Our Rover Boys Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are riding high again. They both lose their sergeant's stripes again over their recklessness, but when they stop an armored car heist and take a prisoner, they uncover a really nasty smuggling and arms dealing racket masterminded by a cop who just went over the hill.According to LAPD's Internal Affairs Stuart Wilson racked up more complaints than about any cop on record, he was effective but reckless and brutal. Wilson just one day on a stakeout went over the hill, left after saying he was going for coffee. Just went over the bad guys, Job abandonment reaches a new high.In fact Wilson is one of the slimiest villains ever in the history of cinema. The seriousness of this guy is almost jarringly out of place with Legal Weapon style hijinks.Mel Gibson gets a surprise in that Rene Russo whom he initially thought was an uptight IA cop turns out to be the woman he's been waiting for since his wife died. The girl has some moves.One small performance you should note, that of Jason Rainwater of a young idealistic cop who tags after Gibson and Glover and gets killed in the fight with Wilson and his crew. A touching death scene that will bring a tear to the eye.
Lethal Weapon 3 is a fairly average movie. I have seen it a few times and it might have been funny the first time, but it came out very average the next few times. I vaguely remember promising to lend it to my sister, well she can keep it for all I care because it is not one of those movies that I really desire to have in my collection.The story is simple. An ex-cop, Jack Travis, is stealing weapons and ammunition from police store houses and selling them. Myrtal (Danny Glover) kills a friend of his son when while being shot at, and armour piercing ammo is on the streets. There is little in the way of holding the story together and it seems that it is just endless action without a strong story. Pursuing Jack Travis does take a major part of the movie, but that major part does not make a smooth plot. Rather it seems to me more of an excuse to have numerous action scenes in differing styles.One of the more subtle ideas in the movie is the re-emergence of the macho man over the strong woman. Lorna Cole (Rene Ruso) is an internal affairs agent who is tough and happens to run across Sergant Riggs (Mel Gibson) and the movie falls into a struggle between Riggs and Cole. There is the subtle desire within Riggs character that being the male he must always be dominant over the female, and this is seen in the scene where he brings Cole into the male toilets to talk. This idea of male dominance comes out even more in the scene where they are comparing scars. The whole concept evolves around the desire for the male to emerge once again as the dominant sex while the female sex is fighting to take that role. In the end the female is not forced back into the role of the house-wife, but rather as the man's servant. She is welcome to take on stronger roles as long as the man is always superior.I cannot remember the first two Lethal Weapons but I find that Lethal Weapon 3 is quite average and only worth a side comment.
Slowly but surely, reasons to be enthusiastic about the Lethal Weapon series are being eroded away. Where once there was substance there is now nothing but chase and second unit material; where once there was a sense of character, now there is a series of sequences which would once open a James Bond film before giving way to narrative and espionage although now prop up meagre action/adventure flicks. If we liked the first Lethal Weapon, then we liked it for its depiction of a man with a reason to live stuck in a profession that often saw him close to death getting lumped with a fellow cop who felt he HAD no reason to live. It was quite funny, often even touching, and made with a correct ethic that saw it know when to have fun and when the second unit stuff wasn't the primary focus. Lethal Weapon 3 teams these two up for more excitement and adventure, excitement and adventure which is no longer exciting and hasn't really got anything fresh in it to have it feel like it's much of an adventure.We've been down the route of crooked cops; African American gun crime and good looking Internal Affairs agents enough times to know the drill by now, and yet at its heart is that twosome of Martin Riggs (Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Glover) - that indelible combination which works so much more than it has any right to. Be angry at the film if you must, but reserve a place in your good books for this duo of L.A.P.D. Sergeants, two guys who get the job done in 'book' fashion if 'book' fashion is defined as to jot down exactly what you're about to do as you charge to the crime scene in your police cruiser. They're not hardened enough to be Eastwood's Callaghan, but they are hardened enough not to resemble Jacques Clouseau. Here, we welcome them into their latest escapade via a bomb threat – back when domestic terrorism in the United States could still be treated as if one, big joke in the year's biggest action movie.Their clashing natures are established through how either of them figure one should go about dealing with such a thing, an explosive device located in the ground floor car park of an office building. Riggs, being who he