Customer Reviews: Lethal Weapon 2
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on November 26, 2000
The tone is a bit lighter, but the "lethal" action continues unabated and non-stop as two of L.A.P.D.'s finest go after a South African consulate, dirty up to his neck in drugs and hiding behind diplomatic immunity in "Lethal Weapon 2," directed by Richard Donner and once again starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Still crazy, but no longer suicidal, Riggs (Gibson) continues to hunt down the bad guys with partner Roger Murtaugh (Glover), and this time around they find their lives in danger when they get too close to the underhanded dealings of South African Arjen "Aryan" Rudd (Joss Ackland) and his band of thugs. Along the way, they're assigned to baby-sit an informant in a money laundering racket, Leo Getz (Joe Pesci); and Riggs at last finds someone, Rika Van Den Haas (Patsy Kensit), who helps ease the pain of his wife's death, while also discovering who was responsible for the automobile accident that took her life. As he did with the first "Lethal Weapon," Donner keeps it all moving along at a brisk pace, though he allows the intensity level to drop somewhat this time while infusing more humor. There's some "Stooges" on hand, and a bit that finds Murtaugh the target of some office gags after the debut of a television commercial, starring his daughter, Rianne (Traci Wolfe), for a product that takes him by surprise, but the real laughs come courtesy of Pesci, who's upbeat, manic characterization of Getz becomes a real scene stealer. Though serious at the core, this movie is more of a joy ride than the first, though there are moments of true menace and apprehension, as well as a sobering resolution involving one of the featured characters. Performance wise, Gibson is as charismatic as ever, by now settling comfortably into Riggs' skin while further exploring the more intricate details of the character's personality. Glover, too, manages to take Murtaugh to the next level, leaving no doubt as to who this guy is and what he's about, from his dedication to the job, to his even more stringent dedication to his family. And, most importantly, these two really click as a team, and Donner knows just how to bring out the best in them. What really raises the bar in this second installment, however, is the addition of Pesci, who makes Leo Getz a truly memorable character. Inserting him into the mix was a real stroke of genius, and Donner wisely uses him just enough to effectively lighten the mood and counteract the drama. The supporting cast includes Darlene Love (Trish), Derrick O'Connor (Adolph), Steve Kahan (Capt. Murphy), Mark Rolston (Hans) and Jenette Goldstein (Officer Meagan Shapiro). With snappy dialogue, plenty of action and some good guys to root for, "Lethal Weapon 2" is a thoroughly entertaining sequel that more than does justice to the original. Donner knows his territory, and his stars know their stuff and how to deliver it, and that's a "lethal" combination any way you look at it. And what's even more gratifying, is knowing that they didn't stop here; after all the action of the first two, you know there's another one waiting for you. At this point, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars; "Lethal Weapon 3" is available, and it's yours for the asking.
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on July 26, 2007
After recently purchasing a PlayStation3 primarily for its functionality as a Blu-ray high-definition movie disc player, I was really looking forward to seeing some of my all-time favorite films on the new format. I mean, Blu-ray has 50gb of storage capacity on one side of a disc, enough room to pack a pristine 1080p video print and uncompressed 7.1 PCM audio, not to mention loads of extras... Having said that, Warner Home Video really let me down with their first issue of 1989's "Lethal Weapon 2" on Blu-ray disc. This is exactly what I feared they would do. Rather than do the job right the first time out, consumers are being setup for an obvious double-dip on several titles, including the first two "Lethal Weapon" films.

