Lethal Weapon 2

lethal weapon 2

★★★1/2

After a wild police pursuit, officer Riggs and Murtaugh discover a large amount of currency in the trunk of a car. Its source is unknown. Their evidence points to masked men with foreign accents who warn them to stay away from the case.

It later reveals that the villains are professionals working for the South African consulate. This places them under diplomatic immunity. Although unclear, illegal operations are strongly suggested based on the amount of cash they keep in a stilted house. Their leader is the cold blooded Arjen and his dangerously cunning right hand man Pieter.

In addition, the consulars former accountant Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) is going to testify before court about their money laundering. Coincidentally the accountant is placed under the protective custody of Officer Riggs and Murtaugh, which sets off a series of investigations, harassments, escalating threats and confrontations between the police and consulars.

Like the first Lethal Weapon, the sequel contains some implausible action scenes. For instance, Riggs is able to chase a car on foot. This becomes less relevant though by the creativity of scenes containing wicked humor. One is when a bomb is found under a toilet that Murtaugh is sitting on. Or at the Consulate office where the floor is covered with plastic to easily wrap their unsuspecting victims. A Helicopter sequence is also well staged and the finale at the docks is handled with careful choreography.

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as Riggs and Murtaugh have an appealing chemistry. The scenes at Murtaugh’s home continue to bring a wholesome atmosphere when there is no action. Murtaugh still tries to be responsible and Riggs, though still careless for his own safety, is less miserable than in the first movie. He finds a love interest (Patsy Kensit) who is the secretary of Arjen. Plus the addition of Leo who articulates himself using “ok, ok, ok,” makes them a trio not unlike the three stooges.

The film directed by Richard Donner and from a screenplay by Jeffrey Boam changes to a darker tone towards the end of the film, when the guns are blazing. Nevertheless it contains a lot of inventive entertainment and it’s quite a ride as an overall experience.

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