An excellent sequel to an all-time classic original, this film bolstered a fun story-line as well as Gibson and Glover reuniting to continue building on their legacy of great onscreen duo’s.
On a routine pursuit of a red BMW, Riggs (Gibson) and Murtaugh (Glover) discover a trunk full of South African Krugerrand’s. Riggs & Murtaugh have grown to become a bickering family with a mutual respect. Both also have a high urgency to begin working the case involving the Krugerrand’s. Their supervisor however is well aware of the partners unique ability to find trouble, and cause damage in their pursuits, so they are stuck on a random witness protection case instead.
Their job will be to keep the fast-talking Leo Getz (Pesci) out of trouble and alive until he is needed in an upcoming trial. When they learn Getz is familiar with the South African’s, having worked with them before, Riggs and Murtaugh will inevitably find a way to get involved after all. The case will be much more than they bargained for as both will find theirs, and the lives of those closest to them, in great danger.
Like the original, this sequel kept the gritty feel of a true cop thriller and managed to only build off of it. The story was well written, organized, and managed to weave a nice story with all the continued sub-plots intertwined, and the addition of some new ones. There were some laughable moments in the original between Riggs and Murtaugh, but the addition of Pesci to the cast in this one opened up the door to some greater range in the comedic delivery as well as the overall comical tone of the script.
With Riggs and Murtaugh being more close to one another there was much more hilarious and laughable back-and-forth’s between the two as their styles and ages routinely conflicted. It did not deter from the overall action theme of the script and only managed to result in a nice blend of both, although there is no doubt this was an ‘action’ film. The villains were excellent for this film and while they did have a leader, it was still a dual-antagonist line-up. They were slick in their suits and perfect foes for the headlining partners, and perfect for this era in film.
The action in the film was great and as usual Gibson delivered all the key emotions needed to pull off his character. Also the addition of a love story arc for his character allowed for more access to who the man behind the badge really was. We learn more about his past and learn more about the wild emotions his character carries on his sleeve, in addition to why Murtaugh and his family have become such an integral part of his fresh lease on life.
The story-line was well organized and managed to fit all the intended moments into the fabric of the main plot smoothly. While the script closed some side-stories, it also added more, something that was nice to see for a fan of the series, and at the time, those who hoped for a third entry. Like the first, this film was more elaborate in the range of detail than most of the genre. While it was an action film it was also much more than that and why it is still one of the great sequels out there.
It was entertaining to see the chemistry between Riggs and Murtaugh continue to grow and to see the results of one another on their lives and the importance they were to one another. While some genre films focus heavy on the action, “Lethal Weapon 2” relied again on the character development and the cast performances. Added with a ton of great action-sequences the result is a classic film that still holds its relevance all these years later. While “Lethal Weapon 2” was not delivered with the same impact as the original, it was only a slight step behind and is always entertaining from start-to-finish.
Time: 114 min
MPAA Rating: R (For language, brief nudity, and graphic violence)