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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on April 12, 2004
I like all the Lethal Weapon movies, and this one is no exception. I don't see why anybody wouldn't like "Lethal Weapon 4" because it's everything most people would expect it to be. It has a lot of fast paced action, good special effects, and a lot of laughs. What made "Lethal Weapon 4" one of the best two of the series in my opinion is the comedy that's in the movie. Without a doubt, it has more comedy in it than the other three movies in the series by far. Some of the funniest parts are when Joe Pesci makes friends with a shark, and the laughing gas scene at the dentist's office. Like always, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover put on great performances, and Joe Pesci is hilarious. I'm not crazy about Chris Rock's stand up comedy show, but he was actually pretty good in this movie. Jet-Li also shows off some of his awesome fighting moves at times in the movie.
If you like movies with a lot of action and a lot of comedy, I recommend getting "Lethal Weapon 4."
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on October 8, 2003
Don't listen to those people slamming Lethal Weapon 4 or praising it. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Only the intellectually immature and unsophisticated think that Lethal 4 is better than the first two. Light, slapstick humour does not a masterpiece make.
Lethal Weapon 4 is certainly not on the same level as numbers 1 or 2. The first two films established a darker, more sophisticated tone for action films with their brooding, suicidal on-the-edge hero Martin Riggs played with real pathos by Mel Gibson. True the plotlines were as thin as Murtaugh's middle name (and with his wife's cooking we're not surprised) but with Shane Black's and the late Jeffrey Boam's wit laden scripts these two films reinvigorated the tired buddy cop concept for action films.
The main problem with Lethal 4 is the decision to dump the pathos and up the ante on the slapstick humour that quite frankly doesn't belong in the series. If you can get past the lighter tone (which the trailer trash have embraced whole-heartedly) then Lethal 4 can be quite entertaining in its own way.
The plot (unlike the previous three installments) actually requires some thought and shows at least some ambition but is hampered by the convoluted turns it takes. Jet Li is the ass-kicking super villain in this one and takes the case as the most thrilling and cinematic of the bunch. The plot involves something to do with smuggling illegals from China who must pay their passage back by producing counterfeit money.
Another problem is the plethora of characters (over)populating the Lethal world. Since the second film introduced the slicko Leo Getz the producers for some reason have not been able to resist bringing each new member to the fold back for subsequent installments. Therein lies this films greatest weakness: Leo (Joe Pesci) and Lorna (Renee Russo) really have little to do in this story except run around screaming and making much ado about nothing. The over population distracts from the plot and interrupts the flow of the story as each was given several scenes to shine on their own ignoring the harm being done to the overall tale.
The addition of Chris Rock as Lee Butters (Murtaugh's surreptious son in law) is occasionally funny but mostly annoying. No filmmmaker has ever been able to bring Rock's standup talent to the big screen. He is always relegated to being the wacky wisecracking black guy and doesn't bring much to the table. Certainly the role is not challenging but sadly Rock is not up to the task. His constant yelling and over-acting gets old quickly. He does, however, offer the occasional highlight such as the 'homo-erotic' love triangle.
All in all the action is adequate, if unimaginative and completely over the top. In spite of all of the problems Lethal 4 has, and it has many, it is a testament to the chemistry between Gibson and Glover and director Richard Donner's ability to keep the material feeling fresh. All in all an entertaining but slightly underwhelming movie-going experience but still a treat to see the old gang back in action.
(PS - only a nutty Republican would judge an entire movie based on the wise decision of the director to slip in some responsible anti-gun messages. If the police all oppose gun control please explain why Canada with its much strictor gun control standards has far less gun crime than the USA.)
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on February 23, 2003
The original "Lethal Weapon" was excellent but, like most sequels, it was all downhill from there. Jet Li was entertaining, Chris Rock somewhat bearable, but everyone else is so used and washed up. Can Joe Pesci be any more annoying? I heard through the grapevine that in real life Pesci and Gibson hate being in sequel after revolting sequel of the LW series, and that they starred in this one on the promise that either their characters be killed, or that this be the LAST ONE!!! My two star rating goes to, and only to, my hope that this rumor is true, and that such insightful human beings had the courage to stand up to and stop this 4-car wagon train from taking us to it's final destination...hell.
