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Action -Shoot-em Ups, Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

Duration1h 54m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R – The director’s cut Unrated.
Source of storyJust more of the original 
DirectorRichard Donner
Writers/ScriptJeffrey Boam (story and characters Shane Black, Warren Murphy)
StarringMel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Joss Ackland, Patsy Kensit, Dean Norris, 
RatingsIMDb:  7.2 by 160,513 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 82% by 45 critics.

Elevator Pitch: Riggs and Murtaugh are pursuing a group involved in drug smuggling, but causing diplomatic problems so they are re-assigned to baby sitting Leo Getz, a underworld accountant. However Riggs continues to harass the leader of the smugglers, who is the South African consul in LA, and in return  the drug smugglers pursue the two detectives, intending to kill them and capture Leo. There are fire fights, and one of the casualties is Rika, a South African employee in the consulate who Riggs falls for, and finally things come to a head in the docks as the South African attempt to smuggle their ill-gotten gains out of the country.

Content: There is just a bit of sex and nudity as Riggs and Rika get together in his beachside trailer.  Just a bit of drinking and smoking. There are car chases from the outset, with one extremely lengthy one. Murtaugh is having his house extended and his contractor leaves a nail gun in the extension. This features at some length during a shoot out. Murtaugh is also booby trapped while sitting on the lavatory and is embarrassed when his glamourous daughter features in a TV ad for condoms. Riggs’s trailer is shot up from helicopters. And more!

A View: This outing was quite well thought of by the few critics who reviewed it, and it made a lot of money, possibly on the back for the first film. Joe Pesci, as Leo Getz, was laugh out loud funny at times and some of the set pieces were quite ingenious, although I was slightly disconcerted by the use of South African diplomats and the anti-apartheid stance. Negotiations were taking place to change the system at the time. Also nearly all the shoot-outs and car chases went on for too long, but other than that, something you could have playing while having a couple of beers.

Additional Info: Shane Black’s original script had Riggs being killed, but the producers decided to keep him alive for any possible sequels.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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