With the news of a new ‘Ghostbusters’ movie and the announcement of Eddie Murphy coming back to Saturday Night Live for its anniversary special, I’ve been on an 80’s kick recently.
I decided to start re-watching some of the old 80’s classics, and what I started with was 1987’s ‘Lethal Weapon’. Starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, ‘Lethal Weapon’ sees these two playing cops that are forced to work with each other. Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is absolutely crazy and has thoughts of suicide due to the recent passing of his wife. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) plays a family man, who ends up being at odds with Riggs, but then later finding that even though he has troubles, he is a great partner.
The first thing I rediscovered about this movie is that not only is the action great, but the comedy really hits me. And it still even holds up to this day. The scene where Riggs is trying to save a man from jumping to his death had me dying of laughter when he hand-cuffed and jumped alongside the victim.
The music is by Michael Kamen, who also scored the original ‘Die Hard’ movies. It’s very reminiscent to the music in those films, and I love that because ‘Die Hard’ is probably my favorite action movie of all time. David Sanborn and Eric Clapton also help with the music to create an awesome soundtrack featuring guitar and saxophone throughout the whole movie. It’s awesome, and I wish they would do it for movies today.
Richard Donner is the director and of course many people know him as the man who directed the first ‘Superman’ film starring Christopher Reeve in 1978. He does an excellent job filming the action and a terrific job directing Gibson and Glover.
The two main characters have excellent chemistry, and to me it’s the perfect duo for a perfect buddy-cop movie. The villain is also pretty good, and feels like a true threat to the characters. The magic that is pulled off with the direction, the leads, and even the music is what really held this together, not just as a single movie, but as a series.
I’ll give ‘Lethal Weapon’ an A-. It’s insanely entertaining. The action and humor still holds up, and Riggs and Murtaugh are just a perfect buddy-cop duo. It’s definitely one of my favorites of the 1980’s.
Three other sequels were made. Although they might not be as great as the first, they are still very good because of the fact that many of the great things about the original were carried over into all of the sequels.