HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
Legend of the Demon Cat
Adventures of Sinbad, The
Wounds
Love & Peace
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Lethal Weapon 4 The Mirth Of FourthBuy this film here.
Year: 1998
Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock, Jet Li, Steve Kahan, Kim Chan, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Eddy Ko, Jack Kehler, Calvin Jung, Damon Hines, Ebonie Smith, Mary Ellen Trainor, Steven Lam, Michael Chow, Tony Keyes, Richard Riehle
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Cop partners Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) have been called out to combat a maniac dressed in bulletproof and fireproof clothes who is alternately firing off a machine gun and using a powerful flamethrower in downtown Los Angeles. Riggs is convinced that if they creep up on this criminal - in their patrol car - they will be able to run him over, but it does not work out that way as he does indeed notice them and starts targeting their vehicle. As the two cops cower behind their bullet-ridden and singed vehicle, they have news for one another: Lorna (Rene Russo), Riggs' girlfriend, is pregnant, and Murtaugh's eldest daughter is pregnant too…

And that's not even what this third Lethal Weapon sequel was about, it was a mere subplot to warm the cockles of the audience's heart, with flamethrower guy forgotten within nanoseconds of his arrest. The reason the whole affair seemed so patchwork in construction was because it was rushed into release for a big Warners' blockbuster in the lucrative summer period, and that they were writing the script as they went along: seriously, they might as well have been improvising scenes for all the consistency it held. Nevertheless, thanks to the franchise being popular it was a hit, if not quite as big a hit as the other entries, which may be why the next decade held no Lethal Weapon 5.

Well, that and other reasons, like Gibson wanting to spread his wings as director, then getting into a scandal or two which suggested he had better lay off the sauce if he wanted to retain his position as a box office star. Glover, meanwhile, rose above all that with an increasing selection of character roles which lent his gravitas and nose for a good gag to a number of properties large and small. It was remarkable that this franchise lasted four instalments with a solid personnel line-up and very little variation, so much so that it was maybe not a huge surprise that it was turned into a television series a couple of decades later, as the violence and swearing aside, it was like a running TV show.

Complete with running jokes, sitcom-like variations between elaborate set-ups and gloopy sentimentality, and characters who became like part of the family to regular viewers (these got a lot of repeat viewings on home video, and still do). It did end differently from how it began, less gritty, less brutal, more emphasis on humour, and you can understand why some fans preferred the original, but it had been the defining buddy movie series of the late eighties-nineties, and thanks to regularly appearing on television where they are an easy watch, it is still very popular. But no thanks to part 4, which may have seen director Richard Donner holding it together, yet its abundant humorous sequences came across as hacky shtick rather than ribtickling examples of coruscating wit and repartee.

There was also a strange conflict, where Donner smuggled in his right-on messages as was his wont, but the way the story, such as it was, played out was against all that. The plot had Chinese Triads people trafficking and counterfeiting, which made this look like an early instance of Hollywood pandering to the Asian market where there were massive profits to be made should you hit big; though they had recruited a Hong Kong megastar with Jet Li for their villain, he was a mere gimmick present to drum up interest for his much-desired Western career, something that didn't last too long and never quite took. This was not an anti-immigrant tale, however, as Murtaugh takes pity on a refugee family and conceals them in his house (!), despite Gibson's loosely anti-Chinese quips throughout. Chris Rock was also here as a younger detective Murtaugh thinks is in love with him for no other reason than it was residue from an unused subplot, though Rock is actually playing his secret son-in-law. See how messily contrived this was? The action remained of a high standard, but the rest was all over the place. Music by Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton and David Sanborn.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 353 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: