Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
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

LATEST DVD REVIEWS
Goodfellas
5 Star Empire Rating
To Die For
4 Star Empire Rating
Apollo 13
5 Star Empire Rating
Shadow, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Relic, The
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Goodfellas
5 Star Empire Rating
Apollo 13
5 Star Empire Rating
Mean Streets
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Long Good Friday, The
5 Star Empire Rating

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.


submit to reddit


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

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

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



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire Meets Leigh Whannell
On Insidious Chapter 3, the fate of Jigsaw and dropping the f-bomb

Classic Feature: The Change-Up
High-concept interview where Jason becomes Ryan and vice versa. Hilarity ensues

A Guide To Rick Baker: Monster Maker
Bidding farewell to a visual effects legend

Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)