Lethal Weapon 2 is a buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner. The plot this time around sees Murtaugh (Danny Glover), and Riggs (Mel Gibson) go after a cartel of South African criminals that have a personal connection to Rigg’s past.
I think here we can see the tonal issues starting to become apparent, there is a lot of fallout surrounding Shane Black exiting the projecting and his darker script being rejected in favour of a more light hearted one; said script I would say is the major issue with the film. Quite dark and upsettingly violent sequences are upended with jokes and quips, which serve to ruin any tension built and let the air out of the balloon so to speak.
The tonal issues carry over to the characters as it limits their emotional growth and the extent of their journey’s. There is some interesting ideas and notions being floated around here, like Riggs dying to save his partner’s life at the end of the film, however, the film seem to gutless to follow through with these interesting character moments in favour of maintaining the status quo for sequels.
Gibson and Glover are still a terrific paring and have a lot of great on-screen chemistry together, sadly that is limited by insufficient character work.
Overall, this film shows us what is wrong with Hollywood, whereby the inevitable sequel is prioritised over the film itself to the detriment of all involved.
The tone is mismatched and doesn’t work
The ending loses its emotional impact
The characters don’t seem to progress emotionally or personally from where they were at the end of the film
Reviewed by Luke