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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Above The Law + Shanghai Express (Dragon Dynasty/1993)

Above The Law + Shanghai Express (Dragon Dynasty/1993)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+/C     Extras: C+     Films: C+



As part of their continuing releases in the Dragon Dynasty series, Genius/Weinstein are releasing two Martial Arts films form 1993 with Cynthia Rothrock as the eventual female lead.  Above The Law is a somewhat comic action piece about family-killing criminals out on the street thanks to a corrupt judicial system and the prosecutor (Yuen Biao) out to take the law into his won hands and stop them.  Shanghai Express has the beloved Sammy Hung as a clever thief who gets caught stealing from dead soldiers who are only pretending in a war game he missed the beginning of.


Both films are about as entertaining and really for only Martial Arts fans, but I will say Hung makes the difference and makes Shanghai even more amusing.  Having it take place in the past likely also helps the film, but only so much.  Miss Rothrock more than holds her own in both pieces, but they are both genre bound and fans at least will enjoy them.


The anamorphically enhanced image on both DVDs (Law’s 1.85 X 1 and Shanghai’s 2.35 X 1) show their age, though they have some good color.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on both are also limited, though Shanghai is a bit warped in all of its options.  Extras for both include trailer galleries and Bey Logan feature length audio commentary tracks.  Law adds alternate endings, a featurette and two interview pieces (Rothrock and Biao) while Shanghai offers a making of featurette and two different interview pieces (Hung & Biao) so both offer much more than the quickie basic releases that the genre is used to on DVD.  Oh well.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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