Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Shane Black
(number 423)

I expect I have seen bits of this movie before, I mean, I feel like it has been on tv so many times I must have right? But I remembered nothing about it and didn’t know what happened. I watched it with Anna and with visiting Blair on a Sunday after a delicious brunch.

I thought that this movie was mostly a comedy so I found it pretty harsh. Mel Gibson’s character starts the film Martin literally suicidal with grief. It’s rough, seeing him attempt suicide and then decide against it – for now. On the one hand yeah, it sets up why his character is reckless and careless but on the other hand its very dark.

In fact there’s a lot of darkness. Both of the lead characters are tortured, they both kill a bunch of people, it’s rough and nasty and every now and then there’s funny bits. We enjoyed laughing at the 80s hair and clothes, though.

I found the story somewhat not very challenging, like it’s a mystery which we know from the start isn’t what it seems. The big conspiracy to get drugs into the States seems a bit overdramatic, although I guess it’s possible that at that time drugs did need a big conspiracy? I felt pretty meh about it.

Does it make me love the people? Like.. I dunno, sorta? I love a buddy cop movie and Danny and Mel have some great chemistry, lots of quick quips and stuff. But I couldn’t get very invested in the story. What I loved was the footage of 80s Los Angeles, spotting places I might have been near or driven through.

Bechdel test: Not that I noticed. The only named female characters who appeared in scenes with other women were Roger’s wife and kids and I don’t think we saw them talking particularly to each other, just to Roger. Happy to be corrected here, but relatively sure that the women only talk to the men or about the men.

Best line:
Martin: You don’t trust me at all, do you?
Roger: Well, I’ll tell you what. You make it through tomorrow without killing anybody, especially me, or yourself, then I’ll start trusting you.
Martin: Fair enough.

State of Mind: Yeah like, it’s fine. I’m not sure it’s the most important buddy cop move out there and I’m pretty sure it’s not game changing or ground breaking. I suspect this one got on the list because of a bunch of people’s affectionate nostalgia. I get that, that’s why I watch stuff like Princess Bride or Scent of a Woman, but it doesn’t make it one of the greatest 500 movies of all time. I don’t find comedy and wholesale killings really go hand in hand, but I know lots of people aren’t bothered by it, hence the success of movies like Red and the Expendables, etc. It’s just not my thing.

Watched movie count


2 thoughts on “Lethal Weapon (1987)

  1. The later Lethal Weapon movies were lighter buddy cop movies but the original was much more of hard boiled detective movie, which I expect was part of what made it stand out at the time. Mel Gibson really played the pathos very well.

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