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

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Mel Gibson
Danny Glover
Joe Pesci
Joss Ackland
Derrick O'Connor
Patsy Kensit
Gibson.
Directors
Richard Donner.
Screenwriters
Jeffrey Boam.
Running Time
120 minutes

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Lethal Weapon 2
A cop sequel that hits the heights of it's predecessor


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Plot
The cop duo are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities.


Review
In America, Licence to Kill was unfortunate enough to open after Lethal Weapon 2, which knocked it right out of the water, Timothy Dalton's James Bond seeming cold and humourless next to the warm-blooded buddyhood of cops Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. They laugh, they cry, they are both near death several times, but we know these partners will never die; they're invulnerable. Murder and mayhem, surround them, but its stylised cartoon violence, Roadrunner-style.

Many viewers not seduced by Gibson and Glover's charms may find the jacked-up gleeful mayhem hard to tolerate; several critics have raised the spectre of the effects of these ultra-nasty movies on the general populace, but surely most moviegoers know the difference between gritty realism and stylised Hollywood action.

British-born director Richard Donner (of Superman fame) sets the tone from the first frame, jumping right into a raucous high-speed car chase that knocks the wind out of you. And he never lets up: the audience knows that every lull predicts another sequence of full-tilt excitement. Scripter Jeffrey Boam (who also wrote Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade) manages to keep the plot twisting and the audience on the edge of its seat, while at the same time deepening the two characters - we actually care what happens to these guys.

While the underrated Glover really helped carry the original picture, this time Gibson is given much more to do, and he delivers: he's funny, makes credible love to a fetching Patsy Kensit, deepens his friendship with Glover, and fills in some of the details of his past. The movie's villains are Hollywood's closest answer to contemporary fascists: South African functionaries using diplomatic immunity as a cover for serious drug running. The filmmakers give character actor Joe Pesci enough screen-time to create a money-laundering snitch under Gibson/Glover's guard who is both hilariously irritating and loveable.


Verdict
Unlike most sequels Lethal Weapon 2 is neither predictable nor conventional. It's just pumped full of juice.


Reviewed by Anne Thompson

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Lethal Weapon 2
Empire Star Rating

Lethal Weapon 2 Review

Lethal Weapon 2 may sport a thin plot typical of action fare, but its combination of humor and adrenaline, along with the chemistry between its leads, make this a playful, entertaining sequel. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 21:54, 24 April 2012 | Report This Post


Just as good as the first one, with pleanty more action, Humour and emotion, and a bad-guy with diplomatic immunity. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dgribble at 19:10, 25 February 2008 | Report This Post


A rarity

It's not often that you get a sequel that stands alongside the original, not quite as gritty as the original but Riggs and Murtaugh cement themselves as a classic partnership, the action pumps hard and the one liners are faster and funnier than ever. And of course " Who get's fucked? Leo Getz" ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by iconzero at 17:54, 23 February 2008 | Report This Post


A rarity

It's not often that you get a sequel that stands alongside the original, not quite as gritty as the original but Riggs and Murtaugh cement themselves as a classic partnership, the action pumps hard and the one liners are faster and funnier than ever. And of course " Who get's fucked? Leo Getz" ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by iconzero at 17:53, 23 February 2008 | Report This Post


I really really liked Lethal Weapon for a whole host of reason, but the sequel certainly doesn't stand up to its predecessor. The character development, which in the first film was pivtoal, is dropped and your just expected to enjoy the character of Riggs and Murtaugh on the merits of the first film alone, which is alright at the start of the film, but soon it is revealed they are simply shadows of the previous multi-diemensional selfs (especially Riggs). The film lacks the dark underbelly... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ukedge87 at 10:59, 18 March 2007 | Report This Post


I really really liked Lethal Weapon for a whole host of reason, but the sequel certainly doesn't stand up to its predecessor. The character development, which in the first film was pivtoal, is dropped and your just expected to enjoy the character of Riggs and Murtaugh on the merits of the first film alone, which is alright at the start of the film, but soon it is revealed they are simply shadows of the previous multi-diemensional selfs (especially Riggs). The film lacks the dark underbelly... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ukedge87 at 10:58, 18 March 2007 | Report This Post


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