Saturday, November 21, 2009

#421: Lethal Weapon (1987)

Director: Richard Donner
Cast: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey & Mitch Ryan

Two cops are put together to solve the latest case. One is Sgt. Roger Murtaugh, a family man who has just had his 50th birthday, and is concerned about the grey hairs growing on his chin. The other is Sgt. Martin Riggs, whose mental stability has been in question ever since his girlfriend died in a car crash. The two are caught in shootouts, hostage scenarios - the whole works - but you never quite know if Sgt. Riggs is going to just snap.

The two unlikely cops becoming buddies storyline is completely overdone. There are two pieces of information that make this film just a step up from the rest. First off, nobody's sure what Riggs's next moves will be, being the mullet-headed loose cannon that he is. Secondly, the storyline that unravels with the case is actually easy to follow, and overall makes sense - a feature that doesn't present itself often enough in shooter films.

There's no great filmmaking asides from the good characters and plot. All I've got to say is that Richard Donner knows how to pick a script (The Omen, Superman, Superman II, The Goonies, Scrooged, Radio Flyer, Conspiracy Theory...).

Oh! And how could I forget. If you ever want to see Mel Gibson playing a character almost as crazy as himself in real life, with a mullet, and bare-assed... this is the film for you.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
  • One sequence shows a theatre marquee advertising The Lost Boys (1987), a film Richard Donner was producing at the time.
  • Franco Zeffirelli reportedly decided to offer Mel Gibson the role of Hamlet after seeing his suicide contemplation scene in this film.
  • According to a June 2007 Vanity Fair article, Bruce Willis was considered for the Riggs role.


  1. But was the two unlikely cops becoming buddies overdone 22 years ago, or did it begin with this movie?

  2. Oh, if I forgot to mention that it was the first, I goofed. It's probably the main reason it's on the list!