Belfast Telegraph

DVD: The Lethal Weapon Collection (15)

Reviewed by Ben Walsh

Try getting your head around this. The Onkalo facility on the west coast of Finland has been designed to keep safe spent nuclear fuel – for the next 100,000 years.

Buddy movies ruled the action waves in the 1980s/early 1990s – Murphy and Nolte in 48 Hours, De Niro and Grodin in Midnight Run, Sly and Russell in Tango and Cash – and this was the grand poobah of them all: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover's homicide cops Martin "mad" Riggs and Roger "I'm getting too old for this" Murtaugh, respectively. First the cops experience animosity ("I don't want to work with you!"), then a wee bit of tension (a suicidal Riggs places a gun in his mouth), but as we near the bloody, carnage-strewn denouement there is... love. Wise-cracking, moist-eyed, macho love. Hell, they should have ended Lethal Weapon 4 with the weary duo snogging to "More Than a Feeling".

The first – and best – instalment has a wild-eyed Riggs (he's just lost his wife) and Murtaugh tracking down Californian drug dealers, including a suitable deranged turn from Gary Busey. There's a lot of shooting and bonding. The second instalment is lighter, adding Joe Pesci's annoying informant Leo Getz. This time they slaughter South African drug dealers and Glover gets to deliver the memorable response to "I've got diplomatic immunity": "It's just been revoked." The third includes love interest Rene Russo, as a tough copper, and the fourth is mawkish. Overall, though, a terrific pairing and this Blu-ray package features commentary from Richard Donner and some deleted scenes.

Belfast Telegraph


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