Projections - Movie Reviews

Lethal Weapon 3

The police duo of Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Clover) returns with the high-strung Riggs and the stable family man Murtaugh.  Riggs was despondent over his wife's death in the first film and Murtaugh wanted to complete his police career and retire without breaking any rules or his neck.

Riggs' complete disregard for his own life affected his work and Murtaugh.  By the end of the first film, Murtaugh survived the danger and hair-raising experience of being Riggs' partner.

In Lethal Weapon 2, Riggs was slightly more stable but remained close to the edge.  Murtaugh wanted to play it safe.  Riggs and Mumugh encountered Joe Pesci as Leo Getz, who had an unlimited ability to get himself into trouble.  Getz was under the protection of Riggs and Murtaugh as a key prosecution witness.

In Lethal Weapon 3, the themes and characters are the same except for Lorna Cole (Rene Russo), Riggs' female alter ego.  She is as tough and determined as Riggs.  He takes great pride in bragging "she's my girlfriend!", as she destroys five bad guys with her fists and feet.

Filled with 90 percent action, this third film is even better than the first two.  Pesci plays a small role but Russo becomes a full player as an internal affairs officer on the trail of bad cops.  The crime is stealing contraband that has been captured by the Los Angeles Police Department and using it to make big money.  The secondary story deals with kids on the streets of Los Angeles who are buying guns from the thieves.

Murtaugh has always been the family man attempting to survive to retirement which is seven days away as the film opens.  In those seven days he is forced to confront a young gang member who has one of the stolen guns.  He kills him to survive only to discover the boy is a friend of his son.  The shooting leads to a fine scene between Murtaugh and his son (Damon Hines), which showed concern and love between the two.  The scene and the funeral for the young man provide motivation for much of the pursuit of the bad guys.  It also shows a functioning black family relationship which is seldom a part of modem films.

This one is a funny action film like the other two.  It is probably better particularly when Russo is on the screen with Gibson.  Be sure to stay until all the credits have run, there is one final comical action scene at the very end.

It is rated R due to violence and language.

Lethal Weapon 3

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