Friday, April 4, 2014


A few weeks ago I watched, for the first time ever, the original Lethal Weapon movie (shoot back here), and while the box-office winner was well-directed by Richard Donner and played with chemistry by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, I did not come away thinking "why didn't I see it when it came out?" All those years wasted not having a Lethal Weapon flick in my life... Why?

There are such things as straightforward leave-your-brain-at-the-door movie experiences -- I'm the first to say that -- but as I get older and wiser, I hope, I am more conscious of "waste": Time (hello, certain people), money, and film/digital-storage.

It gets worse: Last week I sat down with a friend to watch Lethal Weapon 2. While I cannot claim the experience was without merit, I did keep laughing, after all, my philosophical logic came back to tickle me. My feelings about the issue are not air-tight, arguments such as these cannot ("aha!... you're contradicting yourself"), it's just that I enjoy subjecting my theories to what Stephen Fry might call "philosophical fun".

Lethal Weapon 2 is very predictable, even by its own standards, or template. The instigation for my laughter was me appreciating my own brilliance at predicting what was next around the corner, plot-wise. As Hugh Laurie might say, while taking-in a screening of this film, "bloody ridiculous!" (In all fairness the Lethal Weapon films have been remade many times over the years.)

The homages to everything from The Three Stooges to Stanley Kubrick were cute but hardly analogous to this kind of film. What are the filmmakers saying other than, "ain't we clever... mate?" Warner Brothers! I get it, now.

The action is to be expected. Cars, people, guns, film-editing. The essential film crafts, I say. The jeopardy, while straightforward enough, is let down by idiotic logic: Helicopters, which are overused here and in the LW pilot film, fly in from the sea (again!) as whirlybird staff members discharge their forever-fire automatic weapons into Gibson's seaside abode, causing neither scratch nor consequence of any important kind; other than to illustrate "Cool Action Sequence B-9" and to convince the moviegoer that human flesh need not worry about direct projectile impact nor million-splinter-side-effects. As Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie might be prone to say: "Complete Rubbish!"

What characterizations there are exist merely to tinsel the knotted plot. Gibson, Glover, and Joe Pesci partake in a game of "catch" as stuntman union business happens around them, and often to them, but changing nothing of impetus. Fate as consequence.

The people who write these films -- in fact, in typical Hollywood fashion, their project initiations are generally overwritten (read: rewritten) to the point of being unrecognizable -- collect their paydays and move on. Like this viewer.

Mel Gibson, sorry, "Martin Riggs", did not die at the end. Of course not. Why punch a hole in the box office?

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