Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

It seems like whenever we see a topic that we are particularly familiar with portrayed in a movie, it has been dumbed-down for the less-familiar general public.

You routinely read of scientists correcting the science found in science-fiction films. If they've ever shot a flick around the town where you live, then I'm sure you despaired with your friends afterwards about how none of the geography worked. And as for the woolly adaptations of books one has read...

Bearing all that in mind, I have to wonder just what cops make of cop-movies like this one.

Despite its title and 18 certificate, Lethal Weapon is a cop movie with heart. There's just no missing that the reason why it spawned three sequels was because of the central matey relationship between Riggs and Murtaugh. They yell at each other, and they hate each other, but the time they spend together is a lot longer than that.

Without a doubt the best scenes in here feature the two of them on auto-pilot, bouncing off of each other's banter in the way... well, in the way you do with your mates. Neither one of them ever has to spell-out the obvious, thank God.

Mel Gibson, for all his fame, proves what a tremendous actor he actually is throughout this. I'm sorry to distance Danny Glover from that statement, but the script just doesn't offer him the same opportunities.

It sure is a good job that this central dynamic works so well because, as I alluded to above, the rest of this story doesn’t even aim for credible.

The number of people who get shot-at without any repercussions at all, the forensic omissions, the guy who's threatening to commit suicide by jumping onto a crash-mat...

At one point the two leads enter Murtaugh's home and the kidnappers immediately phone him. So I guess the bad guys must be watching the place then. So they must have just seen that Riggs is still alive too. Well okay then, maybe they weren't watching the place, and just happened to call at a lucky time, but it occurs to neither character that they might well have just lost the ace up their sleeve.

But hey, though well-intentioned, these two sure aren't the brightest cops on the force, which all fine as this film is far more interested in championing their abilities at physical violence rather than their brain-power. Yes, the two 'heroes' actually think that they are allowed to mistreat, hurt and kill people. Not even being in the right permits anyone to do that. (and no, it's not in self-defence either)

We all know that there are viewers out there who watch these sort of films and dream of being a cop. I suppose that some of them must actually become cops. I guess there are two ways they can deal with how mundane most of the real life job actually turns out to be: accept it, or change it.

Sadly, footage of thickie police beatings is a daily occurance on the news at the moment.

It's a fun movie, and it works because it is a fantasy.

Arrogance is also a fantasy.

(Review of Lethal Weapon 2 here)
(Review of Lethal Weapon 3 here)
(Review of Lethal Weapon 4 here)


2 comment(s):

At 3:11 am, Blogger KlownKrusty said...

"I'm sorry to distance Danny Glover from that statement, but the script just doesn't offer him the same opportunities."

- The film IS called "Lethal Weapon", not "Lethal Weapon's Bemused Pal".

At 4:59 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Had the film indeed been titled Lethal Weapon's Bemused Pal, then Danny Glover stank. Bemused? It's an ironic sobriquet, right?


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