Lethal Weapon 2
Better than the 1st Lethal Weapon!
Carrying on from where they left off in the original, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are back with more incredible stunts, machine gun dialogue, and red hot action than ever before. Reprising their 'good cop, mad cop' routine, except with a greater emphasis on the lighter side of Riggs's character, the comedy is enhanced further by the significant adaptation to the series of pint-sized motor-mouth Leo, played by Joe Pesci (Raging Bull). Along with the full set of characters introduced in the original, such as the police chief, the psychiatrist, and Murtagh's family, we are treated to an even greater range of gun fights, car chases, explosive fist fights, and dramatic confrontations as the duo become involved in an investigation into heroin smuggling. The bad guys, who are depicted as stereotypical Afrikaner racists (boo, hiss), are nevertheless played by deliciously by Joss Ackland and Derrick O'Connor, who spit out their dialogue in as guttural and vicious way as possible, accentuating the unusual use of the South African accent (in Hollywood, anyway) to create characters immediately identifiable as villains, but whom it can be great to imitate anyway! The actual 'plot' of the drug runners hiding behind diplomatic immunity takes third place to the other two plot strands, as the police come under attack for their intrusion and Leo enters the new treble act with Riggs and Murtagh. Visually, LETHAL WEAPON 2 will always go down as the most memorable of the series, mostly due to the famous 'bathroom scene', which should be textbook material for any writer in how to take a unique dramatic situation, and turn it on its head to create comedy. In effect, that is the entire LETHAL series in a nutshell. We do get another long hard look at the dark side of Martin Riggs, and once again Gibson is completely believable as a man driven to the edge of rationality by his enemies, as he makes a terrible discovery about the death of his wife. The first sequel to LETHAL WEAPON is a worthy successor and in some regards actually succeeds in surpassing its illustrious predecessor.