Yuen Biao is one of the unsung heroes of Hong Kong action cinema and one of his best films, Righting Wrongs, also known as Above the Law, has had a great new collectors edition Blu-ray released by 88 Films in the UK.
Lawyer Ha Ling-Ching (Yuen Biao) is fed up with the failings of the justice system and the way it allows criminals off the hook. He vows to take the law into his own hands after a key witness and his entire family are murdered. However, his plans are soon complicated when he finds hotshot detective Cindy Sze (Cynthia Rothrock) on his tail.
The film starts off at a very brisk pace with a shootout and car chase and then we get to see why Ha Ling-Ching feels the way he does and decides to give justice to those who deserve it. Cynthia Rothrock’s character at first tries to stop him but also gets to see that the corruption goes all the way to the top and they join forces to stop them.
The action scenes are plentiful and the comedy elements are kept to a minimum which makes for a much more enjoyable and tonally stable film. Two American martial artists, Peter Cunningham and Karen Shepard are bought in to add some authenticity to the fight scenes and even the main villain played by actor Melvin Wong fights well in the finale, even when artfully doubled. Because we are seeing this in a superb HD remaster it is a lot easier to spot the doubles used but still adds to the fun. The choreography by Corey Yuen and his team is masterful, brilliantly shot and edited.
As mentioned the 1080P transfer is excellent, really clean and crisp with no troublesome DNR. Audio gives you loads of choices from Cantonese-language for the Hong Kong Theatrical Mix with English subtitles, Cantonese-language Japan Theatrical Mix with English subtitles (features rare ending Cantonese narration] and Cantonese Home Video Remix with English subtitles.
On disc 2 you get the original English language “ABOVE THE LAW” Cut as well as a new 2K Remaster of the Singapore Cut – Mandarin with English subtitles. You also get a newly produced ULTIMATE CUT, a version of the film prepared exclusively for this release that combines footage from the Hong Kong and Singapore cuts to present a hypothetical “complete” version with four possible endings. with English subtitles. Finally an Ultimate Cut Ending Randomiser!
The extras don’t stop there you also get the following –
[New] Frank Djeng Commentary [HK cut]
[Archive] Cynthia Rothrock Tai Seng Commentary [HK cut]
[New] Cynthia Rothrock Interview – Where she talks about the film and her involvement with the shooting of the action.
[New] Cynthia Rothrock Scene-specific Commentary – With Frank Djeng she goes through her major fight scenes in the film.
[New] Peter Cunningham Interview
[New] Peter Cunningham Scene-specific Commentary
[New] Mike Leeder and Arne Venema Commentary
[Archive] The Vigilante: An Interview with Yuen Biao
[Archive] Action Overload: An Interview with Cynthia Rothrock
[Archive] From the Ring to the Silver Screen: An Interview with Peter Cunningham
Very rare alternate “Ladies Man” ending
Hong Kong Trailer
Tai Seng Reconstruction Trailer
Finally, you get a fantastic thick booklet full of interviews and rare pictures, a poster and a set of lobby card reproductions.
88 Films have really gone all out for this release and it shows, a fantastic presentation with great bonus features this is a must-buy for fans of the film. (A similar 3-disc version has been released in the USA from Vinegar Syndrome with the same transfer but different extras)
FILM – 8 PICTURE – 9 AUDIO – 8 EXTRAS – 10