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Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
star Printer-Friendly version
Review Date: July 12, 1998
Director: Richard Donner
Writer: Channing Gibson
Producers: Joel Silver and Richard Donner
Actors:
Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs
Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh
Jet Li as Wah Sing Ku
Chris Rock as Lee Butters
Joe Pesci as Leo Getz
Rene Russo as Lorna Cole
Plot:
Riggs and Murtaugh uncover a slavery importation business established by the Asian Triad. They are bent on terminating this activity, and predictably, infiltrate and harass the Chinese bad guys, while managing to support their loved ones (Lorna in Riggs' case, and Murtaugh's daughter in Murtaugh's) during their pregnancies.
Critique:
Fun stuff! This sequel can be considered the funniest of them all, while still remaining faithful to the action genre which it regenerated back in the late-80's. All of the familiar faces are back with more of their infamous wisecracks and loveable idiosyncrasies, while a couple of new faces, add some needed spice to the ol' recipe. One of the newest spices, who is playing the ultimate bad guy in this film, is Jet Li, the latest in the crop of martial arts exports from Asia (see Jackie "I can't get this smile of my face" Chan, and Chow Yun Fat). Jet kicks some major ass in this movie, adds some needed intensity to some otherwise predictable and light suspense sequences, and certainly shows more potential than either one of the previously mentioned martial artists in regards to his acting and chop-chop abilities. The rest of the cast was adequate, with standout performances by Chris Rock as the funny, new cop on the block, and some funny scenes with Joe Pesci (although he did get on my nerves at times...I think he might've overdid this role a bit). Gibson and Glover continue their decent work as the good buddy cop guys, while Rene Russo is pretty much wasted in this film, and wears too much make-up.

The plot is very thin in this movie, but the film never gets boring. There is always something funny or action-packed going on, and despite the lack of any extremely suspenseful moments (the resolution of the plot is one of the worst that I have ever seen...), the movie does keep you interested at all times (especially if you've been a fan of its prequels), and certainly does make for an excellent conclusion to this fine series. The martial arts sequences with Jet Li are amazing to watch, and so is the one long car chase scene in this film, which is a credit to director Donner, who has actually been able to innovate this sequence despite its extreme overuse in many recent action films. Overall, this movie works on most fronts, has some funny and action-packed scenes, and does deliver a pretty neat bad guy in Jet Li. So turn off the brain, warm up them nachos, and get ready for a fun time at the movies!
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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