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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 78. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

August 2, 2011

78. Lethal Weapon 2 [DVD] (1989)

Plot: Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are back in this sequel to Lethal Weapon (1987).

When a car crashes while they are chasing it, they discover the trunk is full of South African gold Krugerands. Their boss assigns them to protect a federal witness named Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) to try and keep them out of trouble. When the witness reveals he has been doing business with South Africans, the story evolves into a fast moving chase.

Also Starring:  Joss AcklandDerrick O’ConnorPatsy KensitDarlene LoveTraci WolfeSteve Kahan
Genre: Action/Comedy
Directed by: Richard Donner
Written by: Jeffrey Boam (screenplay)
Shane Black (characters) (story)
Warren Murphy (story)
Length: 114 min, 118 min (director’s cut)
Gross Revenue: $227,300,000 (Worldwide)

The magic is back! (tagline)

Review: First of all, I know what you’re thinking; two Richard Donner movies back to back?? Yes, that is correct, I am a huge Richard Donner fan and not to give anything away, there may be more of the Don further up the list too.

Okay, back to the real review.

Favorite Quote:
Riggs: Police! Open up!
Leo Getz: How do I know it’s the police?
Riggs: After I shoot you through the door, you can examine the bullet. Open up!

Review: Before Mel Gibson turned old and racist and a girlfriend beater he was a funny, hugely popular actor doing blockbusters after blockbusters. And the Lethal Weapon series started it all.

Ironically the bad guy in Lethal Weapon 2 is an old racist guy… Whether or not he’s a girlfriend beater too isn’t clear, but since he’s clearly not shy of killing women, I guess he might beat them too.

But I don’t know.. I guess that really doesn’t have anything to do with the review so.. third times the charm..?

Review: Even though I usually hate sequels/remakes/reboots, Lethal Weapon 2 is one of the movies that has escaped my hate. And basically only because I want to see what king of craziness Martin Riggs will come up with; and hear Murtaugh utter his “I’m too old for this shit” line.

Oscar Count:
1 Nomination: 
Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Robert G. Henderson, Alan Robert Murray)

And like every movie buff (or at least anyone who has seen Scream 2) knows there are rules to making a great sequel.

And Lethal Weapon 2 achieves the rules New Is Good and Don’t be afraid to mix things up just by bringing in the comic relief of Joe Pesci, who alone makes this movie a must-watch.
Oh, and Patsy Kensit is so gorgeous it makes me breathless. …which also is ironic, since that is what her character ends up as..

Nerdiest Movie Trivia:
The films’ writer, Shane Black had decided that Riggs was to die in this movie, but the producer opposed the decision (to make more movies); which made Shane Black leave the project.

2. Gary Burghoff of MASH fame turned down the part later taken by Joe Pesci.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 79. Scrooged (1988)


One Comment leave one →
  1. August 3, 2011 10:59

    “I am a huge Richard Donner fan and not to give anything away, there may be more of the Don further up the list too.”

    I’ll just take a huge leap of faith here and assume this means the first and superior Lethal Weapon will grab a higher place in this list? Or the 4th even…

    Richard Donner is/was a genius and there is a long list of films with his name on it that I’d like to see in here.

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