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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 44.07%
Average: 3.39%
Pretty Bad: 3.39%
Total Crap: 1.69%

2 reviews, 47 user ratings

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Lethal Weapon
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by Hawkboy

"Funny. Seemed original at the time..."
4 stars

Watching this movie is like watching "Die Hard". You can't look at it without mentally checking off all the moments that have since become cliches in the genre.

You know the plot. Mel's suicidal. Danny's too old for this shit. They're like oil and vinegar, but somehow they team up and solve the big case. This, in and of itself, is hardly original - they've been making buddy-cop movies since the beginning of time. Scientists recently discovered cave drawings featuring cars exploding and two stick figures in cop uniforms wise-cracking with each other. What seperated Lethal Weapon from such timeless classics as "Freebie and the Bean", besides the absence of Alan Arkin, was the attention paid to the individual personalities of its characters. They weren't just two cops who told jokes, drank beer, screwed hot chicks, and punched suspects in the face. Of course, exploring these characters' emotions was a bad idea, and it led to such films as "Bridges of Madison County", where Clint Eastwood, original bad-ass, slow dances with Meryl Streep, snooty accent lady. But hell, it worked here.

So Mel and Danny outrun explosions, deal with psychos (Gary Busey, you could act! Who knew?) have dinner with Danny's family, and generally do everything that every single cop team has done in every single cop movie since. But this flick's well-directed, funny, and even after 3 sequels, looking at the original, it still seems fresh.

Watch this movie, and you'll see how the sequels have drained the life out of what was original and winning. And don't even get me started on Joe Pesci. They always talk about how Mel was supposed to die at the end of part 2, at the end of part 4, whatever. When does Joe Pesci die?

"Franchise is getting tired! Better bring in a new character! Whiny accountant! Tough dame! Jive-talkin' young cop! Yippee, the back-flipping dog!" This movie was made back when inspiration actually meant something.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/24/99 15:08:19
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

7/24/10 bagwell5 Gibson has become a jerk in real life, but is great as Riggs. One of my top 20 favorites. 5 stars
3/05/10 Robert Very good and funny! The second best in the series! 5 stars
8/29/09 Jeff Wilder Classic action. Great chemistry between Gibson and Glover. 5 stars
10/02/08 Shaun Wallner One of my favorite all time films. 5 stars
7/09/08 Farnsy Pretty original at the time and this cop film kicks ass 5 stars
12/22/07 Chris One of the best cop/action movies ever, Riggs and Murtaugh duo might be best ever 5 stars
6/11/07 al smith amazing the best buddy buddy film ever 5 stars
4/30/07 Quigley Surpisingly funny cop flick with great acting from Gibson and Glover. See it for them alone 4 stars
3/06/06 Anthony Feor We have just met the funniest detectives in the world 5 stars
5/27/05 tony great movie! Action movie lovers watch out because this is the best cop movie ever 4 stars
8/30/04 Captain Obvously... That's my name. Ex-militrary turned mercanaries... WOW! 5 stars
6/08/04 PAYNE Classic 5 stars
5/14/04 Agent Sands By now it's really riddled with clichés, but it's a classic. 4 stars
12/07/03 john it's as good as it gets! great stuff 5 stars
6/22/03 cochese It's Mel gibson, whaddya want? A classic in my eyes. 5 stars
5/20/03 mr. Pink Good actioner where at least they thought a bit about character. 4 stars
3/20/03 Jack Sommersby On of the finest actioners ever made. A bravura achievement. 5 stars
1/23/03 Pinkline Jones Gibson taking money under false pretences 1 stars
9/09/02 AshFan The humor of the other three are sorely missed, but it still rocks. 4 stars
8/23/02 Danielle Ophelia I'm too old for this shit...but by hell, I love it anyway. 4 stars
7/05/02 KMG It was then that I realized MEL GIBSON IS THE HOTTEST PIECE OF ASS THERE IS! 5 stars
5/31/02 Charles Tatum A cop buddy action pic?? Who cares? 2 stars
4/03/02 Butterbean Busey during his prime. 4 stars
3/19/02 Dave MacDougall Ranks up there as one of the best in the genre!! 5 stars
12/09/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) This is one of the true classic action movies. Respect it or go to Hell! 4 stars
10/19/01 Andrew Carden The Sequels Are So Much Better Then This Piece Of Boring Stuff. 2 stars
8/19/01 Babybelle The best cop movie out there......crazy Riggs melts me !!!!! 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Excellent film. Great performances by all and a wonderful directing job from Donner. 5 stars
5/30/01 R.W. Welch Before sequelitis set in these were two very watchable characters. 4 stars
5/14/01 fifu a tipical action movie not as good as the 234 3 stars
4/05/01 Hawkeye Gibson's great as a burnt-out guy on the ragged edge, and his chemistry with Glover works. 5 stars
3/08/01 Sanja good, just good movie 4 stars
12/07/00 Cristopher Revilla one of the best buddy films, see it!!!!! 5 stars
11/27/00 The Evil Penguin Second best out of the Trilogy 4 stars
8/11/00 Jason Kallelis Not bad, but not quite as good as 3 or 4 4 stars
6/28/00 Bruce Behind LW2 this is the best cop thriller of all time 5 stars
2/29/00 Jedi The Best Out Of The Four 5 stars
1/25/00 Christian Henriksson Fresh as mint, hard as steel! 5 stars
7/07/99 Ben Leostein Rating: *** (out of ****) Category: "Good" 4 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Fucking brilliant action movie. pure entertainment. 5 stars
6/12/99 Biscus Does what many action buddy movies can't 5 stars
11/25/98 Mr.Pink The best of the bunch, because it has the best acting and script 4 stars
11/23/98 Lord Of The Dunce This was a GD great cop flick. Shame it started such a landslide of drivel. 5 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob It's been done to death by now, but this was THE perfected Buddy Flick! 5 stars
10/19/98 {{{OZ}}} Whether you like or despise action movies, this is one of the best there has been. 5 stars
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  02-Feb-1987 (R)


  02-Jul-1987 (M)

Directed by
  Richard Donner

Written by
  Shane Black

  Mel Gibson
  Danny Glover
  Gary Busey
  Mitch Ryan
  Tom Atkins
  Darlene Love

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