And don't be sure to miss the very unsubtle political messages smeared across this rotten filth at all strategic points. The movie starts with a bid supporting unlimited access to any refugee who wants to emigrate to America, regardless of any background check whatsoever. A Port Authority Cop demonizes himself by suggesting that America can't afford to keep taking in wave after wave after wave of unrestrained immigration, as Riggs and Murdock stand there giving him unapproving glares and barely-perceivable shaking of heads. Of course, his argument is destroyed when Murdock generously takes in, and supports for weeks, a large family of Chinese immigrants...all in the household of his already-large, single-income family. Please...spare me the unbelievable utopian fantasy.
You won't miss the gun control politics either, because the director shoves it in your face with a huge anti-NRA poster in the middle of a police station, even though most police will agree that gun control only plays into the hands of criminals. On the poster, we see a crawling baby reaching for a handgun. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! I don't know of many people who leave loaded handguns on the floor in the same room with children. I also don't know many babies who, still in their crawling stage, have the lower arm strength to pull the trigger of an uncocked 9mm Baretta, much less point it at themselves and hold it steady while they do it. This poster is as rediculous as the one showing the "worker's hero" Mao Zedong using a shovel to plow farmland...both the gun-toting baby and the working-class Mao are upcapable of performing the acts that the posters depict them as doing.
If there's a Lethal Weapon 5, I wouldn't be surprised to see a poster of the WTC in flames, with the caption, "Try to understand this from bin Laden's eyes". This movie is disgusting, ultra-leftist filth. Avoid at all costs.
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on September 5, 2002
LAPD Detectves/best buddies Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) return in LETHAL WEAPON 4. This time the duo takes on a Chinese group, known as the Triad, who want to use fake currency to win the freedom of prisioners and bring them to the United States. Motor mouth Leo Getz (Joe Peci), now a Private Investigator, returns for more comic relief. Riggs's main squeeze, Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) is back, but a bit more domesticated now, than really in the thick of the plot. New to the mix, is Lee Butters (Chris Rock) and a very cool adversary in "kick butt tough guy" Jet Li, in his first american film. Directed once again by Richard Donner, LW4 follows the formula of the other films, with action, comedy, and little character bits. Jet Li is the best "villan" in the series...period. He actually gives the two cops a run for the money and his moves are amazing. I must say that I had a bit more fun watching this one over LW3. Some have said that they were disappointed in the "family friendly" ending. However, I would say that after 3 films, it's good to see all the principals together in one place as a change of pace. Sure, some of the ending is "very TV", but it's not all that bad in its execution. The film is a fun actioner, plain and simple, and should be looked at in that context.
Of all the "Lethal" DVDs, this one has the most extra features, for viewers. There is a commentary track with Donner and 2 other producers The track offers behind the scenes info and stores. They even talk briefly about the other films. The deleted scenes are the same as those found on the "Director's Cut"s of the first three pictures. There's also about 10 minutes worth on the set footage from the film. The documentary "Pure Lethal", hosted by Glover, traces the entire series with antics from all 4 movies and runs just over 30 minutes. Lastly, there are the theatrical trailers, for each film in the series. Not a bad DVD at all that is recommended
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on August 5, 2002
Ok, so seeing that I am gonna be in the eighth grade you may not wanna listen to what i think of this movie, but you should because it's awesome! This was the first Lethal Weapon movie I saw, and I believe the best one. I thought it would be a stupid action flick--martial arts, chase scenes, cursing, etc (it has all of it but tons of comedy!). This movie is HILARIOUS! Joe Pecsi and Chris Rock's conversation about cell phones provides for the best part of the whole movie, though there are other really funny parts (mostly of Joe's character "Leo"). There is pretty heavy swearing, but it's in the comedy form.
