Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lethal Weapon


Danny Glover
Mel Gibson
Gary Busey

The tagline pretty much says it all: “Two cops. Glover carries a weapon. Gibson is one.” Lethal Weapon follows in a long line of buddy cop films like 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop. Danny “I’m too old for this shit” Glover plays Roger Murtaugh, a veteran detective who is forced to partner with Martin Riggs (played by Gibson), an edgy cop with a death wish. Together they discover a widespread drug-smuggling operation and team up to take it down.

This movie follows the standard Hollywood formula. The odd-couple flung together under strange circumstances can’t stand each other at first, but as the movie progresses their bond grows and, eventually, they overcome their differences to defeat a common enemy who, in this movie, is the mercenary Mr. Joshua (played by Gary “My middle name is DUI” Busey) and the ringleader, General Peter McAllister. Throw in the obligatory racially awkward scene—the family dinner where the audience is subjected to Murtaugh’s prepubescent children beat-boxing and rapping, and Murtaugh good-naturedly joining in—and we have a complete buddy cop movie.

What makes the movie enjoyable for me, someone who is watching it for the first time when it is nearly twenty years old, is admiring the collection of future whack-jobs work on screen together: After the movie, Mel Gibson goes on to issue a barely-coherent anti-Semitic rant while drinking and driving, Gary Busey goes on to be a drunk who has no business riding a motorcycle and Danny Glover goes the way of Harry Belafonte, becoming a Castro-loving, Chavez-worshipping, America-hating political nutjob who gives Hollywood lib-labs a bad name.

Aside from the fun cast, Lethal Weapon is a plotline everyone has seen a hundred times before. A good movie with a committable cast.

View Trailer Here:

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