Lethal Weapon 3 Review

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Worn-down cop Murtagh is counting down the days til he hangs up his badge, but he and madcap partner Riggs stumble across an arms racket run by ruthless ex-cop Jack Travis, who is providing LA street gangs with special cop killer bullets.


Lethal Weapon 3 seems to be the perfect example of a successful formula film sequel, with each film in the Lethal Weapon saga making more money than the last, and boasting more explosions, more action, and — of course — more wisecracking Mel Gibson.

This, the somewhat plotless follow-up to 1989’s Lethal Weapon 2, has Roger Murtaugh (Glover) counting the days to his retirement, but, as ever, being dragged into various capers by his more reckless partner Riggs (Gibson), leading to a literally explosive beginning that gets the pair demoted back on the beat (yes, Mel in uniform). It’s not long before the pair are hot on the trail of some bad guys, however, and this time the baddies in question are dealing illegal arms with special armour-piercing, cop-killing bullets.

Throw in tough karate-kicking female sergeant Lorna Cole (Russo) to team up with Riggs and Murtaugh — giving Riggs someone else to joke with and a love interest rolled into one — some explosions, expertly-directed chase scenes, one-liners and a brief appearance by Leo Getz (the wonderful Pesci) for good measure, and what you get is a fun, if rather pointless continuation of the Gibson & Glover stand-up routine.

The movie’s problem lies not in the performances — Gibson, Glover, Pesci and Russo are all excellent — but in the shallowness of the story, most noticeable when Pesci’s character turns up for no reason at all.

Still, if you like fast food movies that you digest and then 10 minutes later forget what you had — or if a simple evening’s entertainment is what you’re after, this will certainly do the trick.

1 & 2 distinguished themselves from the usual cop thrillers because they had characterisation, comedy and a plot — this film, although as action-packed, fast-paced and funny as its predecessors, doesn’t really go anywhere.