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Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | The follow-ups that achieve greatness in their own right

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Lethal Weapon 2
DIRECTED BY RICHARD DONNER
RELEASED: 1989

Why's it so good? Barely a day goes by in the Empire office without someone saying "Dip-lo-mat-ic-imm-un-it-y" in a bad Afrikaans accent: this is a film that has entered the public consciousness. There's action, conspiracy, a truly hissable bad guy, and the fact that it actually manages to surprise us by killing off Patsy Kensit.

Lethal Weapon 2 Lethal Weapon 2
How does it stack up to the original? It doesn't have the element of surprise, nor the anarchic spirit, of the first film. And it's arguably here where the cutesy touches that would mar later instalments first creep in. But you've got to love the toilet set piece.

Glaring error: Diplomatic immunity ain't quite that all-encompassing. A diplomat who shoots a cop in cold blood would (at the very least) be recalled or (more likely) be handed over for trial by his country of origin. Even if that's apartheid-era South Africa.


GAP BETWEEN SEQUEL AND ORIGINAL: 28 MONTHS


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