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Monday, 19 February 2018

Retro Review: Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

Lethal Weapon 3
1992
Cast: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Stuart Wilson
Genre: Buddy Cop Action Comedy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $321 million

Plot: Riggs and Murtaugh pursue a former LAPD officer who uses his knowledge of police procedure and policies to steal and sell confiscated guns and ammunition to local street gangs 





'A Rehash That Is All Too Familiar, But Still Gets By' 


It was this movie that first showed the strain of the franchise and there comes to a point where enough is enough. Or to put it more nicely save the best til last. Although Lethal Weapon 3 isn't the last, and neither is it the best of the 4 movies. Not by a long shot. Actually, come to think of it, it doesn't feel like a Lethal Weapon film and rather a film that in all honesty shouldn't have been made. 

Riggs and Murtaugh discover a stash of firearms, which have been stolen from the LAPD, and Riggs also falls for Internal Affairs agent, Lorna, who then teams up with the guys to get to the bottom of the theft.

The draft of Lethal Weapon 3 by Jeffrey Boam was a lot different from the final cut that was released theatrically in cinemas. Lorna was initially a man and under a different name, Riggs having an affair with Roger's daughter & where Roger suspects that she and Martin are together were left from the original drafts. Richard Donner also brought back the Leo Getz character, when again in the original script, it was penned that he had left L.A for New York. His return meant his annoying, abrasive obnoxious ness turned things up way too high and he was annoying than a funny. He more than outstayed his welcome and was a needless return that no one truly asked for. 

I did like the scene where Riggs jumped on some guy thinking it was a real crime scene, only it turned out Murtaugh's daughter Rianne was filming a movie and in the end, Rianne gets her job back. & when Roger attempts to karate kick Martin but ends up knocking down the water dispenser. But besides that, the action is even more generic and watered down than before and that rather than being an action - part comedy film, here with this entry it is more comedy first, action second or be it last. 

The villain, Jack Travis, is nothing worth shouting about - he is just some generic bad guy with nothing really to set him apart, where we don't really see him committing crimes or see his cronies carrying out their plans and story is just mundane and weak. The weighty dramatic and serious elements are offset and undercut by its PG-13-ish tone that rather drives Lethal Weapon 3, it further sinks it. The sluggish pacing of the story is at a snail's pace, whereby in contrast to the first two movies the pacing literally flew by. 

Lethal Weapon 3 is not lacking in action, but a lot of it feels like a rehash of the first two movies and so routine it isn't as different as it was back then. The whole set-up feels so familiar, nothing surprises me anymore. It's nowhere as entertaining as it was billed back in 1992, but one of the few good things to come out of it was Rene Russo, who as internal affairs officer, Lorna manages to inject some new blood and energy. The scenes with Lorna, minus the love scene, where she kicks butt are great and without her and them, this film would be even less good. 



The third and fourth outings suffered immensely because each instalment just didn't feel fresh or innovative enough to distinguish themselves from each other. 





Final Verdict:

If the script didn't rely too much on the comedy and turned every situation into a scene where something funny happens & with less action to back it up, this would have been a better move. Yet by the third time of asking, the series has lost its potent edge that made the first film so memorable that it diminished, and in its place, are leftover scraps that feel as if they were scenes that didn't make the cut of the first two movies, so the producers threw them in in this one.

Rene Russo was one of the few best things I liked about it and I could have done with less of Joe Pesci's Leo Getz, who looks even daft with the bleached blond hair. 

So far from entertaining, but a tad better than Lethal Weapon 4. If Joel Silver and Richard Donner had stopped right after this movie and were done and dusted with it, I would have been absolutely fine with just that. But then, 6 years on, sadly, they had to pile on the fourth instalment, and it wasn't all that. 


Overall:



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