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1980s, Drama - Gangland

Lethal Weapon (1987)

LethalWeapon

Duration 1h 49m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Richard Donner
Writers/Script Shane Black
Starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan, Tom Atkins,

Elevator Pitch: A suicidal ex special forces detective, Martin Riggs, is teamed up with a police lieutenant, Roger Murtaugh, appearing to be a meeting of opposites. Investigating the death of a young woman they find themselves on the trail of a military style drug operation and after Riggs saves Murtaugh’s life they get on better than expected. Threatened, the bad guys target the family of the lieutenant, and as a result the detectives and the lieutenant’s daughter are taken prisoner. It is as well that Riggs has special skills.

Content: In the first moments a bit of female nudity and a fall from a tall building. Thereafter Riggs decides not to kill himself and saves a suicide attempt. They go to a firing range, and Riggs shows himself to be an expert marksman. Later they attempt to make an exchange of Murtaugh for his daughter out in the desert with Riggs targeting the villains with a sniper rifle. There are a number of firefights mostly with handguns, but later some exchanges of machine gun fire, and some explosions. Murtaugh’s teenage daughter fancies Riggs.

A View:  This is a legendary film, and the start of Shane Black’s career as a screenwriter and director. It is a very well thought out premise, a CIA drug operation in the Vietnam War, which carries on into the peace, and as a result employs all sorts of dangerous people. So we have worthy opponents. The only thing I did not like was the hand to hand fight at the end (sorry if that’s a spoiler). I have never subscribed to the idea that people are so macho they will discard proper weapons and fight it out by hand, but still worth the price of a download.

Additional Info: There is a lot of additional info, but noteworthy is the first appearance in a film of the mobile phone. It was a sort of brick with a handle.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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