Lethal Weapon (1986)
Before Die Hard became the de facto Christmas action film, Lethal Weapon came in to introduce the world to the Christmas time buddy cop movie. This film is kickass, awesome and even features a pre-crazy Mel Gibson being crazy Mel Gibson.
Los Angeles Police Department Homicide Sergeant Roger Mautuagh (Danny Glover) has just celebrated his 50th birthday and is on his beat handling a case of a dead prostitute his wife has told him about earlier in the day. LAPD Narcotics Sergent Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is busy making drug deals and busting rings with one leading to a shootout in Christmas trees. Somehow, these two cases become quickly connected.
Riggs is crazy and suicidal and Mautaugh is getting told old for this shit. What better than putting them both together to work on a case? The two team up to stop a drug ring run by smugglers involving and oddly dynamic pairing of hilarity, craziness and pure action. Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) with Peter McAllister (Mitchell Ryan) have been running the “Shadow Company” and using the front to smuggle heroin within the city. Can these two law enforcers stop them before it gets any worse? Judging by the fact this series has three sequels after this one, they pretty much succeed.
If you don’t know it by now, Lethal Weapon kicks all kinds of ass. Glover and Gibson are gold together in their dynamic duo. Gibson shows a ton of crazy, but tons of heart as Riggs who has gone out of his mind. Glover is still stern, but soon balances out the duo’s nature. The action is fast and quick with slickness that most action films of the 80’s tended to have. The writing and dialogue of the film is entertaining with Shane Black penning the film. Come to think of it, Shane Black has done a number of films around the holiday season from this one to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and most recently in Iron Man 3. Someone either loves this time of year or wants to see it destroyed. Either way, there is nothing more to say about Lethal Weapon than it’s awesome and must be watched.