JT Film Review

25 – Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon REVIEW

4.5/5 stars

Director – Richard Donner

Cast – Danny Glover, Mel Gibson, Gary Busey


— followed by Lethal Weapon 2


lethalweaponLethal Weapon, made in 1987, came along smack dab in the middle of (arguably) the worst years for film yet. It is based on a tried and true formula, for sure, and the plot line is pretty generic even for an action film. Yet as the saying goes, “It’s not where you’re going, it’s how you get there.” Despite the plot, this movie makes itself feel wonderfully fresh. The characters are wonderfully rounded, helped by the acting. Mel Gibson puts in an Oscar-worthy performance (yes, in an action movie), and Danny Glover is wonderful as the film’s anchor. Gary Busey as the villian is not quite as impressive, but he does well enough.

Taking its cue from seemingly every other 80’s action movie, it is set at Christmas. Plot-wise, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover try to track down a group of drug smugglers who killed the daughter of one of Glover’s friends. Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs is, well, nuts. He is almost certainly insane, reminding me in some ways of Heath Ledgers Joker in The Dark Knight. There is one scene where he contemplates suicide that is amazing, quite honestly some of the best acting I have ever seen, action film or not.

The chemistry between the main characters, Martin Riggs and Roger Mutaugh, raised the bar for buddy movies. They really have a perfect relationship; we really believe that the characters would react the way they do, when they do.

lethal_weaponThe action itself is great as well, we see one thrilling sequence after another. But all the action in the whole world won’t make a good movie. Yet this is a good movie because of how much we feel for the characters. Humour is used very well also, there are many literal laugh out loud moments. Also, the music is very unique in Lethal Weapon, with Eric Clapton’s squealing, lonely guitar piercing through Michael Campton’s simple orchestrations. It really adds a whole new layer to the movie.


This is one of the best action movies ever made. Recommended to pretty much anyone.



“Lethal Weapon” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia



July 11, 2009 - Posted by | 4.5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Action, Year - 1980-1989 | , , , ,

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