When my film-school attraction Lead heard about last week's disappointed review, he thought I was pure bananas. When I told him about this week's film, there was a near spit-take. Yes, yes, I'm following up "Ben-Hur" with "Lethal Weapon". When building this year's film list, I wanted to break the cycle of weighty dramas with genre films. Obviously, this would fall into the "Action" category.
"Lethal Weapon" checked all of the boxes I would expect and love from an action film. Guns, explosions, drugs, boobs (and some young, anti-Semitic ass, for the ladies), and plenty of witty banter. That being said, the action left a lot to be desired. I suppose I'm spoiled by the modern, high-def, wide-shot, long-take action I get today, but even after shitting on it last week, I'll admit that Ben Hur's action was more believable.
The buddy-cop premise was where the movie gathered its strength. TIME Magazine called the film "Mad Max meets The Cosby Show" and the two contrasting characters, a now-familiar but satisfying trope, is where the film had its fun. But it wasn't enough to keep me invested.
Ultimately, the poorly aged '80s design (and music), unreal fight scenes, and silly characters was too much for me. I do question this movie's place on my list, but I'm glad I watched it. It felt just as much a "time and place" as "Singin' in the Rain", or any other film I've watched and I had a few chuckles.