Monday, July 25, 2011
LETHAL WEAPON (1987) - Richard Donner
For a cop movie, there is shockingly little police work done in this film. It's kind of the inverse of a studied procedural like The Wire. Or maybe its loud, abusive movie brother. By the movie's mid-point, the strategy becomes just to shoot people. Either that, or tell the entire LA police force to stand aside while your partner beats the shit out of a suspect under a raining fire hydrant on your front lawn. I'm not just talking about "Crazy" Martin Riggs but also sane family man Roger Murtaugh.
During one of the few scenes of actual investigative work, Murtaugh talks to a group of neighborhood kids about a suspicious man they might have seen. The kid "Alfred" (with 3D glasses below) tells him the man had a tattoo, one which Riggs realizes is the same as his own Special Forces tattoo. I have no idea how a kid (especially one who habitually wears 3D glasses) would notice a small Special Forces arm tattoo on a man from across the street unless his 3D specs also have X-ray vision. I was half expecting young Alfred to announce that he recognized it easily-- from his last tour in Saigon.
Despite all of the above grouses, Lethal Weapon still works for me as one of the pinnacles of ridiculous '80s action cinema. Guess I'll never be "too old for this shit."