Director: Richard Donner
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
A veteran homicide detective named Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) gets a new partner in the mentally unstable vice cop Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). Together, they investigate the apparent suicide of a young porno actress that may be linked to a drug smuggling ring.
When most people think about Christmas, images of togetherness, presents, trees, colorful lights, and the sounds of carols pop into their head. For "Lethal Weapon" writer Shane Black and director Richard Donner, Christmas means porn stars, prostitutes, drug smuggling, and murder. Hey, whatever gets you goin'! That's what we get in this 1980's action-packed crime thriller that is set around the Christmas holiday. It stars Danny Glover as veteran homicide detective Roger Murtaugh, who is a regular family man. He gets partnered with a possibly psychotic and suicidal loose cannon named Martin Riggs, played by the possibly psychotic loose cannon Mel Gibson. Riggs is ex-Special Forces, a master marksman, an expert in hand-to-hand combat, and has a deadly mullet, making him a complete, you guessed it, "Lethal Weapon."
This is a quintessential 1980's action flick, loaded with excessive violence, a whole lot of gun play, gratuitous nudity, and cheesy one-liners all set against a Christmas backdrop. What more could you want from a movie!? The plot isn't exactly meticulously planned and much of what happens is mostly contrived. We aren't sure where Riggs is supposed to be from, but we hope it's Australia because Gibson doesn't even bother to lose his Australian accent half of the time. That being said, he does offer up his fair share of charm when isn't acting crazy...so really, what else is new? We really like Danny Glover here as he gets to deliver the occasional line of dry wit, but also gets to play a tough guy as well. Together, they leave a path of destruction in their wake as they try to solve this very salacious crime/series of crimes that may or may not be related. Oh, and there is the occasional Christmas tree for posterity.
Iffy accents and cheesy dialogue aside, Glover and Gibson work off each other very well and have great on-screen chemistry in "Lethal Weapon." You get exactly what one would expect from an 80's crime thriller and that is a whole lot of fun and a ton of non-Christmas related action thrown into a holiday setting.
My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
Last Christmas, we were watching: "The Holiday"
Two Christmases ago, we were watching: "The Santa Clause"
Three Christmases ago, we were watching: "Home Alone"