Lethal Weapon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lethal Weapon Reviews

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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.
July 24, 2017
The script is truly amazing, it's sharp, witty and incredibly emotional with edge. Rather miraculously it juggles tones perfectly well, with Black mastering the archetype of the buddy comedy mechanic. Performances are fantastic, both Glover and Gibson individually put forth great performances with a host of emotional range and comedy, especially with the latter. Together they have fantastic chemistry and a perfect dynamic. Donner directs with sheer class, bringing back the slow and fun 70's thrillers.
July 6, 2017
Realidade, bom gosto e lógica nunca se encontram aqui ainda assim, você se acostuma com esse tipo de narrativa veloz e obsessão por mortes violentas. Em algum lugar nesse matadouro ha uma história que tenta a todo momento fazer algum sentido.
June 26, 2017
Brings you back to a happier time, before Mel was an abusive and drunken anti-Semite.
May 9, 2017
This movie I have seen many times, and I never tire of it.
½ May 4, 2017
An exciting action movie. I found the relationship between Riggs and Murtaugh to be interesting. They make a dynamic team, and are probably the ultimate duo of Buddy Cop films. (First and only viewing - 8/13/2013)
½ April 27, 2017
A movie made in character and actor chemistry heaven. Great story, good writing and lots of suitably tense action in a buddy cop movie who's amusingly dysfunctional relationship is at the heart of what makes this movie work so well.
April 16, 2017
Good story, love the characters, great acting, and it's a classic. So good that its kind of an archetype for modern action movies.
½ April 14, 2017
Mel Gibson was a humble actor in the 1980's. I loved him in this movie. One of my favorites. Too bad he had to become a total jerk after Braveheart.
April 10, 2017
When some things we seen won't hurt us, and other things do when what we see is ourselves get older, but still young and others young bit getting older we wish not to see. When what we do is see all sorts of cases that we wished we had never seen, especially those whom are close to us. When what we see we have eyes all over when we have an eye for fighting crime. When what we see we wish were here, that we rather eye down a barrel instead to end it all. When we see we can't do it, when it's not the cure to our pain.

When we see we have to lift spirits high to lift others we see low. When we see we have experts to see closer to give us a report. When we don't see somethings that we could see as one of us to learn the hard way. When we see we have a good reputation, with serious weaponry, to see that some people are loose cannons waiting to blow.  When what we see we know it's serious business thst others see and others wish they don't see to get out. When we see some people are good, honest and can see good when their aim is the best. When others want us to see some evidence when we are on the right direction. When we see our shots are better thst others show us otherwise. When others want us to see to go to the direction that is sabotaged for us.

When we can't get enough of things bad for us, that we can't get enough of the feeling of being high and soaring all the time. When we can't have enough good mornings of being over joyed celebrated and good company and food. When We had enough of bad mornings. When others cant get enough of bad things We can't get enough busts and takedowns. When we can't get enough of some people it makes us crazy knowing they have the upper hand on us it makes us hysterical with power and rage. When we can't get enough of living without those not around anymore that we wish they were there with us. When we can't get enough coming home alive after every takedown we do. When we can't get enough living we are close to ending it all.

When we can't get enough high hopes to add to more. When we can't get enough experts to handle the case. When we can't get enough of the excitement and danger that we learn the hard way. When we can't get enough of what we are good at, we are honestly good. When we haven't had enough but had too many to know we are lose cannons waiting to pop. When we can't get enough pain, good help, in somethings but for others it's too heavy to bare that we wish help was there for us. When we can't get enough living on the edge that jumping off the ledge comes natural to us when we are crazy. When we can't get enough of work that we continue for it is the only thing that keeps us alive, when death comes natural to us. When we had enough deaths when they are prime suspects we wish to question. When we can't have enough backup to save our ass. When we can't get enough of some people, when they are good partners welcome in our home. When we can't get enough of somethings when we are having a good time and harmless compared to other substances. When we can't get enough good shots when we are one of the best. When we can't get enough of somethings when it's healthy competition. When we had enough of us to sabotage what trail we are on. When we had enough kids to know we can't keep up with them all but only one that gives us a tip. When we can't get enough evidence when it leads to our own people and those higher up to know we are in over our head. When we haven't had enough danger and excitement to have it blown in our face but not stopping us. When we had enough of some people to keep trying again till they had enough and quit. When others can't get enough of our family to use them as leverage. When we can't get enough of our own to see they don't escape our grips when they are the best at what they do and we need them. When we can't get enough of pain when it's helping the enemy with what we know. When somethings we are sick off we shake off when we had enough of them on us. When we had enough of some people to blow them away when they come our direction. When we all had enough of each other to be the first one to shoot each other first but first settle things like men the old fashioned way. When we had enough of death to let the law settle it. When we had enough of somethings when we have our whole life to look forward too. When we can't get enough of some people that we partner up with them when every screw job just needs their screws tighten.

