We’re in Week 3 now! Next up, we have Zoe from The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger. She runs a fantastic blog full of reviews on movies, books and TV series. She participates in the Blindspot series and also Sporadic Scene segment which is absolutely fun! Head on over and check out her lovely posts! 🙂
Without further ado, let me hand it over to Zoe and her Ultimate 80s choice: Lethal Weapon.
“Well, I’ll tell you what. You make it through tomorrow without killing anybody, especially me, or yourself, then I’ll start trusting you.” – Roger Murtaugh
SYNOPSIS: Roger Murtaugh is an aging family man and sensible veteran police officer just trying to make it through the day unscathed. Martin Riggs is a suicidal loose cannon cop who doesn’t care if he even lives to see the end of the day. Reluctantly thrown together to solve the mysterious murder of a banker’s daughter, the unlikely duo uncovers a dangerous ring of drug smugglers employing ex-military mercenaries. After a tragic turn of events, the mission becomes personal and the mismatched investigators must learn to trust one another as they wage a two-man war against a deadly criminal organization. – via IMDB
You know, I might not be a fan of the 80s at all, but there is no denying that the 80s churned out some fantastic movies – A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Princess Bride, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Aliens, Blade Runner, The Shining, The Thing, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi among others. There are countless movies, and picking a favourite is just, well… ouch. So I thought in terms of practicality, I would go with a feel good action comedy. Yep, narrowed down the list quite significantly. And what do I enjoy the most when it comes to that? Damn right, Lethal Weapon.
Lethal Weapon features an old school, pre-cuckoo Mel Gibson (though what the ever-loving hell is going on with his hair is beyond me – the freaking 80s, man), Danny Glover, a pretty great story from Shane Black, and good sense of humour and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Yep, this is that type of movie. The movie is just fun, plain and simple, and I think it has held up exceptionally well, considering it was released 29 years ago (yes, that actually happened). Seriously, it is older than me, but I love the movie!
While the majority of the movie is focused on action and investigation and spans of humour, it cannot be denied that there were times where it was serious. A prime example where this is demonstrated is Riggs and his deceased wife, Victoria Lynn. A particularly moving scene features Riggs in his trailer, gun propped up in his mouth, their wedding photo in his lap. He is wrecked and emotionally unstable, and ultimately fails to pull the trigger, crying that he will see her, one day. The whole scene just gives reason to pause because it is so incredibly well executed. We also get a dose of a day in the life of Riggs on the job, and the man is certifiable, and it is exactly what we need. Just checking him bust some drug dealers is classic, not to mention him taking down a sniper holding some kids hostage. Then there is Murtaugh, who is never involved with anything too crazy or rough, and a family man to boot.
I really like the pacing for this, because the movie actually took the time to set up the characters of both Riggs and Murtaugh before throwing them in together for their partnering. Nothing is really rushed. I think that Danny Glover and Mel Gibson worked wonders together – each was exactly the right age for their character, they both really got into their roles and had some awesome chemistry going on. You could totally buy into them being on opposite ends of the spectrum, seeing how they could find a way to work together, and ultimately becoming friends. They just worked. The movie is almost two hours long, yet that sentiment never really occurs to you while watching because you are so engrossed with what is going on. The dialogue is fast and witty, though it is undeniable that there are a few lines that fall quite flat (just think of the flock line nearing the end), but then there are conversations that simply shine (just think about their “pretty fucking thin” hunch), and I like the way that some of the jokes got carried through to other places in the film and it didn’t get old.
Alright, here’s a link to that crazy conversation at the shooting range between Riggs and Murtaugh, their pretty fucking thin theory, and their shot accuracy comparison. I find it to be a highly entertaining scene, and the dialogue is fantastically amusing.
Obviously, all I can say is that I have a lot of love for this movie – it’s great, it’s funny, it is super quotable, it looks good and is shot well and is carried by some awesome performances, and it never gets old. In fact, I am pretty darn sure I am going to end up rewatching them all now again, and it wasn’t even that long ago that I watched these films to start with!