Lethal Weapon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lethal Weapon Reviews

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April 13, 2018
Very good action packed heart warming fillgood movie I like watching it over and over i've seen this move a thousand plus times the plots are right on they all act like family and it's a good movie for the whole family I can remember the first time I saw it and I keep going back
½ April 11, 2018
gibson is again faultless when seized by difficult roles, charismatic yet a chronic suicidal tragedy with nothing to lose. it's an entertaining buddy film that delivers both in exhilaration and indomitable chemistry.
½ March 20, 2018
Didn't care for this movie
½ January 28, 2018
Lethal Weapon is an action and drama packed classic that redefined action movies. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover both give amazing performances playing two cops who are partners that fight crime well together! The suspense and thrills is something all audiences could enjoy and is thrilling from beginning to end. Mel Gibson's charisma and Danny Glover's protective parent and safe cop attitude give a pair in a movie that is truly enjoyable and entertaining.
½ January 13, 2018
i'm too old for this shit..

Lethal Weapon

It has some loop holes and weird illogical scenes but then it has a different plot line compared to the other buddy-cop movies and Mel and Danny whose chemistry is off the hook since their characters are written with depth and sincerity.
January 13, 2018
The greatest buddy cop movie ever made. A+
½ January 5, 2018
Arguably the greatest buddy cop film of all time, Lethal Weapon is the first of a successful franchise that is the quintessential action film of the '80s that boasts an entertaining narrative and a talented cast including terrific performances by Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Gary Busey.
January 1, 2018
4/5. Lethal Weapon is a solid buddy-cop movie that is silly and a lot of fun with some impressive stunts, and excellent performances by Gibson and Glover.
Super Reviewer
½ December 10, 2017
This movie opens with the classic Christmas song [i]Jingle Bell Rock[/i] by Bobby Helms. Yes that's right this classic action flick could also be considered a Christmas movie as it takes place over the festive season. This is one reason why its always kinda reminded me of 1988's 'Die Hard'. Its seems Xmas was a popular backdrop for action flicks back in the 80's.

So what is this all about? Well back in 1985 Shane Black wrote a screenplay for an urban western inspired by 'Dirty Harry'. In typical Shane Black fashion the script was quite long and excessively violent. Cutting a long story short, after numerous rewrites from various people (including Black), the script was eventually bought and offered to Richard Donner. The final result was (I believe) the first buddy cop flick to really light up the box office; and I believe the first flick to kick-start the whole buddy cop genre, to establish the rules almost. Over the years, from this one movie, came a raft of clones that used and abused every idea to the point where they became common stereotypes.

The eventual plot: Its very simple really. Riggs and Murtaugh must battle a heroin-smuggling operation known as 'The Shadow Company' (they umm...smuggle heroin). You see a young girl is murdered and her father (Michael Hunsaker, a close friend of Murtaugh) wants her killers found. But it turns out Hunsaker used to be in cahoots with the Shadow Company, helping them launder their money. When Hunsaker wanted out, the company killed his daughter. So Riggs and Murtaugh run about the place trying to solve this little problem with lots of gunfire and car chases.

Even today looking back, its really hard to not roll your eyes at all the common tropes and cliches that have now been milked dry over time. I had to keep reminding myself that this was literally the first movie to introduce these things. I mean lets look at the basic outline here, one white cop, Riggs (Mel Gibson). One black cop, Murtaugh (Danny Glover). One is middle-aged, ex-special forces, and a complete loose cannon. The other is an older more mature, straight-laced, by the books Veteran of the police force. The loose cannon is of course insane, suicidal (due to the death of his wife); where as the straight-laced cop is a sensible family man. The sensible cop is lumbered with the insane cop as a new partner. At first they don't get on, a clash of personalities, but over time they come to respect each other and eventually become buddies.