When we have some people who can't have enough, and others whom are lethal weapons that can see, we naturally partner up with those whom bring the trigger happy gun men addicts their targets.
½ March 9, 2017
Lethal Weapon is one of the greatest buddy-cop films I've ever seen.
February 16, 2017
Lethal Weapon is one of the best action films to come out of the 80's, and laid the perfect foundation for the top notch series of films that would follow. There are no two better buddy cops then Riggs and Murtaugh.
February 12, 2017
classic mad mel film they dont make them like this anymore
December 17, 2016
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 December 11, 2016
LAPD Homicide Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), shortly after his 50th birthday, is partnered with Sergeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), a transfer from narcotics. Riggs is a former Special Forces soldier who lost his wife in a car accident two years prior, has turned suicidal, and has been taking his aggression out on suspects, leading to his superiors requesting his transfer. Murtaugh and Riggs quickly find themselves feuding with each other. Murtaugh is contacted by Michael Hunsaker (Tom Atkins), an old Vietnam War buddy turned banker, but before they can meet, Murtaugh learns that Hunsaker's daughter, Amanda, apparently committed suicide by jumping to her death from her apartment balcony. Autopsy reports show Amanda to have been poisoned with drain cleaner, making the case a possible homicide. Hunsaker tells Murtaugh that he was concerned about his daughter's involvement in drugs, prostitution, and pornography, and was trying to get Murtaugh to help her escape that life. Murtaugh and Riggs go to see Amanda's pimp, but find a drug lab on the premises, leading to a shootout. Riggs kills the pimp and saves Murtaugh's life, who starts to tolerate his new partner. Though the case seems closed, Riggs is aware that the only witness to Amanda's apparent suicide was Dixie, another prostitute who was working away from her normal streets. They go to see her at her home, but it explodes as they approach it. Riggs finds parts of a mercury switch from bomb debris, indicating a professional had set the bomb; children who had been nearby witnessed a man approach the house with a tattoo similar to Riggs', and Murtaugh suspects Hunsaker knows more than he has told him. The two approach Hunsaker before Amanda's funeral, where he reveals that he had previously been part of "Shadow Company," a heroin-smuggling operation run by former special forces operators from the Vietnam War, masterminded by retired General Peter McAllister (Mitchell Ryan) and his right-hand man, Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey). Hunsaker had been laundering the money, but wanted to get out, and when McAllister found out he'd contacted Murtaugh, the general had Amanda killed. As they talk, Joshua arrives in a helicopter and kills Hunsaker. Shadow Company attempts to kill Riggs in a drive-by shooting, but he is saved by a bullet-proof vest. Murtaugh and Riggs fake his death to gain the upper hand against McAllister...

Variety wrote, "Lethal Weapon is a film teetering on the brink of absurdity when it gets serious, but thanks to its unrelenting energy and insistent drive, it never quite falls." Richard Schickel of Time called it "Mad Max meets The Cosby Show", saying that it works better than expected. Richard Harrington of The Washington Post described it as "a vivid, visceral reminder of just how exciting an action film can be". At The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, "The film is all fast action, noisy stunts and huge, often unflattering close-ups, but it packs an undeniable wallop." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four out of four stars, saying Donner "tops himself".

"Lethal Weapon" is one of those classic buddy buddy cop movies we have seen in so many versions I can´t even count them, but in this case everything falls in place and works really well due to solid direction from Richard Donner and great cinematography from Stephen Goldblatt, excellent casting of Glover and Gibson (plus the great chemistry between them), Gary Busey´s bad guy Mr. Joshua and an intense and good action script even it´s not that much new under the sun if you dissect it. There´s plenty of great scenes between Gibson and Glover and having finally watched the "Director´s Cut" version I reckon the added scenes are of value to the film in my opinion to get more flesh on the bone concerning Riggs state of mind. The action and violence is up and close, but I reckon it fits the film and structure. The dialogue has several gems as well and you can´t help but love how intense Gibson are in certain scenes. "Lethal Weapon" is a great action flick that stands the test of time. It still holds up in 2016.

Trivia: An alternate opening and ending were both filmed (and are available on the Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) DVD). The alternate opening featured Martin Riggs drinking alone in a bar where he is accosted by a couple of thugs who want his money. Riggs claims all of his is in the bank and tells the thugs "not to fuck with him." The thugs attack him, but Riggs easily subdues them. He is then allowed to take a free bottle of booze from the bar in exchange for never returning. Director Richard Donner felt the movie should open with a brighter look at Riggs and filmed the scene with Riggs awakening in his trailer to replace it. The alternate ending featured Riggs and Murtaugh saying good-bye to one another. Murtaugh tells Riggs he's thinking of retiring, but Riggs tells him not to.

In addition to the film's theatrical release, an extended Director's Cut version was released later on DVD. The Director's Cut version is longer (117 minutes) than the original theatrical release version (110 minutes), and features additional scenes. One extended scene depicts Riggs dispatching a sniper who had been firing at children in a playground. In another scene, Riggs picks up a street-walking prostitute, but instead of having sex with her, he takes her home to watch The Three Stooges on TV, thus illustrating his loneliness following the death of his wife.

Legendary stuntman Dar Robinson was killed in a motorcycle accident shortly after principal photography was finished. Director Richard Donner dedicated the film to him.

Shane Black's first draft of Lethal Weapon (1987) which he wrote sometime in 1985 was very different, not just from his later drafts but also from the final movie. This first draft was 141 pages long and it was much darker, it had alternate plot parts, character scenes, action sequences and many other differences, like entire ending which had big chase scene including helicopters and a trailer truck full of cocaine which explodes over Hollywood Hills causing for cocaine to start snowing over Hollywood sign. Riggs was also much different character in this first draft than he is in the movie. Black at first thought that this draft (which was one of his first scripts) sucks so he threw it in the garbage but later changed his mind and re-worked it into the new drafts. For the longest time, Black was the only one who had copy of his first draft until he sold it on auction. This draft still remains some of his most wanted work amongst fans.

The fight scene between Riggs and Joshua in the ending was originally four minutes longer, but was cut down for pacing. This explains some continuity mistakes in the final version of the scene.
December 7, 2016
Is it chock full of 80's cheese? You betchya. Is it really well written and damn entertaining? You betchya.
November 28, 2016
Great film. Love these films. Ain't seen for years, look Forward to seeing 2,3 and 4
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