norris play their role well. For example, Norris usually plays a role of a Texas Ranger with high moral values and you know when the line is crossed. With Seagal it's hard to tell where or what his lines are; all his movies play out a cop who uses excessive violence for no apparent reason. For example, to get information about where a granddaughter is of his wife's friend, he goes to a bar, and begins punching someone for no apparent reason and then the entire movie is based on some tip he got from a druggie who he just beat the crap out of. From there, everyone is after him for no apparent reason which involves someone getting bloody, broken body parts, and random bits of sentence fragments from Seagal; all the while he's talking to himself and doing some sort of strange chest slap.

I'll rate each movie of this pack:

Above the Law ~ To sum up this entire movie, here's what basically happens. At the start of the movie, we see Seagal is a CIA / Martial artist. He demonstrate his awesomeness by showing to the grand master Japanese teachers his kung fu skills which involves everyone running in circles around him and coming at him one at a time, but yet somehow he's able to stop them all simply by flipping his wrists and slapping them in the chest. Sure enough they go flying into the air and you hear all sorts of punch noises and bones snapping. So his awesomeness is established and he's now a cop after his tour in Vietnam. One day after his baby shower and baptize, he goes to look for a daughter of his neighbor. He finds her by walking into some sort of bar and doing the same flip/slap to everyone and even more so, one guy takes out a gun, and he grabs him and breaks his nose simply by doing one quick slap/jab. Anyway he finds the girl upstairs with a druggie who he then starts slapping like crazy and he's all bloody and singing like, "Hey I know a shipment coming in." So Seagal listens and checks out the shipment who FBI are tagging along with. So these two thugs show up to the drug spot and Seagal notices the FBI guys are going crazy for no apparent reason coming in and shooting everyone and everyone dying. So now Seagal is really po'd and he starts chasing after them and this car was going to run him over, but yet somehow he was able to jump on the hood and stop the car even though it's literally impossible to do so. Later on, they found it wasn't really drugs, but C4. Why would someone use C4? No one knows, but anyway Seagul finds that they're planning to kill a senator and many slaps, and punches later, he finally found the killer which is an old nemesis during his Vietnam trip. He likes to torture people for no reason, it appears, and Seagul put a stop to that by breaking his neck. Also, at one scene, he gets attacked by four thugs all with knives and guns, but yet he somehow chops them all up, and he goes on a chase where he runs like some sort of weird person. It's even more surprising that his wife stuck around the whole thing which no sane woman would do. At the end, news reporters are everywhere and he gives his briefing to some congress person about his stay as a CIA operative. Through the entire movie, if you pay close attention to Seagal's upper head area, you will notice that his eyes and eyebrows are permanently stuck in a >:| look.

Hard to Kill ~ Seagal's second movie, and it's surprising that they decided to let him play something else after watching the original. In this one, he's a cop too, but he's after some mobsters and he got a tape that they somehow know he has. Anyway, after running away from the mobsters, Seagal stops by a alcohol shop where it is robbed right before his very eyes. The cashier was blasted point blank int he chest with a shotgun, so he's dead. Now Seagal is mad, and he beats everyone up and one guy with a knife he offered to lay down on the ground, which he did, and he charged him, but Seagal does the same slap/wrist flip that somehow kills everyone. After the robbery, he's driving home listening to his audio tape with the same serious expression on his face. Somehow the robbery earlier ago was completely ignored which a normal person would be disturbed with, but not Seagal. Anyway he makes it home and for some reason his kid can sleep with the lights on. Seagal was like, "Goodnight champ" and he fell asleep with bright light all around the room. After saying goodnight to his kid who has the entire room light on, and showing champagne that he got from the just recent store that got the guy killed, it was time for a love scene. It was probably the most forced and sad one I ever seen. It was almost like I felt pity for the girl because they probably had to pay her extra money behind the scenes and maybe even got her some moth balls/peroxide afterwards. Anyway, in the middle of it all, the mobsters comes and attempts to kill him for no apparent reason. They blast up everyone, except Seagal and his son who escaped. Anyway, seven years later, Seagal has a secrete admirer at the coma clinic and he grew long hair and a gothee which is kind of scary. Anyway, the girls loved him for no reason and he awoke only to find that the same mobsters are after him. The chick who took care of him while he's in a coma took him into a ranch where one of the worst recovery scenes ever took place. He did the same girlie runs up the hill, lifted a 40-pound bar with no weights on the side, and punched a wood block, and somehow dabbled complex Chinese writings on a paper by simply doing a quick pen stroke. After he's well, the chick decided to "sneak in" for a love encounter, but it turned out to be just as gross as the first one and almost looked like it was forced. I felt pity for the girl, but that is life in showbiz, I suppose. Anyway, after his recovery he's off to get the guys that took his life from him. After realizing his son is safe and well, there is a huge shootout where Segal armed with a 1911 .45 auto did some sort of angry jab/shoot and somehow hit everything bullzeye. At the end, he saves everyone, and gets his life back together with a few more quick slaps and wrist flips.

Overall, I must have laughed all three hours watching this. They are quite good and I recommend to anyone loving the early 90s films. Seagal and Chuck Norris are some of my favorite actors of this era, and this movie is a double pack of Seagal's first two film efforts. A must buy for any fan. The only problem is that they're double sided, so if you mess up one side, you lost one movie.
4.0 out of 5 stars Seagal's first 2 12 Jun. 2007
By D. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
ABOVE THE LAW and HARD TO KILL were Steven Seagal's first two movies. After being discovered by a Hollywood director teaching martial arts in California, Seagal wrote and starred the leading role in ABOVE THE LAW. He plays a cop in Chicago who used to be a C.I.A. operative. While making a routine bust he stumbles upon an elaborate, sinister plot that is driven by some old enemies he made while he was a "company" man.

HARD TO KILL details the story of a cop who is thought to have died after being gunned down by a bunch of hoodlums. In reality, he is in a coma for several years. He is lucky enough to have Kelly Lebrock (sigh) as his nurse.

The cop has a secret that he takes with him to his coma. When he comes out of it, he threatens the career and liberty of the politician who sent the hoodlums after him. He invokes acupuncture on his "get well soon" plan as he doesn't have time to be laid up!

Both of these films are quite good. The 3rd Seagal feature, MARKED FOR DEATH was a good action flick as well. After that, his movies were hit & miss (his most big-budget & best movie being UNDER SIEGE). Sadly, he mostly makes just "B" movies these days. In any case, these two films launched a successful career of one of the bigger action stars of the past 30 years.
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