Lethal Weapon 4 (1998): Dir: Richard Donner / Cast: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo, Chris Rock, Jet Li: High powered action that attempts to broaden character yet evaporates into mindless action violence. Rene Russo is pregnant and Mel Gibson wrestles with the idea of marriage. Danny Glover's daughter is also pregnant but he is unaware that the father is fast talking rookie cop Chris Rock. Joe Pesci discovers the pains of being a detective. Plot regards the smuggling Chinese into America for illegal money making labour. Jet Li is the new villain and he is so swift that he can handle Gibson, Glover and Russo all at once in an ass kicking bout. Routine story that owes much to its spectacular stunts. Gibson and director Richard Donner collaborated on all three previous Lethal Weapon films as well as Conspiracy Theory. Glover is still the bunt of jokes but perhaps the biggest is the reality that his daughter is pregnant with Rock's kid. Russo wrestles with her future as a mother and wife. Rock is a nice edition with his usual psycho-babble that gets under Glover's skin. Jet Li plays off a fine villain who ends up warding off Gibson, Glover and Russo with near ease. The basic purpose of the film is to continue the series and big fans of the franchise will no doubt enjoy the action and stunts and all the other implausible hijinks performed throughout. Score: 5 / 10
Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are back fighting a crazy armored guy with a flamethrower. Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) is pregnant. Roger's daughter Rianne is pregnant and secretly married to young detective Lee Butters (Chris Rock). Riggs and Murtaugh is shark fishing with Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) when a Chinese ship almost run them over. They exchange fire and discover a Chinese people smuggling ring. Wah Sing Ku (Jet Li) is the high ranking Triad bad guy. Murtaugh finds a boat full of people and he takes them home with him. The city can't find insurance for the guys to be on the streets so they made them captains to hang out on desk duty. Instead they take Butters along on their investigation.I thought Murtaugh was retiring. Even Riggs is getting too old for this sh!t. That should be enough but this is crazier, more explosive, jokier, and more ridiculous. It is overloaded. What started as a fun duo has expanded each and every sequel into a whole gang. It overshoot its target and has become an unmitigated mess. There are way too much story and too many characters. It takes forever to get the story moving because the audience has to catch up with all the characters, both new and old. It's odd that the addition this time is an angry Chris Rock. He's probably the funniest guy in the cast but his character is more tiring than funny. Any time the movie starts to move, it gets bog down with jokey side stories and various diversions. Also there isn't any compelling about the investigation. The bad guy Jet Li is revealed right away. The only thing left is for him to do is some kung fu fighting. The rest about the bad guys is meaningless and a waste of time. This is simply a rambling tiresome end to a great franchise.
This is it. Stop at this number, please. Yes, I guess the magic is still there, but I think this is a great example of another trying sequel, that's had it's time. In this latest wearied weapon, marking a six year absence, since it's predecessor, again the story isn't new, especially when you hear about asylum seekers today. Here they are used as guinea pigs, by a nasty triad group, where one abandoned family temporary become part of Murtaugh's family. I must say the start is originally fantastic with a guy suited up in a metal suit, looking like the Michellin man, armed with a flame thrower, who our most popular cop duo, must overthrow, the scene evolving in a successful, humorous resolution, Riggs busting his partners chops again. Getting back to the story, that again sees Riggs at war with another enemy, Jet Li, part of the triad group. Also we have Kim Chan who might of been reprising his role in The Corrupter, as having the same name here, Uncle Benny, who proves a bit of a hoot, especially with one abusive line, involving fried rice. A very much pregnant, Russo, is back, where for Riggs, the idea of a second marriage is a brick wall he can't get past. So too, thankfully is Pesci, and Rock too as a hot shot black cop, secretly in love with Murtaugh's daughter. Murtaugh's wife has a secret too, though I'm not gonna tell. Gibson and Glover still make a great team, that humour we love is still there, with so too the action, including one thrilling car chase sequence which is a bit of a hairy watch. As from Gibson's perspective, it had me asking how that shot was done, Gibson being dragged behind a truck, merely hanging onto some plastic sheeting, sliding zanily across the freeway, amidst dense traffic, one of the film's high points. So was Pesci's private moment with Riggs, where he shares a story about his pet turtle, that makes Riggs re examine his single status. We have some tragic and sad moments, that have you wanting our super duo, especially Riggs, to kick the crap out of the bad dudes. Some funny moments I loved, between Pesci and Rock, as well as Rock and Glover, who's made uncomfortable, as he seems kind of sweet on Rog, was priceless. Too that early incident, that had Glover going shirtless and flapping his arms like a chicken, is something the department won't let him forget, even nine months onwards, was one of the vivid memories of the movie. With everything that makes the 'Weapon' movies work, I just felt there was a tired point here. I just found it a bit of a stretching sequel, and a trite but duller, despite having all the right components, where to make another sequel would be unforgivable, if criminal. You must come a point and call it quits, and remember the 'Weapon' movies for what they were- one of the best buddy cop franchises ever made. Just don't look back.