Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lethal Weapon II

Last night Mitch and I watched Lethal Weapon II.  You know what I figured out?  I figured out why the movies are called Lethal Weapon.  Mel Gibson IS the Lethal Weapon.  Is he crazy?  Or is he just crazy good?  We still don't know.

I think I saw Lethal Weapon II when it came out in the eighties because I remember the iconic "toilet scene."  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  This film starts with Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Riggs (Mel Gibson) in a car chase in Murtaugh's wife's station wagon.  Murtaugh drives this big woody station wagon throughout the whole movie which makes me wonder why the L.A. police department would allow that.  It seems a little unprofessional to have a detective driving around in car chases in a grocery grabber, but hey, what do I know, I live in fly-over country.  And also, isn't Murtaugh's wife a little put-out that her husband is using her car every day?  How is she getting around?  Why doesn't Murtaugh use his own car for work?  Anyway, Riggs and Murtaugh and a bunch of other rag-tag, lovable detectives are chasing a guy who eventually crashes and a bunch of gold treasure comes out of his trunk.  That's not a euphemism either.  Literally, a bunch of gold coins spill from the trunk of the bad guy's car.

It turns out that the bad guy with the treasure is a South African diplomat and the South Africans are running some kind of illegal drug trade in L.A. and are getting paid in gold coins, apparently; and they are dodging law enforcement because of their diplomatic status.  Riggs is on to them and starts to sort of stalk the main South African bad guy because if Mel Gibson hates anything, it's racism and apartheid and those South Africans are all about apartheid.  He will not put up with that shit. Riggs meets a South African hottie that works at the embassy(?) and he starts up a relationship with her, if you can call practically kidnapping her and bringing her to his crappy trailer and having marathon sex a relationship.

While Mel is with this woman, the South Africans start assassinating all of the rag-tag police team that chased them down and discovered their plot.  A house where a poker game is being played is blown up with what looks like a million pounds of TNT.  That took care of five or six.  Another one was going to do a few laps in her pool before her shift and when she jumped on the diving board it blew up and flung her end over end across the whole neighborhood.  Didn't seem like a very practical way to kill someone because she might have been able to tuck and roll her way out of death, but apparently the South Africans have a flair for the dramatic and a lot of explosives laying around collecting dust.

Which brings me to the plot to kill Murtaugh.  Somehow, they got in to his house and wired his toilet so that after he had a good poop and stood up from the pot, it would explode.  They stupidly gave him a hint about what would happen by writing, "Boom, you're dead!" on the toilet paper.

I'm so glad they spelled "you're" right.

Why did they do that?!  Nobody will ever know.  Murtaugh tried calling Riggs all night to tell him he was stuck on his toilet, but Riggs was too busy to answer his phone.  When he finally went to check on Murtaugh he discovered him on his toilet and they had a good laugh.

"It really stinks in here."

They called the bomb squad and the plan was to freeze the bomb with nitrogen to give Murtaugh enough time to jump in to the bathtub to avoid the blast.  That's why we are paying big bucks for bomb squads, so they can buy you one second before the bomb goes off and tell you where to jump while it explodes.  If this is really the way bomb squads work, we need to rethink bomb squads.  Anyway, Murtaugh has been sitting on the pot all night and he can't feel his legs anymore so Riggs decides to stay and help him into the tub.  The bomb squad guy tries to talk Riggs out of it, but Riggs is not moving because he and Murtaugh are soul mates.  Before the big jump into the tub Murtaugh and Riggs tell each other they love each other in their manly way and then they make the big jump.  They survive.

Actually, I think I have my chronology messed up somewhere there.  It doesn't matter.  Oh, I also forgot to tell you that Riggs can get out of a standard straight jacket by dislocating his own shoulder and wriggling out.  Okay, now that you know that, I can tell you that the South Africans kidnap Riggs and tell him that they are the ones responsible for killing his wife in a "car accident" four years earlier.  Then they put Riggs in a makeshift straight jacket and throw him into the ocean.  He gets out, of course, because he can dislocate his own shoulder, but while he is down there he sees his new South African babe.  She got the whole straight jacket treatment as well.  Riggs loses his mind.  He is going to avenge  his wife and girlfriend by taking on the South Africans on his own.

He calls Murtaugh and tells him, and Murtaugh, of course, agrees to help him out. They go to a ship where the big wig South African bad guy is making some kind of shady deal and they get in a shootout. It's bad.  The bad guy shoots Riggs but before he does he holds out his ID badge and says "Diplomatic immunity! HA HA HA HA!"  Then Murtaugh shoots him because he doesn't give a crap about diplomatic immunity.  After he does he says, "It's just been revoked."  BADASS!  Then Murtaugh goes to Riggs and holds his head in his lap and gives him the will to live.  He keeps saying, "Do not die until I tell you to," which I thought was weird.  And then Riggs wakes up and says, "You're a beautiful man," and they both have a good laugh.  I didn't see what was so funny.  I thought it was weird.  What were they laughing at?

I thought the second Lethal Weapon was better than the first.  Mitch had some problems because the Murtaugh family house was having some construction done and the nail gun worked without being attached to a compressor.

Mitch thinks the compressor probably didn't have a very good agent and that was the point at which Mitch could no longer suspend his disbelief.  I give the movie an A- and the minus is only for the weirdness in the last scene.  Mitch gives it a C- "at best" he says.  I think if it wouldn't have been for the lack of compressor, Mitch would have given it a solid B.  SO much happens!  I didn't even cover half of it.  Riggs chases cars on foot again! Joe Pesci is in the movie!

Murtaugh kills some South Africans with the nail-gun-with-no-compressor and then says, "Nailed 'em!"  You should see it.  In fact, if you want my VHS copy, email me your address and I'll send it to you.

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