1998; Rated R; 127 Minutes
Mel Gibson: Martin Riggs
Danny Glover: Roger Murtagh
Joe Pesci: Leo Getz
Rene Russo: Lorna Cole
Chris Rock: Lee Butters
Jet Li: Wah Sing Ku
Produced by Dan Cracchiolo,
Richard Donner, Spencer Franklin, J. Mills Goodloe, Jennifer
Gwartz, Steve Perry, Ilyse A. Reutlinger, Joel Silver and
Jim Van Wyck; Directed by Richard Donner; Screenwritten
by Jonathan Lemkin, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and Channing
by DAVID KEYES
"Leo: I'm Leo Getz, private investigator.
Riggs: Private investigator, huh? I was wondering
if you could investigate my privates."
- Dialogue from "Lethat Weapon 4"
The minute those lines are played is the minute that all
the fun stops. Film franchises aren't normally decent ones
because of formulaic scripts, but the "Lethal Weapon" one
has remained strong over the years despite the typical series
flaws. Who really cares about uninspired scripts when the
chemistry between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover heats up?
Reflect for a moment on all the previous "Lethal Weapon"
films, and seriously wonder if that stuff really matters.
a franchise like "Lethal Weapon," the characters and action
scenes are so nostalgically brilliant that it succeeds even
though it is formulaic. Great franchises do that, because,
if you think about it, 99 percent of them are all similar
usual in these situations, I went to 'Lethal Weapon 4" with
high hopes, even though I knew how things would turn out
in the end. Seeing Gibson and Glover on screen together
was all that mattered.
the minute those words came out of Gibson's mouth was the
moment that my appreciation for the series decreased about
10 percent. Why? Not only are these lines extremely corny,
but also downright unnecessary and perverted, even for a
Mel Gibson character. Was this some sort of last-minute
add-in to give some pizzazz to the aging script? I presume
wouldn't necessarily degrade a movie just because of one
piece of dialogue, but believe me, it wasn't the last thing.
One thing that the infamous franchise suffers from is its
overwhelming number of characters, and in the fourth installment,
even more are introduced. Now these new guys (Chris Rock
and Jet Li) aren't that bad, but when put up against the
other familiar faces (Gibson, Glover, Pesci and Russo),
they're unnecessary. Not only that, they're dwarfed in comparison
to the chemistry and actions scenes provided through the
main stars. It's okay to have new characters, but in the
case here, it may have been wiser to drop one or two from
the original lineup.
the winner for the dubious award of wasted character space
is: Joe Pesci, surprisingly. Oh yes, that foul-mouthed,
annoying little moppet is at it again, only this time, his
lines are even more corny and more annoying, to the point
where, for once, you actually can bet sick of him.
could sit all day and discuss the problems I experienced
here, but since I gave the movie two-and-a-half stars, that
means there's still something good here.
reasons: (1) The action scenes are just spectacular, as
is (2) the comedy relief provided by Chris Rock. Heck, (3)
some of the story turns are kind of good as well.
the extent of it, really. Oh sure, there's all kinds of
quirks and tidbits that are worth smiling at, but nothing
like the original movies, really.
new "Lethal Weapon," as were the first three, is directed
by Richard Donner, who also, in the past, gave us classics
like "The Goonies" and "The Omen." To say the least, he's
a fabulous director, and perhaps his problem here lies elsewhere.
state that the most recent "Lethal Weapon" film was rushed
for release, and perhaps that's the exact cause of flaw.
Several things could have been done differently, and several
things could have been done better. But let's face it, it
could have been worse.
the Gibson and Glover and chemistry that keeps it alive.
Make ten more "Lethal Weapon" movies, and they'll be good,
just as long as both of these guys are there.
thanks to the pointless turns of the newest entry to the
series, are both Gibson and Glover getting to old for this
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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