Movie Review: Lethal Weapon (1987)

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Every once in a while I like to mix things up when it comes to my movie watching. For the most part I watch dramas or sci-fi with a pretty good amount of brain. But sometimes I just have to sit down and watch something with little brain and much awesome. And for that I go to 80’s and 90’s action movies. They usually have the right amount of awesome (and perhaps some cheese) that it just keeps me entertained. Today we are taking a look at one such movie… although it does have moe substance than you’d expect.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Lethal Weapon”.

This movie is set in Los Angeles and follows Detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) who just turned 50 (Sidenote: He is too old for this shit). He gets forced to work together with suicidal cop Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) to find out who murdered the daughter of a friend of Murtaugh’s. They also have to go stop a gang of drug smugglers led by a man named Joshua (Gary Busey). Simple premise… I love it. Action movies don’t need a lot of story since they pad it out with a bunch of cool and badass situations. “Lethal Weapon” is such a movie. I do like however that they add layers to the story with backstories to the characters which we’ll get to in 3… 2… 1…

The characters! They are all pretty great. They all have motivations for what they’re doing. Okay, fine the villain (Busey) simply does his shit to be the bad guy of the movie. But he does it so well because he is Gary Frickin’ Busey. Murtaugh is basically just a family man/cop who does his job (and is too old for this shit). But he works because he acts like a normal human being should(ish). But Riggs… Martin Fucking Riggs is awesome. First off, Gibson got great chemistry with Danny Glover and fits the character perfectly. After the death of his wife he is on the verge of suicide (but never commits said suicide). He is also awesome in a lot of scenes because he is pretty much out of his mind. He is crazy and I love that, it gives great contrast to Glover’s straight up family man. Overall the characters in the movie are great.

The soundtack is done by a nice mix of people. The score was done by Michael Kamen (Highlander, Die Hard). The saxophone part of Murtaugh’s theme was done by David Sanborn. But the most interesting part (for me at least) was who did the guitar playing for Riggs’ theme. It was none other than the one and only Eric Clapton. It all comes together for a nice action movie score.

The shots in this movie are truly great (for the time at least) and the cinematography is great. Sure, it isn’t as good as something by Roger Deakins, but it sure as hell looks great. A fun fact about this movie is that it was written by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Iron Man 3). I don’t know why it’s fun, I just do. Also, this is technically a christmas movie since it’s set around christmas… so that’s fun. The action in the movie is also good. Good ol’ classic 80’s action.

This is a movie that has been really well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a 67/100. Roger Ebert also seemed to like it since he gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a 7,6/10. “Lethal Weapon” was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Sound.

“Lethal Weapon” is an action classic. It got a good story, good characters with perfect chemistry between Gibson and Glover, the score is great and the action is really good as well. Now for the final score. Where’s the envelope? No, Riggs… you can’t kill yourself with that… give it here! My final score for “Lethal Weapon” is a 9,65/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Lethal Weapon” is completed.

I’m too old for this shit…