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Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon (1987)

March. 06,1987
| Adventure Action Comedy Thriller

Veteran buttoned-down LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh is partnered with unhinged cop Martin Riggs, who -- distraught after his wife's death -- has a death wish and takes unnecessary risks with criminals at every turn. The odd couple embark on their first homicide investigation as partners, involving a young woman known to Murtaugh with ties to a drug and prostitution ring.


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A great movie and Mel Gibson makes this movie as Martin Riggs and he became iconic because of this role also Danny Glover was amazing as Roger Murtaugh and the movie sets the stones for the buddy cop movie genre and they are quirky and dysfunctional but those are the reason it works and makes for a fun 80's action flick

Nadine Salakov

This is the first time iv'e ever watched this movie, and it's surprisingly watchable, great chemistry between the two main characters, a standard plot with basic scenarios.The film score isn't great, but a lot of 80s movie scores aren't.Lethal Weapon isn't fantastic, but it's worth watching once.


Lethal Weapon actually starts out as a serious film where Mel Gibson is an officer so despondent over the loss of his wife that he engages in incredibly reckless behavior. When that doesn't get him a line of duty death for a bit you see him contemplating suicide. No one will work with him and Danny Glover newly assigned to him is having second, third, and fourth thoughts. But they gradually warm up to each other as Glover and his family kind of provide a new stability for him. Also that shared Vietnam experience.That Vietnam thing comes in handy on the case these two have now. A former Army General who had a kind of stealth command of assassins Mitchell Ryan has gone heavy into the drug business via the contacts he made in Vietnam. His top assassin Gary Busey is his number two. These two think that Gibson and Glover got certain information about a big shipment coming in that their partner here told them before he was killed. That sets up all the action which is a cross between the Dirty Harry and the Indiana Jones features. The first Lethal Weapon got an Oscar nomination for Sound. Not sure if the three succeeding films got that kind of recognition. But they made money.


The template for "buddy cop movies" had already been created some years before "Lethal Weapon" went into production and so its combination of action, comedy and a couple of mismatched cops didn't seem to offer anything particularly new. What it did offer, however, was an excellent plot, a couple of well-drawn characters and two actors whose extraordinary on-screen rapport contributed enormously to the phenomenal success that this movie justifiably achieved.Its story, which involves murder, drug-smuggling and kidnapping, is exciting, violent and often tense with some light relief being provided throughout by the bizarre behaviour of one of the cops and the entertaining banter that's an on-going feature of a relationship that, against the odds, develops into a strong friendship between two very different men.Homicide detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is assigned to investigate the apparent suicide of a young woman who had leaped to her death from a penthouse balcony. He soon discovers that she was the daughter of his old Vietnam War buddy, Michael Hunsaker (Tom Atkins) and later receives evidence that confirms that she was murdered. At fifty years of age and with retirement approaching, Murtaugh is keen to avoid any unnecessary danger and so, when he's teamed up with detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), who has a certain reputation for being unstable, he becomes very apprehensive.Riggs is an ex-Army Special Forces sniper who was classed as a "lethal weapon" and who, following the recent death of his wife, had become unpredictable and suicidal. His state of mind had become a source of concern for police psychiatrists because it had led to him taking great risks in his work and soon it becomes evident that he and Murtaugh have very different ways of doing things. The tensions caused by this situation initially makes their partnership difficult but as the investigation continues, some incidents that they confront, lead to them gaining more trust in each other.Hunsaker admits that he had, for some years, been involved in a drug smuggling operation which had been in existence since the Vietnam War and which was headed by General Peter McAllister (Mitchell Ryan) who, like his henchman, Mr Joshua (Gary Busey), is extremely ruthless and they had murdered his daughter as a consequence of his decision to get out of their racket. The ensuing pursuit of the smugglers leads to Murtaugh's daughter being kidnapped and both detectives being tortured before Riggs and Joshua meet in the movie's final confrontation.Mel Gibson gives a remarkable performance in this movie as he excels as an action hero but also brings incredible intensity to the passages of the film where Riggs struggles with his suicidal tendencies. It's also interesting to watch how his initially volatile and reckless character gradually becomes more rational as a result of his relationship with Murtaugh and his family. Danny Glover also does a brilliant job of showing Murtaugh's humanity, warmth and insecurities as he deals with the demands of his job and his family, whilst also coming to terms with his concerns about getting older."Lethal Weapon" is hugely enjoyable, exciting to watch and full of humorous moments. It's extremely well-written and its emphasis on the nature and development of its characters is what ultimately elevates it above the level of most other similar action movies.