So, today was a blissfully serene day. I got some good sleep in; I lounged around for a while and did some nerdy things while I let my back rest a bit, since I apparently did something not nice to it this weekend. And after a while, I came to a startling realization: my day just would not be complete without a viewing of Lethal Weapon.
I love Lethal Weapon like some people love family members, you guys. Over the years, I have a steady stream of movies that I watch at Christmas and Lethal Weapon has become one of them. This year, I’m early on my viewing, but hey, whatever.
Two cops are partnered together with sometimes disastrous results, given the fact that Riggs (Gibson) is suicidal and Murtaugh (Glover) is a tightly-wound family man who’s just looking forward to retirement. They stumble upon an apparent suicide that turns out to be much more than that, and hey! Gary Busey is in this movie!
Ladies (and some gentlemen), do you remember a time when Mel Gibson was smoking hot? Ah, the days of old when Mel was cute as hell before the anti-Semitic comments and before drinking enough to classify his liver as a hazmat area and long before he looked like he was dragged over ten miles of bad road and then beat with an ugly stick. It was a time when we could all watch Clueless and silently agree with Cher when she said, “Well, I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn’t say that. That Polonius guy did”. The good old days, you know. You remember, right?
I do. Lethal Weapon is like…the pinnacle of Mel hotness.
Even with that skanky hair, he was still cute.
Shallowness aside, Shane Black writes a killer movie, I’ll give him that. Not that I normally pay attention to such things, but the man’s dialogue is snappy as all get out, and you gotta love the buddy-cop aspect between Riggs and Murtaugh. Witness:
Murtaugh: See how easy that was? Boom, still alive. Now we question him. You know why we question him? Because I got him in the leg. I didn’t shoot him full of holes or try to jump off a building with him.
Riggs: Hey, that’s no fair. The building guy lived.
What seals the proverbial deal for me is Crazy Ass Gary Busey. I’m not sure what has…eroded…Gary Busey’s brain over the years, but whatever it is, I would seriously like to NOT partake in it. You have to give the guy credit, though – he plays an excellent psychopath. (He has passed the Crazy Ass genes on to his son Jake, apparently, who is quite possibly freakier looking than his father. Scary.) The lighter scene in Lethal Weapon is, I am convinced, one of the greatest things in the world.
Of course, any movie like Lethal Weapon has to end with the good guys saving the day from the drug dealers, so you get your happy ending, but not before Crazy Ass Busey and Mel of Old beat the holy shit out of each other on the Murtaughs’ front lawn.
The Busey/Gibson fight is bar none one of the greatest fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie, kung-fu discounted since that’s a realm of its own. It’s two ex-Special Forces dudes just whipping each other bloody in what amounts to be a large pool of muck and mud, which makes it completely and totally AWESOME.
And just to be helpful, bonus shirtless Mel:
Richard Donner directed this, so between this and Superman, my Richard Donner girlcrush is cemented. I shall now put his picture up in my locker and all that.
I don’t think they’ve ever made a finer, more enjoyable cop movie than Lethal Weapon; really, I don’t. It’s gotten to the point where movies like Lethal Weapon are a litmus test for me; I’m judgey and weird and therefore if you’re not a fan of Lethal Weapon, it’s not that I don’t like you, I’m just a little scared of you. (Who doesn’t like Lethal Weapon? I mean, really, now.)
And if you haven’t seen it? You are UN-AMERICAN AND YOU SHOULD SEE IT RIGHT NOW, YOU TRAITOR. Go, rent it, love it, and come back and tell me how much I just made your life, because I know I will. I guarantee it. (And for once, I’m completely serious.)