At the start of the movie Riggs is essentially living like a bum. He's an alcoholic living in a run down scruffy trailer on the beach. Not quite sure how he's allowed to have a trailer on the beach, surely local laws would not allow that? In the meantime Murtaugh has a hectic family life with three young kids, one of which is of course a coming of age young girl. Riggs is looking to put himself into dangerous scenarios because he simply doesn't give a shit; whilst Murtaugh is slowly becoming older and grumpier, trying to survive until retirement. The latter is exacerbated by a dreary saxophone theme that plays every time Murtaugh is feeling like shit. Again something that has become an action movie stereotype/cliche ever since.

Everything in the movie is basically set up to reflect these character traits. For instance Riggs carries an automatic pistol where as Murtaugh uses an old fashioned six-shooter. The musical score for Riggs is obviously very different to Murtaugh's little saxophone theme. Murtaugh's young daughter takes a fancy to Riggs, much to his horror (a bit risqué these days!). Riggs sports a wild mullet that goes against police regulations and Murtaugh's sensible short back and sides. Riggs dresses casually in jeans and a shirt, Murtaugh wears a suit etc...Its all very corny these days naturally. But of course the basic premise is that both characters save each other. Murtaugh and his family give Riggs a reason to keep living. Whilst Riggs injects some excitement and much needed manly companionship into Murtaugh's life, at a point where he was at a low due to his age.

[i]'guess we gotta register you as a lethal weapon huh'[/i]

As for the villains, well its obviously cliche city, but also not as good as you might recall. The Shadow Company is also controlled by an ex-special forces bloke (a regular trait of action movies, everyone is ex-something). General Peter McAllister (Mitchel Ryan) is simply an old bloke with white hair, he literally does nothing except throw some orders around. This character is not in the least bit threatening. His second in command, the über blonde Mr Joshua (Gary Busey), is also not particularly threatening. Unless you count being able to resist getting your arm burnt by a cigarette lighter as scary. Its amusing really because both characters literally do jack shit for the entire movie, Joshua has a fight sequence with Riggs in the finale but that's it!

And why does Joshua and Riggs right anyway? Out of nowhere Riggs just offers him a chance to fight him, one on one, mano-a-mano. Yeah we know Joshua had Riggs tortured at one point, and shot him with a shotgun at another, but why do we need this fight? It kinda felt like Donner ran out of ideas for the finale, found himself needing something to fill the gap. Its also at this point we discover both Riggs and Joshua are experts in fighting; something you don't get any inkling of beforehand and never crops up again.

In these old action flicks the baddies normally are the cheesiest. For some reason all the multitude of henchmen appear to be middle aged guys in suits, often with odd haircuts, wearing shades. This was basically the norm back in the day for action movies, but its hilarious looking back now. They were also completely useless and couldn't hit the side of a barn door with their automatic weapons. Its also amusing how these guys never seemed to have any sort of personal life, like they all just stand guard over their boss 24/7. And what group of bad guys would be complete without their own seedy bar to hang out in huh. The kind of bar where you can shoot someone and no one blinks an eye apparently.

Then outside said bar, Murtaugh simply walks into a random alley, the very same alley that McAllister is escaping in. They literally cut from an action sequence to Murtaugh wondering around outside and, oh look, there's the bad guy escaping in his car, how convenient! After Murtaugh pumps the windshield full of lead the car hits a bus and inexplicably flips over and explodes (laugh out loud!). Yeah twas cool to watch back in the day but wut?? There are many (now) hilarious sequences like this in the movie, such as the desert standoff. Riggs is on sniper duty miles away, but McAllister finds him?? Where did McAllister come from?? Murtaugh threatens to blow everyone up with a grenade...but as Joshua points out, he obviously isn't gonna kill his own daughter. Then there's the ridiculous escape failure by Murtaugh's daughter. She tries to escape in the car and somehow allows the baddie helicopter to run her into a ditch. She then proceeds to do the obligatory 'get out and run and pretend to fall over' routine.

