Director: Richard Donner
Star: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci
“The Gang’s All Here”
This movie keeps the pace of starting off the guys in the middle of some action. There’s a dude in a home-made Robocop uniform with a machine gun, and flame thrower. No one is able to get a bead on him because of his armor, so Riggs get’s resourceful, and convinces Murtaugh to act like a duck in his boxers. Really, he should have had him just do the Miyagi Family Kata from Karate Kid III. It worked once, and I feel a repeat would have done them well.
We find out that Murtaugh’s oldest daughter is pregnant, as well as Lorna, Riggs’ girlfriend from part 3. While they’re out in the boat with Leo, a giant ship comes flying by, ringing of gun-shots and other noises that would peak police interest. Riggs sees fit to board the ship and do some damage, and for his troubles gets his ass kicked. As it is, we find out that the ship is run by Chinese Triad, and they’re smuggling in slaves. Most are found, while a life-boat holding a family is found by Murtaugh, and he decides the best action is to take them home. Hell, wouldn’t you? You’d finally have someone to talk to about Revenge of the Ninja, and you’d get Teriyaki every day.
Trying to piece this all together, they head to a Chinese restaurant that’s ran by an old Asian gangster named Uncle Benny. We get some screen time with a new member of the Lethal Weapon crew, Detective Butters, played by Chris Rock. He’s a great addition to the films, as he’s able to bring the comedic angle, but also not be a pussy, unlike Leo. Another new face we meet is that of Jet Li, who plays a complete bad-ass with a rat tail. I mean, you don’t fuck with a guy who has a stupid hair cut.
Jet Li and his posse end up at Murtaugh’s house to retrieve the Asian family he believes are rightfully his. We get some great display of Jet Li’s abilities, and it leaves you wanting a lot more. Once they get what they want, they try burning everyone else alive, and are unable to succeed. What follows is one bad-assed scene, with Riggs fighting a guy on a table while it’s being dragged by plastic on the freeway.
We find out that the family is payment for another dude who’s being forced to create counterfeit money. It’s all being created for an exchange that’s set to go down, FINALLY, at the docks. Riggs, Murtaugh, Butters and a few other police figure out where it’s all going down, and crash the party. What follows is an awesome shoot out that goes for quite a while, and we also get fights with a forklift, and other assorted things you find in a warehouse. At the end, there’s a pretty sweet fight scene between Jet Li, Riggs & Murtaugh. It would have been nice if Riggs wasn’t older, because the one on one would have been ridiculous. After dispatching Li, Riggs gets trapped underwater, and shows what a man he is by holding his breath for at least 26 minutes. It’s a damn long while.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
Guys Beat Up: 12
Guys Killed: 28
Swear Words: 131
Slow-Motion Scenes: 10
Car Chases: 2
Chases on Foot: 1
Broken Bones: 1
Fight at a Motel? None
Guy Get Girl? No
Guy Smoke Cigarettes? No
Jackie Chan was considered for the role of Wah Sing Su [Jet Li’s role] but Jackie has stated that he never wants to play a bad-guy.
Although the film takes place in California, the freeway that the car chase & fight take place on is the 215 freeway in Las Vegas. They couldn’t get permits to film anywhere in CA, but Vegas was more than accommodating
Much like Bruce Lee, Jet Li was asked to slow down his movement, as he was faster than the camera’s shutter speed, and he wasn’t registering. .
Released by Warners, with easily the biggest budget of any of the Lethals, it cost $140 million to create. Released July 10th, 1998, in 3,117 theaters. It opened at #1, with a weekend total of $34,048,124.
Although the budget was huge, it earned it back times 2 by bringing in $285,444,603.
C’mon Bennet, Let’s Party:
For some reason, this film doesn’t get the love from the fans that it should. I put it up there against any of the others. The addition of Chris Rock is great, and Jet Li is one hell of a villain. Hell, my biggest complaint towards the film is that we don’t get enough Li. I love that fact that Riggs is no longer invincible, and feeling his age. Getting his ass kicked on the boat, and not being able to catch the guy from the restaurant. It was just cool to see them care enough about the film to keep continuity with age and such. Plus, it was a bit of closure in that, we saw Murtaugh’s kids go to college, while Riggs starts his own family and finally moves on from his first wife, Vickie. Just a damn fine film.
5 Head-Butts Out Of 5