Lethal Weapon 4

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are back as cop-buddies in the third sequel of the popular Lethal Weapon series.

As usual, the movie begins with Sergeants Martin Riggs (Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Glover) involved in a high-adrenaline fast-paced action scenario. This time, a lunatic with a flame-thrower is roasting things up at random and Riggs and Murtaugh set out to stop him. Riggs convinces Murtaugh to undergo some public humiliation as a distraction while he attempts to disarm the person wielding the flame-thrower. Needless to say, the result is quite spectacular, culminating in the explosion of a tanker truck.

We then switch over to the real "plot", which involves a Chinese villain Wah Sing Ku (Jet Li) who wants to reunite with his colleagues, and brother, from China so he can begin conquering America. In order to realise his plan, he must free them by paying a huge sum of money to a General who controls their freedom. Ku sets about accomplishing this mission by importing Chinese labourers who can provide him with a large sum of counterfeit Chinese money. Riggs and Murtaugh stumble upon Ku's scheme when they run across a ship full of illegal Chinese immigrants. As they set about uncovering the reason for the smuggling we get to see several confrontations between the Riggs and Murtaugh and the gangsters, culminating in a prolonged hand-to-hand combat between Riggs and Ku.

Amidst all this, along for the ride are characters from previous films: accountant-turned-investigator Leo Getz (Joe Pesci), Riggs' love-interest Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) and Murtaugh's family. A new character, fellow officer Lee Butters (Chris Rock) is introduced.

The acting is as should be expecting: excellent. While I like the Joe Pesci character, it is Chris Rock who gets to deliver all the good lines. Aside from that fact, Rock's presence in this movie is without any justification whatsoever. The humour worked every so often and I did laugh quite a bit (in fact there's a scene at the end of the movie here that I thought was more gross than anything in There's Something About Mary). The action scenes are the best part of the movie, particularly those featuring Jet Li's amazing martial arts stunts. This movie is worth watching on the big screen if you want over-the-top action with an incomprehensible plot (as if we haven't gotten enough of this summer) or you want to check out Jet Li's kicks and punches.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org