Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  • Time: 118 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller
  • Director: Richard Donner
  • Cast: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo


Martin Riggs finally meets his match in the form of Lorna Cole, a beautiful but tough policewoman. Together with Roger Murtaugh, his partner, the three attempt to expose a crooked former policeman and his huge arms racket. The crooked cop (Jack Travis) thwarts them at every turn, mainly by killing anyone who is about to talk, but Murtaugh has personal problems of his own as his family are brought into the equation.

One comment

  • Lethal Weapon 1 and 2 were both critical and commercial success and high points for the buddy cop genre. They helped set up the formula but by the third film ended up falling into it’s own traps: making it the weakest the series.

    After years working together Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is eight days from retirement. But after messing up a bomb disposal, Murtaugh Sgt. Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) are demoted to patrolmen where they stop a robbery of an armoured car. This leads them getting involved with an investigate led by tough cookie Internal Affairs officer Sgt. Lorna Cole (Rene Russo), investigating ex-officer Jack Travis (Stuart Wilson), selling automatic gun and armour-piercing bullets.

    There is a decent idea for a plot, corrupt cops selling powerful weapons from the police evidence. It was done in a realistic way in American Gangster where the police sold drugs to dealers. But Lethal Weapon 3 does take a more ridiculous route, with the main baddie just going into a police station to kill a guy and kidnapping a senior police officer. The film also falls into it’s own clich├ęs (which the Simpsons end up making fun), with Murtaugh taking more risks despite being on the edge of retirement, Murtaugh and Riggs being demoted, Riggs and Cole having a hostile relationship before having sex, more over the top action sequences and looking for the smallest excuse for an action sequence. The film’s humour was weaker, with Gibson’s Three Stooges stick getting old and Joe Pesci’s performance as an obnoxious real estate agent was very obnoxious not funny (he is so much better playing sociopathic Mafia hit-man in Martin Scorsese films). The film’s attempt to be dramatic also felt forced and the main villain, Travis lacked menace to the villains of the other Lethal Weapon films.

    But whilst there are weaknesses in the film, there are some merits. Russo was very convincing as a tough, kick-ass woman, and well, I enjoy seeing women beating up men. There is still good chemistry between Glover and Riggs and Richard Donner does know how to direct an action sequence. As stated there is a good basis for a plot, with a real issue about cop killer bullets. It is still a well made movie.

    Overall Lethal Weapon 3 is the weakest series, but it is still an okay film when watching it with the other three films.

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