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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Mel Gibson
Danny Glover
Gary Busey
Mitch Ryan.
Directors
Richard Donner.
Screenwriters
Shane Black.
Running Time
110 minutes

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Lethal Weapon
Richard Donner cements his Mr. Versatility tag as his filmography (Superman, The Omen, The Goonies) takes another twist in this adults-only adventure.


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Plot
Martin Riggs (Gibson) is crazy. He's also a police sergeant whose suicidal tendencies and disregard for life make him the ideal partener for easy going (by the book) cop Roger Murtaugh (Glover). Close to retirement, Murtaugh wants an easy life, but Riggs has other, more life-threatening, drug-ring busting ideas.


Review
On the evidence of '80s movies, it seems the LAPD has found it impossible to partner just two likeminded cops. Every pairing adheres to the cliché that opposites (eventually) attract. We’ve had rookies and vets, we’ve had men and women, we’ve had comedians and hobos, tall and short, black and white. Murtaugh and Riggs are at least a variation on most of these themes. Murtaugh is the archetypal middle class black boy-made-good cop who is looking forward to retirement and the obligatory seafaring yacht that that entails. Riggs, who lost his wife in a car crash, is a certifiable psycho, jumping off buildings with potential suicides, taking drugs to infiltrate drug dealers, shooting first and thinking much, much later.

This cannot be said of the film, whose style rarely comes at the cost of substance in a well-woven web of murder, corruption, and fine one-liners. The cross-generational, cross-cultural jokes work well, and it’s hard not to feel for the convincingly geriatric Danny Glover. Gibson, too, wins us over in a tour de force of twitches, sniffs and trigger-happy enthusiasm.

The script is sharp, the stunts are first class, and the formula can’t fail. The only question is, how many sequels can they extract from it?


Extras

Lethal Weapon Lethal Weapon
Released: 01 November 1999
None.


Verdict
The pace never slows, the jokes never miss and the stunts never disappoint in this macho-dream of an actioner.


Reviewed by Gavin Bainbridge

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Average user rating for Lethal Weapon
Empire Star Rating

Lethal Weapon Review

The most successful installment in a phenomenally successful series, Lethal Weapon helped redefine action movies for the 1980s and 1990s. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 21:53, 24 April 2012 | Report This Post


One of Mel Gibson's beat movies and performances, the movie is a great mix of action, heart, and comedy, if you haven't seen it, then where have you been in the past 20 years ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dgribble at 19:06, 25 February 2008 | Report This Post


A masterclass in character driven action with a great script and the beginning of a beautiful friendship. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by iconzero at 17:47, 23 February 2008 | Report This Post


A masterclass in character driven action with a great script and the beginning of a beautiful friendship. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by iconzero at 17:47, 23 February 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Essential Action

Hollywood screenwriter, and now director Shane Black has come a long way since the first Weapon e's also been known to dabble in acting, taking small parts in r As Good As It Getsain strength, however, is as a writer, with Weapon erhaps his best, and certainly best-known work. Weapon ces us to Detective Martin Riggs(Mel Gibson), a suicidal, nothing-to-lose "burn-out", who scares the hell out of his stable, family-oriented new partner, Roger Murtaugh(Danny Glover). Riggs still gri... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Peter A. Quinn at 13:41, 17 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Essential Action

This thread got me in the mood to watch the film again. Its a boring Good Friday with cack-all on the telly, so I'm watching LW. It's just a well written, brilliantly acted, fast paced thrill ride. The phrase 'they don't make them like this anymore' was invented for films like Lethal Weapon.   'What do you wanna hear man? You wanna hear that sometimes I think about eating a bullet? Huh? Well, I do! I do, I even got a special bullet for the occasion with a hollow point, look. Make sure... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Shifty Bench at 17:59, 14 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Essential Action

Definitely one for the DVD collection. Lethal Weapon just doesn't date whatsoever, no matter how many times you watch it, you're guaranteed a laugh at least once. Glover and Gibson are one of the best screen duos ever! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jessica_ca_ca_ca at 13:59, 14 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Essential Action

This film is supoib. Cracks me up every time. The chemistry between Glover and Gibson is absolutely brilliant. The sequels are also awesome. ... More

Posted by AgentGoth at 10:46, 14 April 2006 | Report This Post


Essential Action

I was expecting your average cop buddy film from this but it was SO much more. Instead it chooses to really develop both characters, giving Mel Gibson his strongest role other than Mad Max. Danny Glover is also very strong in his role, serving as a perfect partner for the sucidial Gibson. The plot is superb, starting with a slow burning case which results in a national conspiracy and a huge budget finale, in which the viewer really is sucked into the action. This film is gritty but not too heavy... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ukedge87 at 10:29, 14 April 2006 | Report This Post


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