I grew up watching a VHS of "Lethal Weapon 2" with my older brother. He and I both loved this movie and used to watch it constantly, so naturally over the years we hope and pray for vastly improved ways to watch this 18-year old favorite. This Blu-ray disc is NOT that vast improvement we've been waiting for. From the opening frame, what we get is an image so jagged and grainy that it tempted me to insert my "Lethal Weapon 2: Director's Cut" DVD and see if the 480p image upconverted to 1080p was any better. So I did that, and while the DVD did make the Blu-ray presentation look good, that's not saying much. While there's a lot more detail and color depth in the Blu-ray version, there is also the huge distraction of seeing jagged edges around everything and everyone on screen. Just look at the opening frame of the film, where it says "A Time Warner Communications..." etc, and look at the text. Skip into the film a few chapters where we see a fax printing out of a fax machine, and look at the jagged edges around the printed page, everything on Murtaugh's desk... The list of flaws is endless, because it goes on throughout the entire film. Did anyone actually watch this master before sending it off to the Blu-ray duplication factory? The biggest reason why I would consider upgrading my DVD library to Blu-ray is for film-like images and detail, and this is one title where the studio needs to mint a brand new master from the ground-up if we're ever to see a better presentation. I have two words for Warner Bros: Lowry Digital. See what they did for James Bond? Enough said. Incidentally, after watching the film, I did some searching online to find out if other's have complained about this problem. I found out the technical reason for this is that Warner simply took an existing 1080i master and put it through a process of "vertical filtering" to convert it to 1080p. They did the same thing with the first "Lethal Weapon" film, along with at least five other Blu-ray transfers created from 1080i masters, so I'd be cautious of which early Warner titles you pick up on Blu-ray.

For this initial wave of Blu-ray titles, Warner also decided to do nothing with the format's audio capabilities. Instead, we just get the same Dolby Digital 5.1 track with slightly more detail, but not enough of an improvement to really notice. Where's the Dolby TrueHD or uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio tracks? On top of that, where are the audio commentaries? Come on, "Lethal Weapon 2" is a modern classic, surely deserving an audio commentary with Richard Donner, Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, etc. Instead, we get a French language track. Lame.

The extras are equally as unspectacular as the picture and sound. I just don't get how some films are treated to 2-3 re-releases over 10 years, yet the "Lethal Weapon" franchise goes by hugely overlooked in the Special Edition department.

Bottom-line: Don't buy it. I bought it, and I'm returning it. Hold out until Warner gets their act together, creates new 1080p masters from cleaner elements, and gives us a deluxe box set of all four films with new extras. They've proved they can do it with other films, so I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before Riggs & Murtaugh get their due respect on high-def disc.
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on August 21, 2016
Lethal Weapon 2 is one of the very few sequels that is almost as good as the original that spawned it. It's filled with all the impressive shootouts, fight scenes and explosions that made the first one a classic but also adds a bit more humor. Sadly, the series went downhill fast after this one but at least they gave the audience a great double feature.
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on October 12, 2016
It's Lethal Weapon. What more is there to say. If there is anyone out there who have not seen the four movies I would have to ask, "What planet are you from?". But, if there are, and they like action with a lot of humor and sound acting then by all means watch this series.
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on October 12, 2016
As most moviegoers will attest to, the majority of sequels tend to fall short of the blockbuster success of their predecessors; oftentimes, sequels will even take the legacy of the original film down a blind alley, after which, fans can only lament (e.g. the "Highlander" franchise).
The "Lethal Weapon" franchise, however, is one of the very few exceptions. Over the course of the four installments the action and chemistry between the main characters is quite consistent, as is the litany of villains. But with little expected argument, the immediate sequel, "Lethal Weapon 2" is the best of the three. With fine character arc performances by both Gibson and Glover, and a jarring plotline backed up with the right amount of action, "LW2" is a perfect beer-and-snacks film for a weekend night, either as a double feature, or by itself.
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VINE VOICEon May 12, 2006
The summer of 1989 was loaded with blockbusters, yet there was only one movie that I really wanted to see more than any other. In a season that saw such blockbusters as a new Indiana Jones movie, the latest Star Trek picture and Timothy Dalton's second outing as 007, the movie that held the most excitement for me was LETHAL WEAPON 2. Not because of Mel Gibson or Danny Glover or a particular love of the original, but because the love interest came in the very lovely shape of the lead singer of one of my favorite 1980s bands (Eighth Wonder) Patsy Kensit.