is, decides to charge in ahead of the bomb squad – something which results in the whole structure coming down and both men demoted. The problem here, of course, is with Riggs' behaviour. In the first film, doing what he does here was fine, since he was suicidal; a risk taker, a gambler – he wanted to die on the job because he didn't have the guts to kill himself. Following the culmination of the first film, with Riggs essentially becoming 'cured' of his grief and suicidal thoughts, he shouldn't be attempting these zany ideas at police work. Then there is Murtaugh: a black, suited individual to Riggs' scrawnier white fella'; a man who is STILL on the brink of retirement and is on even thinner ice than before in regards to his family who're nervous that he's been busted down to street work in the uniform on the street of L.A. It is, however, whilst on this street patrol that they uncover what will become their latest assignment.The narrative here involves another ex-cop dun-wrong, a man named Jack Travis (Wilson) who's gone rouge and made a fortune out of selling weapons formerly belonging to that of the police force to street thugs who're itching to get their hands on one. Travis works under a façade of housing development construction, something really handy when the time comes to rid his enterprise of someone who lets him down when one spots that small stretch of inconspicuous ground used to funnel the cement out of the truck mixer. While the goals of both Travis and Gary Busey's villain from the first film are similar, Travis is a bad guy cut more from 'stock' than one would have liked and doesn't carry the effective threat really required.As was with the last film, a piece weaving into its proceedings the item of Apartheid rule in South Africa that was still prominent at the time, some sort of strand on African American gun crime, and how easy it is for youngsters of this ilk to fall into such a thing, is present in the narrative. Unfortunately, it is done so with a sense of uneasy grace more so caressed into the story with a consummate hand. Both films want you to leave the piece with a newfound sense of awareness on a topic, but the weight of this latter issue is as such out of its clumsy presence than its deep, affective and residing poise. Again, the decision to essentially put these two characters up against such a thing (in the form of someone instigating this gun crime) is too easy and clutters the film where a different director not looking to pull such obvious sociological punches with this premise might've made better. The film is too easy; too slick for its own good, there's an oiled arrogance to it which is never omnipresent enough for it to be truly agitating, but it's enough to warrant taking against the film overall. It's undemanding and buoyed by whatever decent second unit material it has, but so was the first entry and that seemed capable of a whole lot more than "3" ever musters up.
."Lethal Weapon 3" truly defines where enough is enough. There really was no need for a forth instalment. Sure this is probably hands down one of the most exciting series ever in cinematic history, but by the time it came to "Lethal Weapon 4", it just fizzled into self-parody. "Lethal Weapon 3" provided lots of exciting action, even some tender moments and the best teamwork Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) had ever accomplished in the series. Once the forth part of the series comes into fruition, we lose everything that Martin Riggs represented in the whole series. Even his Samson like mane is cropped off which made him look like a man who's aged quite rapidly and even his quick-wit and charm was absent there too.As for the principal antagonist I would like to say that I like the performance of Stuart Wilson as ex-cop Jack Travis. He's at an equal as the wild-eyed Riggs and he was more convincing than Jet Li's villain character in "Lethal Weapon 4". Sure Li was a very fierce villain in #4, but still there was a lack of a compelling development like all the other bad guys from the other "Lethal Weapons" from the past. I thought that it was so sweet that that they added tough, but pretty internal affairs agent Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) into the cast and the relationship between her Riggs was so refreshing to the story. Sadly the chemistry was absent in "Lethal Weapon 4". Besides in the forth instalment Russo was in very few scenes and was not deemed an important character in the story like she was in number three. And I thought it was cool that a female counterpart to Riggs is just as equally bonkers as him.Joe Pesci is back here as the lovable, but obnoxious Leo Getz, and though he provides a chunk of the laughs in this action comedy, he really starts to become annoying after awhile like flies in summertime. The real tender moment in the forth of the series was Leo's mourning of his dead frog But in "Lethal Weapon 3" the sentimental scene is much more serious when Murtaugh inadvertently kills an adolescent who happens to be friends of his son (apologies to all frog lovers out there). When it comes to the funniest scenes, it was really hilarious when Riggs tries to befriend a cunning guard dog and acting like the dog. I'll choose that over the cheesy scene with the laughing gas like in "Lethal Weapon 4."