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The One-Line Summary: Los Angeles police sergeants Riggs (Gibson) and Murtaugh (Glover) are back on the job in this live action-cartoon buddy cop sequel (the Looney Tunes music even makes an appearance in the opening credits), this time battling the nefarious Arjen Rudd (Ackland), a nasty Apartheid supporter from South Africa who the two cops think is smuggling a massive shipment of krugerrands (a South African gold coin) but are waved off the case due to political pressure and end up protecting the annoying and slippery Leo Getz, a federal witness and fast-talking whistle blower who is the dictionary definition of insufferable, though it isn’t long before all things seem connected and the boys are gonna need lots of one-liners, big explosions, and maybe a lethal weapon, too to take down the bad guys.
The Two-Line Blurb: After the critical and box office success of the first Lethal Weapon movie, a sequel starring these missed-matched partners was inevitable, and with both leads back in play, the film has a lot going for it, though mileage will vary depending on whether or not you can tolerate the talented Joe Pesci as the squawking, jittering Leo Getz prttling on and on about tuna fish sandwiches and drive-thru’s. Another mix of jarring violence and raucous humor, the movie’s best moments are naturally between Gibson and Glover who’s relationship always feels real and organic, the laughs sprouting from a raw sense of authenticity rather than scripted jargon, which makes the somewhat predictable story far more enjoyable.
The Three-Line Set-up: Riggs and Murtaugh tend to make bad guys unhappy no matter what they do, but with the heavily armed and aggressively cocky White supremacist backed by the South African consulate in their sights, they ruffle some big feathers. A few of them, wearing masks, break into Muraugh’s house and threaten his family, but that only raises the stakes, and the boys, especially Riggs, make it a mission to harass Rudd, driving the same roads and picketing his office. In retaliation, Rudd has his goons set a little surprise for Murtaugh one morning in his bathroom.
The Four-Line Moment: After his family leaves him alone in the house, Murtaugh head to the bathroom for a moment of peace with his sport fishing magazine, and once seated, discovers a message hand written on the toilet paper: BOOM YOU’RE DEAD. He spends the entire night sitting alone until Riggs shows up and finds a pack of C4 explosives under the tank that will go off if Murtaugh’s stands up. After some discussion, and nervous laughter, Riggs calls the bomb squad who pads the room with Kevlar blast covers and decides the best option is to slow the fuse with some liquid nitrogen to allow Murtaugh time to leap into the tub and pull the protective blankets over him. As he’s been sitting for twenty hours and can’t move on his own, Riggs chooses to stay and haul his friend and partner into the tub with him, revealing just how close these two men really are and how devoted Riggs is to the one person he’s ever known that understands so well, he would give his life to save him.
The Five-Word Review: Gold standard buddy cop film.