Truth be told though, there's not much to Kensit's role here, she is there simply as window dressing in the part of a secretary at the South African consulate. The movie as a whole though is a great, fun ride and is easily my favorite of the franchise.

The plot of the movie involves drug smuggling that is being conducted by officials at the South African consulate. Back in the 1980s South Africa was largely an international pariah because of its policy of apartheid. This made it easy to target them as the villains and their position as diplomats provides them with the protective vbeil of diplomatic immunity. As lead villain Arjen Rudd (played wonderfully by British actor Joss Ackland) comments when confronting the Los Angeles police officers "you could not even give me a parking ticket."

Starting with a chase through the night streets of Los Angeles, the movie races from one action sequence to another rarely pausing for breath in what is a classic cop buddy movie. Both Gibson and Glover make a great team and the interplay between them provides for some really subtle humor.

Which brings us to Joe Pesci, whose humor is about as subtle as a sledgehammer in the role of witness Leo Getz - "Whatever you want Leo Getz - get it!?" Pesci is at times annoying and at other times loveable, but he is always funny. Obviously he was also a hit with the audience too as he would return in the third and fourth movie of the series.

As a bonus for Kensit fans like myself - in the scene where Leo is cleaning Riggs house you can hear Eighth Wonder's biggest hit "I'm not Scared" playing in the background. It's a shame they did not have Kensit's character survive until the end as they had originally planned, but I understand that her death leads Riggs to take the dramatic action that he does.

This is my favorite cop movie (alongside "Beverly Hills Cop" and an entertaining way to spend 114 minutes or 118 minutes if you go with the directors cut.

Scenes included in the directors cut includes Leo using numbers to remember a suspects address and Murtaugh getting some bad news from an auto-repair man after Riggs drives his new station wagon up against a guardrail. Pretty standard stuff that I felt did not add anything particularly.

The directors cut also comes with a making of featurette, cast and crew bios and a theatrical trailer. Here's hoping that one day soon Warner will put out an ultimate edition. Director Richard Donner has already done a great commentary track on the original Suoerman movie and a commentary track here would be welcome also.

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on October 27, 2016
By far, my favorite in this series. From the infamous exploding toilet to Rianne's commercial debut, to the maniacal cry of "Diplomatic immunity!" this thing really shines. It was also the first film to introduce Joe Pesci, who continued the role in the two subsequent films.
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on June 23, 2016
Is there a bad Lethal Weapon? The sure sign of a great series are good writers and this shows through in the Lethal Weapon movies. I recommend this movie, hell, I recommend all 4 movies in the series.
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on July 24, 2008
First of all, I love this movie. The first two Leathal Weapon movies are so good. It is so much fun to watch the two very different main characters work together. The movie is a bit dated, but not much, and it is wonderful to see it again, I haven't seen it in over 15 years.
Now for the Blu-ray itself. I can't say that I am impressed at all. If I was to rate just the picture I would give it two stars. I use a 40' Sony KDL-40W2000, a Denon AVR-2803 and a PS3, such equipment isn't exactly high end. There are very clear evidence of the picture being encoded in 1080i (interlaced) and not progressive. There are so many times that I can clearly see empty line in between the lines in the picture. An example is the scene in the grocery store when Riggs meets miss van den Haas and they are standing at each end of the fruit stand. I could very clearly see lines in the price tags. Another example is the end credits sequence where the letters were very edgy. There are so many other example of this.
The sound, though, is quite good, for a late 80s movie. I thought, though, that the sound on the first Leathal Weapon on Blu-ray was a tad better.
So despite of the picture I will keep it, since I don't have it in any other format. But if you have the movie on DVD I would wait and hope for a better version to come out on Blu-ray.
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on October 21, 2016
The second movie of the Lethal Weapon series was still fun and the addition of Joe Pesci added some humor to the dynamic. I like this movie even though it is purely escapist 80's action flick. Great fun.
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