If you dont know the plot, it is about two LAPD cops (Mel Gibson and Danny Glover). They cause heavy damage, and are promoted to Captain for insurance purposes. One night, they are on Murtaugh's (Glover) boat and are sunk by a boat carrying illegal Chinese immigrants. But when he brings a family home with him, it wreaks havoc. The men smuggling the people in are counterfeiting money, to get some of their people out of a jail. In order to get the plates of the money, they must bring this family to the U.S. to a man working for them. This, of course, is the family Murtaugh has. They burn his house, try to kill he, his family, Riggs (Gibson), & Rigg's pregnant girlfriend (Rene Russo). Of course they don't succeed and a chase goes into effect,leading to, well, you should know by now.
But along the way from the opening scene when Rigg's makes a comment about a guy being "a spokesman for the NRA?" there are GREAT lines and FUNNY scenes.
If you like laughing, you'll love it!
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on February 6, 2002
I admit it. When I first saw the commercials for this movie, seeing that Chris Rock and Jet Li were going to be in it, I was immediately annoyed and mad at the makers of this movie. I have never been a fan of Chris Rock, and I think that martial arts movies are boring, so I figured that they would ruin the film. As a result of that, I stayed away from this movie until well after it was released on video.
I finally saw it last summer when my best friend and I were sitting around his house wondering what movie to rent. Upon learning (gasp!) that he had never seen the Lethal Weapon series, we headed to the video store to rent one of the movies. Knowing that my friend often has different tastes in movies than I do, I decided to increase the odds that he would enjoy this series by renting the one with Chris Rock, since he is a fan of him. So, after picking up some food, we got back to his house and popped it in. Boy was I ever surprised! I discovered that, even though I never find Chris Rock funny, he works in this movie, and even has the funniest line! Jet Li also makes for a great adversary to Riggs. I would have to say that this movie is even better than LW3 (though that might be because I have seen that one too many times). It has, as all of these movies do, the greatest action scenes combined with hilarious comedy (at one point Riggs, Murtaugh, Rock, and the old chinese guy whose name I can't remember are inhaling laughing gas in a dentists office-you have to see that!).
After watching the movie, apart from going back and rewatching some favorite scenes, we spent the rest of the day going through the fantastic special features. First off, there are interviews with everyone involved with the movie. There is also bloopers from (I think) all four movies. There is a fantastic behind the scenes documentary. There are deleted scenes from all the movies (including an alternate beginning to the first one, where Riggs gets into a bar fight). We didn't listen to the commentary, but the rest of these features alone make this one of the best DVD releases ever, and an example for all future DVD releases of what a truly great DVD should be. (By the way, it is a double sided disk instead of two seperate ones, but hey, it's only a mild annoyance and it saves you another 10 bucks!)
So, if you were staying away from this movie because of the new cast members, do yourself a favor and buy this. You will not be disappointed. Riggs and Murtaugh, while they may be getting "too old for this sh#t", have not changed at all, and God knows that we don't want them too!
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on December 15, 2001
I couldn't imagine a better way to end the series than with Lethal Weapon 4. It's a very good movie, with a great plot and great actors. I love how every character in these movies has been played by the same people. The chemistry, not only between Gibson and Glover, but the whole cast is very evident in this movie. It's a little more light-hearted than it's sleazy predecessors, but it is still true to it's form and very entertaining. Jet Li is probably the best enemy yet. They put up quite a fight just to bring him down. Joe Pesci is at his best in this movie, and even softens up a bit (note the Froggy story). Chris Rock was a GREAT addition to the movie as well. He is nothing short of hilarious. His monologue in the car about his childhood was so funny, I don't know how the actors kept a straight face. The ending pretty much sums up the whole series and pretty much confirms that this is the last movie. If you have watched the other Lethal Weapon movies dozens of times like I have, you will love this one just as much.
