Lethal Weapon 2 - Film Review

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Posted 2023-09-20 by PerthKelfollow
Lethal Weapon 2 is a 1989 American action film directed by Richard Donner and written by Jeffrey Boam. It is the sequel to the 1987 film Lethal Weapon and sees the return of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, respectively. The film follows the two detectives as they investigate a drug smuggling operation that is being run by South African diplomats. Lethal Weapon 2 was another box office success, grossing over $227 million worldwide and receiving positive reviews from critics.

The film picks up several months after the events of the first film. Riggs and Murtaugh are now close friends and are still working as detectives for the LAPD. The film opens with a car chase, which is a staple of the series, as Riggs and Murtaugh pursue a gang of armed robbers through the streets of Los Angeles. The chase ends with Riggs and Murtaugh apprehending the robbers, but not before they cause significant damage to the city.

The main plot of the film revolves around a group of South African diplomats who are using their status to smuggle drugs into the United States. Initially Riggs and Murtaugh are assigned to protect informant Leo Getz (Joe Pesci), but when there's an attempt on his life, they realise he's more involved with the South African smuggling than they all thought. As the investigation progresses, Riggs becomes romantically involved with Rika Van Den Haas (Patsy Kensit), a South African woman who is the secretary of one of the diplomats. This subplot adds an emotional element to the film and gives Riggs a personal stake in the investigation.

Lethal Weapon 2 is notable for its portrayal of South Africa during the apartheid era. The film depicts the South African diplomats as being racist and brutal. This theme would be further explored in the later sequels, with Lethal Weapon 2 being seen as a precursor to the anti-apartheid movement.

One of the strengths of Lethal Weapon 2 is the chemistry between Gibson and Glover. The two actors have a natural rapport that is evident in their banter and interactions throughout the film. Their characters have also evolved since the first film, with Riggs being more stable and Murtaugh being more willing to take risks.

The film's action scenes are also well-executed, with Donner's direction and the stunt work being particularly impressive. The climax of the film, which involves a shootout on a cargo ship, is intense and well-choreographed.

Lethal Weapon 2 also features a strong supporting cast, with Joe Pesci giving a memorable performance as Leo Getz, a fast-talking informant who helps Riggs and Murtaugh with their investigation. Joss Ackland also gives a standout performance as Arjen Rudd, the main villain of the film.

The film's soundtrack, composed by Michael Kamen, is also noteworthy. The score features a mix of orchestral and rock music, with a memorable saxophone solo being a highlight of the soundtrack.

In terms of criticisms, some viewers have noted that the film's portrayal of South Africa is somewhat one-dimensional. The South African characters are all portrayed as being racist and brutal, with no nuance or complexity. However, it should be noted that the film was released during the height of the anti-apartheid movement and was intended to be a commentary on the issue.

One of the defining characteristics of the Lethal Weapon series is its balance of action and comedy. Lethal Weapon 2 is no exception, with the film featuring several comedic moments that help to break up the tension of the action scenes. One of the most memorable comedic moments is when Riggs and Murtaugh attempt to defuse a bomb while arguing about whether or not to cut the red wire or the blue wire.

Another notable aspect of the film is its depiction of police work. Unlike many action movies, the Lethal Weapon series portrays police work realistically, with the detectives often having to rely on their wit and intelligence rather than brute force to solve cases. This realism adds to the tension of the film and makes the action scenes feel more impactful.

The film's climax, which takes place on a cargo ship, is particularly well done. The scene features a tense shootout between Riggs, Murtaugh, and the villains, with the detectives having to use their wits and skills to outsmart their opponents. The scene also features impressive stunt work, with the actors performing their own stunts and the filmmakers using practical effects to create explosions and gunfire.

In addition to its action and comedy, Lethal Weapon 2 also has a strong emotional core. Riggs, who was portrayed as a suicidal and unstable character in the first film, has begun to find stability and purpose in his life thanks to his friendship with Murtaugh and his budding relationship with Rika. This character growth adds depth to Riggs and makes the audience care about his well-being.

Lethal Weapon 2 was a critical and commercial success upon its release and is now considered a classic of the action genre. It spawned two more sequels, both of which were also successful, as well as a television series. The success of the film can be attributed to its strong performances, impressive action scenes, and timely themes.

In conclusion, Lethal Weapon 2 is an excellent sequel to the first film and a classic of the action genre. It builds on the strengths of the original while introducing new characters and themes that keep the series fresh. The chemistry between Gibson and Glover is as strong as ever, and the film's action scenes and soundtrack are impressive. The film's themes of racism and injustice give it a timely relevance that still resonates today. Overall, Lethal Weapon 2 is a must-watch for fans of action movies and a worthy addition to the Lethal Weapon franchise.

262862 - 2023-09-20 02:21:46


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