Its clearly of no surprise to anyone that this movie is by far the best in the franchise. Like many other old action movie franchises the original is the darker, grittier, more adult orientated of the bunch. 'Lethal Weapon' is by no means a great movie looking back. After rewatching I found myself cringing at many of the action sequences, laughing at dialog and attempts at comedy, and generally thinking to myself how a persons opinions change with age (when I was younger I thought this was an epic action flick). I have to be honest and say, I think this movie gets more of a pass simply because it was the first of its kind; the first to kick open the doors and introduce all these hammy action movie cliches. Its actually the Murtaugh family scenes which are more of the highlight now. Watching Riggs react to Roger's old man bickering with his wife and kids. But despite all that, as said, its still easily the best in the series and way better than most modern day attempts.
December 4, 2017
Good annual Christmas movie starring Mel Gibson and some other black guy, sorry, I'm trying not to be racist. The story is bland and is a generic buddy cop movie but the chemistry between Mel Gibson and the African American guy is phenomenal and that what makes this movie great. I will watch this movie every Christmas because it's just too dang good.
December 2, 2017
Classic action film that set a new standard for the buddy cop genre, thanks to a superb cast & filmmakers willing to go a little dark with the content. Gibson & Glover are excellent as Riggs & Murtaugh, playing off each other perfectly & giving career best performances. Gibson channels his crazed intensity to perfection while Glover is a fantastic straight man, giving brilliant reactions to every one of Riggs nuttier moments (his "I'm too old for this shit" line remains a classic). They get great support from the rest of the cast, particularly Gary Busy as the villainous Mr. Joshua. Behind the camera, Richard Donner adapts Shane Black's script perfectly and one forgets, after the numerous sequels & current TV show, how dark & edgy the original is. Riggs is a truly disturbed, suicidal man and you truly don't know what will happen next with him, making his tension with Murtaugh palpable. The action is edge of your seat and Black's dialogue is as good as you can get in action movie. All that plus being set during Christmas, it makes for one of the best action movies ever made and another great addition to the holiday movie rotation.
½ November 5, 2017
Gibson and Glover make a terrific duo thanks to their excellent chemistry. The movie is fun and never goes beyond what is believable.
½ October 29, 2017
One of the best movies of the 80s, one of the best action comedies of all time, and one of the best alternative Christmas movies ever, Lethal Weapon greatly benefits from the strong chemistry between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover without having to rely on it. The action is thrilling and fun, the dialogue is well-written and natural, and the acting is fantastic.
October 28, 2017
One of the best buddy-cop movies in the genre, the Gibson-Glover duo are excellent, and there is a lot of time spent on (interesting) character development and realistic plot lines. But the second half of the film reveals a patchy script and a more typical action-adventure-comedy flick.
October 14, 2017
The Lethal Weapon Film Franchise is probably the best buddy Cop films ever made. 1-4 are all entertaining and filled with lots of action and humor. The first one for me was pretty entertaining, I thought personally that the first was like an action thriller each scene always left you hanging on the edge of your seat wanting to know what's gonna happen next. theres also a lot of jump surprises and plenty of action scenes
½ September 27, 2017
A mesmerizing look into the depressed with badges and action sequences that were only fitting for its time.
September 4, 2017
Lethal Weapon single-handedly changed the way that we view action films. It incorporated depraved villains (Mitchell Ryan and Gary Busey) with larger-than-life heroes (Mel Gibson and Danny Glover) culminating in an explosive thriller that still holds up well 30 years later. Gibson is an off-the-rails detective who has just lost his wife, and it appears his sanity as well. He is partnered with straight-laced Glover and the buddy cop system is born. They must track down a dangerous drug smuggler who is responsible for the murder of a young girl and put down his lunatic henchman (Busey). Entertaining and mindless on every level; it is purely great popcorn fare.
August 18, 2017
This movie will always be a classic in my book! Sure, it has a few non-PC aspects to it, but that just makes me like it even more! Mel Gibson and Danny Glover will always be the buddy cop duo that all others must compare themselves to.
August 16, 2017
redefine the 1980's and 90's action flicks? now i've gotta see it.
July 26, 2017
Lethal Weapon, Great Movies
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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