Rapid Review: Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

lethal weapon 2 poster

“You are not dead until I tell you!” 
– Roger Murtaugh

SYNOPSIS: Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities. – via IMDB

lethal weapon 2 nail gun

GRADE 8I must say that I enjoyed this one, though I was shocked, too. Now that I am older and I understand the nature of my country, to see a film focused so heavily on South African baddies pre the fall of Apartheid was heavy. Now, if you’re from South Africa, just about any movies that refer back to our country way back in the day are bound to peeve you. They are usually stacked full of white guilt and terribly done, too, or done by people that don’t get the history so it becomes a hollow experience. Well, Lethal Weapon 2  didn’t try to be a very serious drama or anything. In fact, it took South African dudes as the bad guys and their awful racial biases and gave us a comedy. There are ridiculous accents (yes, Luke, it is an age old problem) to boot, though they did get some of the pronunctiation down, and I laughed at the Afrikaans tossed in there. I was shocked at the rate the k-word was dropped because here, by us? Say it in the streets. I dare you. Either you are going to get your ass handed to you or you are going to land up fighting a massive legal battle. True story. The plot was alright here, and I liked the small little things that they did to make it authentic for the South African bad guy – how dangerous the country was then (when Murtaugh went with Leo to “move” to SA) and the shipping containers being “Transvaal Lines” and the Afrikaans cussing… very cool. I actually laughed with Murtaugh at his final joke for the movie – racial punning but it was funny. I am probably going to be shot. I liked the reveal of more of Riggs’s past and the death of his wife, that was a little heavy. I was a huge fan of the partnership between Riggs and Murtaugh, obviously, and there were so many things that made me laugh (that commercial!), which is something I really value in a movie. Joe Pesci is introduced here, and while his character irritated me at times, I think he worked really well overall. It is such a cool thing for me to see how tight Riggs and Murtaugh are, and how Murtaugh’s family has taken Riggs in. He really is a part of them. The humour was good, the action was well worth it, there was some cheese, pretty fucking thin ideas and crazy shootouts and investigation techniques. The plot wasn’t bad either, and there were some pretty intense South African throwbacks. Overall, I think that this holds up really well after all the years, so definitely an action film to check out and enjoy!

16 thoughts on “Rapid Review: Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

  1. Best one

    Great job, as usual. Sounds pretty fun although… Mel Gibson!

    I would love to see how they portray apartheid in here. Sounds more tolerable than usual!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kidney!

      But Mel Gibson is so good in these!

      Not even remotely as annoying as you would think, because it is important but not necessarily the driving factor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I didn’t know that about SA, I don’t even know what the K-word is haha! 😛

    PS – if you’re interested, I’d love to have a PSH entry to add to my post on July 23 (his birthday). It can be a movie review or a tribute or anything about him really. I want the whole film blogosphere to celebrate his work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, yes. Another treasured film with Mel Gibson pre-psychotic break. 😉 i am ashamed to say that I’ve only seen Lethal Weapons 3 & 4, I gotta go back and watch these all at some point. Damn….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. xD So true! WHAT?! They were fine and all (had plenty fun), but the first two are the ones that really stand out. Do yourself a favour and have a Lethal Weapon run!


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