Movie Review: The “Lethal Weapon” Series (Pt. 2 of 4)

We’re back for Part 2 of my recap of the “Lethal Weapon” movie franchise (if you missed Part 1, click here).  And though it’s not necessarily a review, as much as it is a brief recap of each movie and the moments that stood out, there’s enough for you to reflect on with an “oh yeaaahhhh” and maybe decide to watch them again.  And feel free to leave a comment with your own favorite moments at the bottom.

Warning – Here be spoilers (and some use of quoted expletives)

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989): Detectives Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) square off against South African Diplomats who use “Diplomatic Immunity” to protect them during their illegal activity, all the while protecting federal witness Leo Getz (Joe Pesci).

  • Coolest Moment: Riggs dislocates his own shoulder to free himself after having been thrown in the lake to drown.
  • Funniest Moment: Roger’s family excitedly watches daughter Rianne’s commercial debut, only to discover that it’s a condom advertisement (Riggs had already announced and encouraged their police colleagues to watch). Later, Leo Getz sees the televised ad and remarks to Murtaugh about how he loves that commercial and how the girl makes him want to “buy rubbers”.
  • Most Suspenseful Moment (Two Scenes):
    1st scene: Riggs learns that the #1 hitman of the South Africans is the man who mistakenly killed his wife in a car accident (event occurred before Lethal Weapon 1), thinking it was him.
    2nd scene: Murtaugh stares at Riggs’ seemingly lifeless body after having been shot several times.
  • Best Line/Exchange:
    South African Leader, Arjen Rudd (mockingly brandishes credentials): “Diplomatic Immunity!”
    Roger Murtaugh (aims and shoots Rudd): “It’s just been REVOKED!”
  • Most Enjoyable Moment: Learning that Riggs, laying in Murtaugh’s arms, was not mortally wounded and was joking with him, during an otherwise emotional finale. Their words to each other as the camera eventually pans back and police cars arrive as the early rays of the sun show in the distance (while George Harrison’s “Cheer Down” plays) had me smiling long after the movie was over.
  • Rank (Out Of The Four): #2 – Once again, I figured this would be the conclusion of the series with a fitting ending: Riggs serves justice to the group (and specific individual) responsible for his wife’s murder (which he thought was an accident). I remember sitting in the audience going “whooooooaaaa” when the hitman confessed to killing her. It was even more shocking when they threw Riggs in the lake and he discovered his new love interest dead and anchored to the bottom.
  • Additional Note: There is a sincere WTH(?) moment when the South African hitmen travel from home to home, assassinating various investigating officers of the police department. One African American officer can be seen hanging upside down, about to do inversion sit-ups. After warning the home invader that he’s a cop, the assassin replies, “You WERE a cop” and he is shot in the head before the scene cuts away. Since we never see his face, his voice and build shockingly lead the audience to believe that he is Detective Murtaugh.

That’s it for Part 2. Hope you enjoyed it. See you tomorrow for Part 3.

…and be sure to leave a comment below. What scenes do you remember? How did you like the movie? What other movies would like me to talk about?

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