Roger Murtaugh is too old for this sh*t. He’s also not nearly white enough for that name, as he’s played by the incomparable Danny Glover (last seen collecting them checks from Samsung). We quickly forgive and forget this oversight because of the holiday cheer. You know it’s a Christmas movie because it starts with “Jingle Bell Rock”, and you know it’s a bro movie because it ends in a fistfight (spoiler; sorry not sorry).
The movie begins with Murtaugh getting a new partner (because, obvi, he’s a cop), Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). These two form a most BROtastic buddy cop duo that ranks at the very top of the BBYK buddy cop power rankings which includes Tango and Cash and whatever the names of the characters Simon Pegg and Nick Frost played in Hot Fuzz. This is prime Gibson, and his Riggs is one parts hair and two parts loco.
Riggs plays the psycho very well in his hostage negotiations and bad guy confrontations, but he is legitimately disturbed. His wife of many years died, and no amount of Australian-sounding American dialogue can heal his wounds. He does have some sweet judo moves and a sharpshooting background, so he’s got that going for him.
The two crime fighters get to fighting crime right away with all sorts of drama. From the writer (Shane Black) who dumped Iron Man 3 (another Christmas-ish movie) on us, comes this action dramedy that serves up hilarious situations like suicide attempts, drug smuggling, murder, and torture. Yup.
Against all odds of drug abuse, gangsters, depression, prostitution, and corrupt bosses, the main characters persevere and thrive. “Lethal Weapon” teaches us many things; gun control means hitting your target, plenty of people sleep naked, and good guys always win are just a few examples. Gary Busey’s forehead also stars in truly wicked performance. Mr. Busey’s irrational anger towards TV’s is on prominent display here, and at one point he shoots a TV playing “The Christmas Carol” while responding to the miserly Scrooge’s query with a biting “it is f***ing Christmas!” Bro can be seen today still struggling with his X1 remote.
The goals of keeping families together and surviving hardship makes this a darker but no less important Christmas movie. The heroes build trust and eschew vice while making the streets safe for us all. Seasons greetings to the ground bad guy number 22!
This film is just the first of many glorious adventures in a remarkable series. To catch the director’s cut of all the “Lethal Weapon” films and the lesser known “Lethal Weapon 5,” just watch “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” Seriously, Mac and Dennis know what’s up. You know what, we’re feeling particularly generous. Merry Christmas you filthy animals!
8/10 BroFists (5 + birthday cake + hollow point bullets + mullets)