An unlikely duo of newly paired detectives must learn
to work together to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Shane Black
Starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey,
Mitchell Ryan, Tom Atkins, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe
Oscar Nominations - Best Sound
The movie which would kick off one of cinema’s most endearing, and beloved, franchises. The one which has had one very famous line referenced by many for decades. The one which seems to be the gold standard for the buddy-cop subgenre. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 1987’s Lethal Weapon. And, if you think I’m over-exaggerating on its success, I’ll put it like this: 3 sequels, a TV series reboot, and a still talked about potential fifth, and final, film. This is the movie which showed how a great mixture of action, comedy, and chemistry between its leads can make for one entertaining ride. With all that said, let’s see how this classic holds up today. Is it still relevant? Or, is it too old for this shit?
I really think the best way to begin is with our two lead actors: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Gibson, fresh off another huge 80's franchise, is outstanding as a cop who is very much on the edge. While there is his usual swagger and crazy shenanigans, he also brings a surprising amount of depth to his character I don’t usually see from him. Glover, simply put, is just as entertaining to watch as he is in anything else. He plays the part of a caring family man and seasoned detective extremely well. Together, it’s amazing how much chemistry they have. There’s never a doubt that these two, while having a rocky start, become great friends. To help with this is a nice mixture of some very exciting action scenes and really funny comedic moments. For all this greatness, though, there is one thing holding this film back. The thing being the overall main plot with the villains. See, they come off almost as an afterthought to just watching Glover and Gibson interact together. It does come together in the end, but it doesn’t feel right.
For the most part, I understand why this has become such a classic. Sure, the main plotline feels slightly disjointed. But, the chemistry between the two leads is too good to not be entertained by. Add to that some awesome action and comedy scenes; and you got one of the more fun films from the 80's. Don’t yourself a favor and check this out. Remember, you’re never too old for this shit.