Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Chemistry between leads, action, laughs
Cons: One huge coincidence in plot, but I really don’t mind
The Bottom Line:
Action, laughs increase
In entertaining sequel
Still well worth watching
“How Do I Know It’s the Police?” “After I Shoot You Through the Door, You Can Examine the Bullet.”
It’s generally considered true that the sequel is never as good as the original. Oh, people will point to very specific cases where that isn’t true, and they are usually correct. In my mind, one of those cases is Lethal Weapon 2.
The movie starts right off with the action as we jump into things with LAPD officers Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh. (Danny Glover) involved in a car chase. But when they and their fellow officers finally corner their query, all the find is an empty vehicle and a trunk filled with Krugerrands. While the duo have no clue what it means, they have obviously made someone angry because Roger and his wife are attacked in bed in their home.
In order to keep them out of danger, their captain assigns them to babysit Leo Getz (Joe Pesci), an accountant who has turned against the people he was money laundering for. All they have to do is keep him safe until all the details are worked out and he can join the Witness Protection Program. However, they’ve hardly met him before someone tries to kill him. What have the duo gotten involved with now?
It should be obvious with Joe Pesci in the cast that the comedy has been ramped up in this movie. His character is pretty funny and livens up every scene he’s in. Not that he gets all the best material. There is a very funny sub-plot involving Roger’s daughter, and Riggs and Murtaugh have developed a very friendly partnership that involves lots of teasing. In other words, there are plenty of laughs – more so than the original.
Not that the movie is all fun and games. There are still some very serious moments, especially as we get near the end. I won’t spoil them, but the movie does still pack a punch.
The action has been ramped up as well. The opening car chase is better than anything we got in the first film, and there are several more action scenes before the film is over. That’s the biggest and best, but the others will keep you entertained.
Even better, there is a good story holding the action scenes together. We know who the villain is early on, but watching our heroes figure it out is entertaining. There is a huge coincidence that ties things together, but it doesn’t bother me. This is fiction – you pretty much expect it.
In the first movie, Murtaugh and Riggs were reluctant partners at best, but by the end of the film, they’d actually grown to like each other. I enjoyed seeing their relationship still going strong. There’s something about their friendship that I just love.
Which is a testament to the chemistry between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Whether they are fighting for their lives or teasing each other, the two always play things perfectly. Joe Pesci just adds to the film – he truly is a perfect addition. The rest of the cast is great as well, but this really is a movie for the three leads to shine, and they do.
When the movie first started, it screamed out 80’s to me, which isn’t surprising since it came out in 1989. However, it wasn’t long at all before I forgot that and got lost in the action.
Lethal Weapon 2 holds up surprisingly well. If you are looking for a fun action movie, look no further.