Community Talks! Vol. 1, ep. 1.
Written by: Sterling Figueroa
For those of you who do not know or have not seen any of the Lethal Weapon movies, this should be corrected immediately—for the benefit of your inner cinephile and society as a whole.
We all must do our part by engaging with the late-eighties to mid-nighties buddy cop action movies, not only to further crystallise our own likes and dislikes in movies but to simply enjoy the experience of escaping to a different time, place, and genre.
Die Hard, Beverly Hills Cop, and Police Academy are all great paragons of what can be accomplished in the action/buddy cop franchise genre of the time period (with Police Academy obviously being the spoofiest of spoofs in the genre), yet there is something endearing and raw that, to me, sets the Lethal Weapon franchise apart from the others (although the others are wonderful and fantastic, and I highly recommend them).
So why Lethal Weapon 3, rather than 1,2, or 4?
Simple: Lethal Weapon 3 has it all—love, friendship, bad-guys, a motorcycle chase, the destruction of a subdivision being built by the bad guys with dirty money, an armoured car chase, addictive one-liners, and superb fight choreography. Yet, for those of you who have seen any of the Lethal Weapons, you might be thinking: “But Sterling, all of the movies contain these same elements, so why are you prattling on about the third movie?”.
It is because of the ineluctable, soul-stirring, north-star emotion of life--Love.
For a movie steeped in, to put it bluntly, violence and (sometimes vituperative) expletives, the burgeoning love between Martin Riggs (played by Mel Gibson) and Lorna Cole (played by the indomitable Rene Russo), is a refreshing and exhilarating sub-plot. We see them transition from combative colleagues hunting for the same answers to the case, to a loving—and at times combustible—relationship that goes beyond the bounds of the badge, with their final scene together witness to Riggs’ declaration of love to Cole as she is about to be flown to the hospital after the final shootout. And the last lines just must be written out, because, well, I think they are very good:
Riggs: “You’re supposed to grow old with someone. Not because of them, all right?”
Also, this line:
Riggs: “Let’s live to regret this, huh?”
What I am trying to say, with this winding and whimsical interlude to our week, is that love still matters, especially when presented in the chaos and adrenaline-inducing sequences of an action movie. Love in all its forms; friendship, romantic, family, strangers, pets, books, music, art, colleagues, whatever it might encompass—they all matter. And we would be remiss to overlook this point in our daily lives.
Therefore, I believe Lethal Weapon 3 is the best of the franchise because love is at its center, in all its complications, nuances, and impediments. So let us try to spread a little more love in these next few weeks—hopefully without all the explosions, car chases, gun fights, and crooked cops.
We are all too old for this “stuff” and remember, whatever you want, Leo Getz (you must watch the movies to get it).
Let me know what you think!
Hi Sterling! 🤩
First of all, amazing post! I have never heard of these movies before, maybe because I'm a Millenial (?). But after reading this, I must say I'll watch the movies.
Second of all, despite the fact that these movies are all around "mid-nighties buddy cop action movies" as you described it, I will say I'm already loving the Lethal Weapon 3 movie after your love spoiler. Not because of the romantic lines between Riggs and Cole, but in the sense, you remind us as readers that love matters in all its forms even when chaos is all around.
Let's spread love in everyday actions!
This post has made me feel old (born a looooong time before the year 2000) and the need to binge watch these movies again. Mel Gibson (and DG) at their best. I will update you on my fav of all 4 as soon as I have completed watching them. Question - could Lethal Weapon be the next Disney Plus streaming series....(can you imagine?!)2
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