It’s not often a sequel out does the original, but Lethal Weapon 2 does just that, baby. The film starts out like the rest soon would, with Riggs & Murtaugh right in the middle of action. In this case, they’re in the middle of a car chase. One car gets away, but the other ends up crashing, and spilling it’s load of Krugerrands, which is a South African gold coin, first minted in the 60’s, and became illegal to import to the US until the mid 90’s. Before they even know what they’ve stumbled upon, a group of baddies break into Murtaugh’s house, restrain him and his wife, and let him know that he needs to lay off, otherwise bad things are going to happen. I always felt that telling them something bad is going to happen is sort of redundant. I mean, you’ve broken in, and tied them up. What do you think they think is going to happen if they disobey? A harsh review on your eBay seller account?
While they’re trying to figure out just what the hell that was all about, they’re assigned to protecting a witness, Leo Getz. He was an accountant that laundered money for the mob, drug dealers, and other types of nefarious characters. At the motel where Leo is staying, the guys who want him dead try to put that plan into action, only to be thwarted. Afterwords, the guys grill Leo on the people he use to work for, so they can check it out. Upon doing so, they come across a place that Leo had been to, and of course they find trouble. However, the man who owns it, Arjen Rudd, happens to be a South African Diplomat, and thus he cannot be prosecuted by American laws. On the way out, Riggs runs into Rudd’s attractive assistant, and plants the seeds for him to soon plant his package. Oh snaps!
Naturally, our boys don’t back off, and keep pressing. This results in Murtaugh not showing up to work one day. Riggs heads to his house, where Trish & the kids are out of town, and finds Murtaugh trapped on the toilet. It’s been rigged with a pressure sensitive bomb, and will go off if Roger leaves. So, bomb squad is called in, and Riggs has to pull him into a tub and make sure the bomb drop-cloth is covering them. What would have bothered me, is that the bomb squad is dressed from head to toe in protective gear, and when they leave the bathroom they put a huge bomb drop cloth over the door. It’s like, OK, you still need all that gear, and the drop cloth, AND you’re gonna be standing pretty far away from it, and I’ll just be chilling half a foot from the blast site. Might as well have bomb squad tell me to dis-arm the bomb with my face.
This upsets them, so Riggs does all that he can to bother Rudd, by following him every where, even sneaking into his office and shooting up his fish tank. Not only did this happen, but Rudd got shot down by his assistant, thus turning this day into a sad stormy cloud. So, Riggs is on a high note and decides to bang some chicks. He finds the assistant chick, brings her back to his rockin’ trailer, and gets with the getting on. While all of this is happening, 6 members of the police task force are killed by Rudd’s men. They try to get Roger, to no such luck, but do manage to get Leo back in their grasp. So, while Riggs is chilling in his refractory period, 2 helicopters show up with machine guns in order to cock-block. Well, joke is on them, because he’s all spent for the night, but he’s down to bust some colon. He does so, as he and the assistant chick flee into the night. Now, this is where we see Riggs is a true man. Because, if the girl’s boss just tried to kill you, you’d assume you’d take her to the police station where she’d be safe. However, Riggs probably knows that she’d try and get a relationship out of him or some bullshit, so he just takes her home. After dropping her off, he gets knocked out from behind. Man, leave it to a woman to get you knocked out.
As Riggs comes to, we find him all wrapped up in chains and what appears to be an old army bag or something. Rudd’s main guy talks to Riggs, and reveals that he’s the one who killed Riggs’ wife, back when Riggs was working in narcotics. With this new info, he’s dropped into the ocean, where he escapes, and finds that they killed the assistant chick. Man, right on. He doesn’t die, and doesn’t have to call the girl tomorrow. Score. Of course, he realizes this means he’s not gonna be getting a BJ in the next hour or two, so he flies off the handlebar and goes on a massive revenge spree with Murtaugh. It’s really awesome, as they destroy houses, shoot a shit ton of people, and drop containers on peeps. It’s a fantastic ending.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
Guys Beat Up: 4
Guys Killed: 29
Swear Words: 115
Slow-Motion Scenes: 15
Car Chases: 2
Chases on Foot: 1
Broken Bones: 1
Fight at a Motel? Yes
Guy Get Girl? Yes
Guy Smoke Cigarettes? Yes
[surf board goes through a guy’s face]
[Roger kills two of Rudd’s men with a nail gun]
Murtaugh: Nailed’em both
[Rudd shoots Riggs quite a few times, then holds up his passport at Murtaugh]
Rudd: Diplomatic immunity!
[Murtaugh shoots Rudd in the head]
Murtaugh: It’s just been revoked.
Riggs was suppose to die at the end of this film, but franchises don’t grow on trees, thus his survival.
Shane Black, the writer of the original, as well as the story outline for this, wanted Riggs to die. However, since Warners wouldn’t allow it, Shane walked away from the franchise.
Pesci said he based his character Leo Getz on some of the kids who worked at an amusement park he attended. Whenever you’d ask someone where a certain ride was, the attendant would go “OK, OK, so you know where the Shooting Gallery is? OK, OK, so, OK…”
Released by Warners, and created for $25 million, it was released on July 7th, 1989, to 1,803 theaters. It came in at #1 with a weekend total of $20,388,800.
In the end it brought in $227,853,986.
C’mon Bennet, Let’s Party:
Lethal Weapon 2 is the one. People often ask me if there’s ever a film that hits every single category in the Man-Tally, and I’m proud to say that here you go, baby. It was a close call, because the broken neck doesn’t happen till near the end, so I thought it’d get close, but not all the way. Thank goodness Riggs knows how to snap a neck. As for the film, it’s fucking awesome. It’s my favorite of the series for a number of reasons; the humor is ramped up, as is the action, and the violence. We get Leo Getz, who’s an awesome addition to the series, and there’s never a better villain than a Nazi. Especially one who’s outside the law. One hell of a film.
4 & 3/4th Head Butts Out of 5