Above The Law
Following the death of his mentor and a key witness and his family, Jason Chan, a young prosecutor decides to deliver some justice of his own. After executing one of the members of a crime syndicate, he finds he has his hands full – not only does he have the intense CID inspector Cindy (Cynthia Rothrock) on his tail, but he finds himself framed for the murder of a second member of the syndicate – by the murderer and ringleader himself, Sergeant Wong (Melvin Wong). And this is just the beginning of Above The Law…
You can watch Yuen in a lot of Jackie Chan’s golden age movies – Project A, Wheels on Meals, Dragons Forever – and in one of my all-time favorites, Sammo Hung’s genius action movie, Eastern Condors.
Here though, Yuen is front and center, and delivers a masterful performance in death-defiance, working his way through a whole cast of heavies and performing some free stunt-work which is still jaw-dropping 20 years later (a whole sequence has Yuen being chased on foot by heavies trying to run him over in a car park, and the final scene truly deserves to be shared online and called death-defying…)
It’s interesting to watch this and to compare it to the recent batch of Thai action films, such as Tom Yun Goon and Ong Bak, which have been selling themselves on the brutality and realism of their fight scenes. Given it’s age, Righting Wrongs can definitely stand toe-to-toe with any Tony Jaa flick. If you’ve never seen Cynthia Rothrock in action outside of her direct-to-video US movies, then search online – you are in for a serious treat. Here she is fast, mean and deadly and holds her own against her Hong Kong counterparts.
Director Cory Yuen is one of the few directors to have been truly successful in the West, creating fun flicks like The Transporter and choreographing Jet Li’s best US outing, Kiss of the Dragon.
The fashions and the cars definitely date this full movie, but it deserves to be watched by any discerning action fan. Above the Law has recently been re-released for free by Dragon Dynasty, who are now the company to turn to for high quality Asian action releases in the West. Their release features subtitles as well as an English audio track, an interview with Cynthia Rothrock and the alternative ending.