Eye For Film >> Movies >> Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) Film Review
Lethal Weapon 2
Reviewed by: Stephen Carty
To take the words right out of Mel Gibson’s charisma-spouting mouth, they’re back, they’re bad, Danny Glover’s black, he’s mad. Following the highly-successful and rightly-praised first instalment, returning director Dick Donner might have upped the action quota and toned down the seriousness, but on the whole Lethal Weapon 2 is a decent sequel almost on par in terms of entertainment.
Despite their rough start, sergeant Riggs (Gibson) and Murtaugh (Glover) have become close friends and partners. While Riggs is starting to recover from the loss of his wife, Murtaugh’s family are attacked, so the pair are assigned the seemingly-easy task of protecting a money-laundering accountant (Joe Pesci). However, they quickly become tangled up with some South African diplomats who are using their immunity to help criminal activities…
It’s not as dark as its predecessor and there’s more emphasis on guns, explosions and car-chases – but if you’re going to make an over-the-the-top actioner, this is how. Still, while there are more bangs and less character work, the chases, shootouts and toilet bombs (yes, you read that correctly) all elevate the pulse rate because we really care for these guys. Aside from a surprisingly-moving early discussion about the night Riggs’ wife Vikki died, there isn’t much in the way of depth or back-story, but Shane Black’s script ensures we understand the bond between these two.
That being said, when the (pause to do accent) Sith Afrikin henchman tells us a little detail that changes the circumstances of Vikki’s accident, it hits home harder than most ‘serious’ movies can manage. Of course, credit for this has to go to Gibson and Glover, the former still charming and lovably nuts (although not suicidal this time), the latter enjoying his role as the put-upon husband, father and partner. You can’t buy chemistry like these two have. As the new love interest, Patsy Kensit is reasonably solid, but it’s Pesci’s comedic turn as Leo “Okay, okay, okay” Getz that’s most memorable.
By going bigger and less serious its inevitably not as good as the first, but Lethal Weapon II is a solid follow-up. And, unlike the two instalments to follow, the dynamic duo aren’t too old for this s**t.Reviewed on: 16 Feb 2010