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on November 9, 2001
Certainly better than 2 & 3, this is by far the closest one that measures up to the original, the villian in this one (Jet Li) practically puts Gary Busey's character (The first film's villian) to shame, In this one Riggs & Murtaugh are up against chinese counterfeiters who will kill without hesitation, but the beginning is real cool as Riggs & Murtaugh try to disarm a flamethrowing-trigger-happy individual, who is causing havoc, Riggs disarms him in a rather comical scene, but Jet Li is definately a cool villian,(almost reminds you of Darth Maul) who not only displays martial-arts very nicely but kicks the hell out of Riggs & Murtaugh, when they infiltrate his operation that involves smuggling less unfortunate chinese members & their families who he uses as slave labor to print his counterfeiting operation, at one point he tries to kill them & Lorna Cole(Renee Russo) who is pregnant as well as Murtaugh's family, Rianne(Murtaugh's daughter) is also pregnant,by burning their house down, they escape & what follows is one of the best car chases not seen in a while, one sequence involves Riggs & Murtaugh crashing into a building & coming out the other side (unreal) but a fun scene nonetheless,the showdown between Li & Murtaugh & Riggs is a tense scene in itself, but satisfying, Chris Rock is on hand as a fellow detective as well as Joe Pesci's Leo who appears only as a but of jokes, the ending is a little idiotic in that it makes fun of a woman in labor, but overall a good follw-up to the original & much better than 2&3 I think.
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on August 2, 2001
There really is no use for the word "Lethal" in the title. Riggs, sinking into psychotic dillusionment over the death of his wife in the original, is now raising a family, never frowning, getting married. Boring. The original was groundbreaking and fantastic because there were two very unlikely partners: a down-to-earth family man (Murtagh), and a mentally disturbed, sociopathic whackjob who thinks about eating a bullet every second of his life (Riggs). Now, here are Lethal 4's very unlikely partners: a down-to-earth family man (Murtagh), and a down-to-earth family man (Riggs).
All the characters have been destroyed with this awful film. Joe Pesci as Leo Getz, once funny, is now an utterly disgusting, foul-mouthed, useless character. Rene Russo as Sgt. Cole, once an awesome, kung-fu fighting superchick, is now a pregnant old bag who's main goal in the film is to talk to Riggs and act hungry. Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs, I already told you about. Luckily, Murtagh and his family are still unmangled by Channing Gibson's writing.
The plot, what there is of it, is some Nice Asians are being smuggled in on a boat, and Murtagh steals some. Some Mean Asians who want to free some more Mean Asians from prison, want the Nice Asians back, so they try to kill Riggs and Murtagh.
That's about it. If you take away all the Family Matters inspired drivel that pads the story, you'll find that all it is is a movie that got made because it has the name of an excellent franchise in the title.
There are some good things. A conversation with Riggs and Getz over the phone in the same room is very funny, and there's some okay car chases, gun fights, explosions, etc. Also Walter Chang and Richard Donner keep things moving. And the fight with Jet Li at the end isn't all that bad.
Very little kids will like this inoffensive, quiet little cartoon, but for everyone else, watch the first three and stop there.
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on July 12, 2001
This one they did for the money. The idea ran out of gas after the first sequel was released and has been trading on the same tired themes since: Mel Gibson gets to be cute, Danny Glover gets to be righteous, and Joe Pesci gets to be...well, Joe Pesci. Richard Donner knew that more distractions would be needed to keep viewers interested when people weren't get shot or blown up, so Chris Rock was also added to the mix, but as cool as he is, his performance is wasted (though the dialogue he has with Pesci regarding cell phones, a recycling of his tirade "THEY ... YOU AT THE DRIVE-THRU" from "Lethal Weapon 2" isn't bad). Really, the best part of this movie is Jet Li. Like most Americans, I'd never seen him in anything before this movie (although I've since remedied that). He is truly a revelation, and I found myself wishing he were in more scenes (I also found myself wishing he'd kick Mel's ..., which is unusual since I generally like Mel Gibson's work...but not in this). Rent it out of curosity (as I did) if you must, and by all means rewind the fight sequences involving Jet Li, but unless you're really missing movies starring Brian Bosworth, I'd find it hard to recommend this.
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