He stares at his wife's picture as he sits alone in the dark. She is deceased--a victim of a car bomb that was meant for him. Tears well up in his eyes. "I miss you..." He puts a gun in his mouth, closes his eyes as he tenses up, bracing himself for his own demise.
Time stops cold for a few seconds. Suddenly, in an apparent change of heart, he puts the gun down. Sergeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is a man torn between living and dying. That makes him lethal--a Lethal Weapon.
Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is a sane, conservative cop who just wants to stay alive and stay out of trouble. "I'm getting too old for this sh..." he declares. He is assigned a new partner. Oh no! His new partner is Riggs! "I'll drive." he tells Riggs, nervously wiping the sweat from his brow.
Now the fun begins!
Lots of suspense, intrigue and action follow with a little comedy thrown in. You see, an old friend of Murtaugh's (Michael Hunsaker) wants Murtaugh and Riggs to get some very bad bad guys who killed his daughter. These very bad bad guys are led by General Peter McAllister (Mitch Ryan) and his own lethal sidekick Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey).
What makes these very bad bad guys so very very bad? Apparently they deal drugs and have a CIA background. They also have special-forces training-sort of like Rambo. You dig? However, they don't know who they're messin' with. Riggs has also had special-forces training, and is the star of the movie.
Mel Gibson superbly portrays the cop who is always on the edge, teetering between sanity and insanity. His acting technique or method is outstanding. He creates a very complex, realistic character with his dialog, facial expressions and mannerisms As I watched the film, I could definitely feel and relate to his character's angst. He is also quite the comedian with his dry and often over-the-top wit.
Danny Glover is the perfect foil and straight man to Mel Gibson. He does a seamless rendition of the reluctant cop who just wants to play it safe but always manages to get sucked in by Rigg's enthusiasm and willingness to take risks.
Gary Busey makes a pretty "good" bad guy, and does some excellent fight choreography with Gibson.
Mitch Ryan did a respectable acting job, although nothing to write home about.
Mary Ellen Trainer plays the concerned police shrink that Riggs always manages to embarrass--giving this film some comic relief.
This film is R-rated and perfect to watch in the dark when the kiddies are fast asleep.