December 18, 2011

Eyes on Christmas: Lethal Weapon

Earlier this week I revisited Die Hard as part of this year's Christmas marathon. What an experience that was. It had been awhile since I had watched it, frankly I do not remember the last time I saw it. Man, what a last, that is a seriously awesome action film that holds up perfectly. Now, after a cheesy animated break, I decided to revisit another classic actioner from the 1980's with a somewhat Christmasy side. It is not so much a Christmas movie so much as it is inexplicably set during the holiday season.

The movie is none other than the franchise starter Lethal Weapon. Well, I must say that it holds up just as well as Die Hard, although I suspect it is a notch below. That is not to put it down at all, this movie still holds some surprises up its sleeves. Seriously, much like Die Hard, I have not seen Lethal Weapon in quite some time and I had forgotten just how serious the movie is. Sure, there is comedy, but it is not like my memories which drift towards the Pesci presence. This movie is certainly not the comedic self-parody it would become (don't get me wrong, I enjoy the sequels, but the tone is way different than this first film).

For those who don't remember, Lethal Weapon pairs veteran detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and suicidal crazy Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). Murtaugh is feeling the weight of the job and Riggs is suffering from his Vietnam experience combined with the recent loss of his life. Together they find themselves mixed up in a drug smuggling ring.

I don't know what to say about this movie, it is an absolute blast. Action from start to finish, characters that are actually develop and are interesting, and an overall energy that cannot be denied. I cannot say I remember the Riggs character being this way, so suicidal, so unhinged, so full of emotion, it was quite exciting. It was also fun seeing Gary Busey in a movie where he matters. I think the last time I actually saw him in a movie he was voicing a killer cookie (no joke).

In any case, Lethal Weapon is a movie that holds up and is better than my memories give it credit for. Not to keep harping on it, but between this and Die Hard, I am feeling awfully nostalgic for 1980's style action. Sure, there are some great action movies made today, but there is something about these movies and their combination of character, action, and practical effects is rather exhilarating.

Do yourself a favor, pay it a visit. It will surely get you in the holiday spirit.

Highly Recommended.

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