Lethal Weapon has found its way onto many of my “Top 5” lists, published and to come. It’s a film I can sit back anytime and enjoy for different things. Being a buddy cop/action film from the 80’s its got action, suspense, comedy, slight boobage and even some cursing.
Written by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and directed by Richard Donner (Superman) Lethal Weapon stars Mel Gibson and Danny “Not related to Donald Glover” Glover as now stereotypical mismatched partners. Filling the role of primo bad guy is Gary “Got the Crazy eyes” Busey.
Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Glover) celebrates his 50th birthday at the beginning of the film and gets teamed up with tormented Sergeant Martin Riggs (Gibson.) The two have a rough start with Murtaugh having a hard time trusting his young, loose-cannon of a partner. To make matters worse they’re immediately thrust into an investigation involving a former army buddy of Murtaugh’s. After a disastrous outing Murtaugh proclaims what will be the catchphrase of the film series “I’m too old for this sh!t.”
After many twists and turns where the investigation gets personal, the boys find themselves fighting for their lives. Riggs becomes shirtless and has a final battle with Mr. Joshua (Busey) while the police department looks on. Did I mention this was made in the 80’s?
-The plot: What now is a cliché in the industry; this film set us up for the 90’s with a bang. Two mismatched cops must use their differences to become a force to be reckoned with. What Lethal Weapon was able to do in four films, others messed up after one. Example: Rush Hour. Damn you Christ Tucker. Damn you.
-Mel Gibson. Being well before his crazies, Gibson was in his prime during the Lethal Weapon franchise years. He was Hollywood’s golden boy. He played the role of a man on the edge really well. Maybe he wasn’t playing? Anyways, his balance between sympathetic depression, psycho rage and goofball is what keeps people glued to the screen as this makes up for the average pacing of the film.
-Gary Busey. Another man whose mental health has been in question for a couple of years now. Thankfully this film was shot long before all his botched plastic surgery. His cool demeanour and heartless eyes played perfectly against the emotional tandem of Riggs and Murtaugh.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
-The score. Like almost every film of the 80’s, especially the action ones the score is absolute crap. There’s no hiding it. The synthesized noises mixed in with forced emotion weren’t needed to drive the strong story home. The sad part is, it took away from the film with it’s over the top nature much like Fanboys.
-The hair. Hey 80’s America. What the F-ck were you thinking!? Men with feathered mullets?
Lethal Weapon might just be the gold standard when it comes to buddy-cop films. It was a bromance film decades before the term came into existence. I Love You, Man couldn’t hold a candle to the plutonic love between Riggs and Murtaugh. Lethal Weapon has everything to guarantee an awesome night in: explosions, action, crappy punch sound effects and a lot of curse words. Do yourself a favour and watch this flick if you haven’t ever. And if it’s been a while since you’ve watched Murtaugh complain about his wife’s cooking you should do it again, because Lethal Weapon is Verified Awesome.