Lethal Weapon (1987)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Thriller


Lethal Weapon (1987) Poster

Two newly paired cops who are complete opposites must put aside their differences in order to catch a gang of drug smugglers.


7.6/10
241,332

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


12 November 2000 | Anonymous_Maxine
9
| This is the classic action film that introduces one of the best action duos ever to come to the big screen.
Lethal Weapon is a nearly perfectly structured action movie. The acting, the story, the script, the directing, even the IDEA of the movie all combine to make up a fascinating and thrill-packed police film. The cross-cutting at the beginning of the film was particularly effective, in my opinion, as Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are introduced. The startling difference between their separate lives provides for tons of fun to be had later in the movie. Roger starts his day off as the family man reluctantly celebrating his 50th birthday party with his numerous children and his loving wife in the big family house, while Riggs is shown waking up naked in his trashy trailer and beginning his day with a healthy breakfast of a cigarette and a beer.

The fact that both Roger and Riggs hated that they had to work together was especially effective in creating a touching atmosphere as they grew to be closer and closer friends. They worked so well together in this movie; it was a symbiotic relationship. It was almost like they fed off of each other, and kept each other in line and out of trouble. I also liked the way that they showed that Riggs was deeply angered when he learned that the bad guys had taken Murtaugh's daughter. Things like this, when done right, can really get you to sit up and really get into the movie, and it was definitely done right here. Riggs was also very amusing in his anxiousness about being a cop (`Why don't you let me go to sleep?' `No, come on, we gotta get up and catch bad guys!'), and Gary Busey delivers an excellent performance as the lead bad guy. This is the type of role that he plays best (see "Under Siege").

Although the violence was painfully present in some parts (the torture scenes were short but extremely difficult to watch), the film never relied on violence to pull it along or keep the audience's attention. The story was sufficient enough so that there was no overindulgence necessary in anything like that. In this film you see the first of the now traditional Lethal Weapon scenes in which Riggs and Murtaugh stagger away from a smoking crime scene, seeming to hold each other up. The final fight scene between Riggs and Mr. Joshua (Busey) was a little excessive, and there were a few scenes which were a bit faulty (how did the guy on the building ledge expect to kill himself when there was such a huge air bag inflated on the ground directly below him?), but overall this was a spectacular crime thriller. The movie rushes along at a feverish pace, and particularly Gibson's and Glover's success working together on screen make this a timeless action film that is not to be missed.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The prop Beretta 92F Mel Gibson uses in this film is the same prop gun that would be used by Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988). The gun has since been retired.


Quotes

Roger Murtaugh: Martin! Let me take him for you, Riggs! Let me take him!
Martin Riggs: *NO!*
Roger Murtaugh: *PLEASE!*
Martin Riggs: NO!
Martin Riggs: *BACK OFF!*


Goofs

When Riggs contemplates suicide and decides against it, he throws his Beretta to his side on the couch. Yet in the next shot where the photo frame of himself and his wife is shown from his point of view, he's holding the Beretta in his right hand. This point of view shot appears to be the same one shown previously before he brought the gun to his head while mourning his wife's death, that was simply re-used.


Alternate Versions

The Director's Cut (not actually a true director's cut, but a marketing promotion by Warner Bros.) features seven minutes of additional footage. In a new trailer scene, Riggs smashes his TV with a beer bottle; later he buys a new one. Murtaugh, before partnering with Riggs, goes to practice at the firing range. Riggs, before the dope shoot out, answers a call in a school yard with a sniper. Riggs walks out into the line of fire and kills the sniper, emptying his clip into him. Riggs, after leaving Murtaugh's house, goes out to solicit a prostitute. The aftermath is not shown, but Riggs says he wants to take her home to watch The Stooges with him; for this he pays her $100.


Soundtracks

Bad to the Bone
(uncredited)
Written by
George Thorogood
Performed by George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Courtesy of EMI America

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Crime | Thriller

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,829,949 8 March 1987

Gross USA:

$65,207,127

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$120,207,127

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