Lethal Weapon 4

“What happened last night?”
“Oh, gunfight, explosions, sharks, you know, the usual.”

Any action in a fast paced film should be staged and planned well, but too many staged action scenes and characters can spoil the mix.  Typically in the action genre, excess is best, but not always plausible.

This third sequel to the original 1987 Lethal Weapon film almost ruins its predecessors, but saves itself with a “growing old” theme that many people can identify with and a star filled cast.

This movie basically gives audience a multiplier with four times the characters and four times the action returning leads Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs and Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh plus Joe Pesci as Leo Getz, Rene Russo as Lorna Cole and Chris Rock as new character detective Lee Butters.  For example, one scene involving a mishap involving a shark rolls into boat chases and waterfront danger as the heroes board a ship to initiates the storyline that eventually ties all the characters together.  The characters have a lot to do, but it isn’t always worthwhile.

Jet Li made a big splash in this film as the antagonist Wah Sing Ku with some great martial arts, still he doesn’t have all the talent needed to be an American star.  At least filmmakers recognized this point and kept his dialogue in subtitles.

There are a lot of basic screenwriting tools in this story like foreshadowing “will you”, and dialogue, especially the scene between Gibson and Pesci at the gravesite of Rigg’s wife.  Nice closure to an action saga that hopefully ends with this movie. Recommended with reservations (** out of four stars) and rated R for violence and language.



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