Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Lethal Weapon Director’s Cut (A Shitmas Post from Steve Johnson of "Icon vs. Icon"!)

The last time I talked to you guys, I was educating you on the pure awesomeness of John McClane’s exploits in ‘Die Hard 2’.  Sure there are plenty more ‘Die Hard’ movies to review, but lets face it, the Christmas element was dropped and they slowly became steaming piles of shit.  So I’m going to take you back to Los Angeles and the Christmas season by familiarizing you guys with a little film from 1987 called ‘Lethal Weapon’.



I know what you are thinking, how the hell is ‘Lethal Weapon’ a Christmas movie?  It opens up to Jingle Bell Rock for god’s sake, so shut the hell up.  We begin this spectacle with some nice t&a and drug use.  This movie already screams the Christmas season.  The next thing you know this drugged out piece of ass takes a header off of the balcony and destroys what looks like a perfectly good Chrysler LeBaron.  Damn Richard Donner, you sure do know how to get this guy’s attention.



We are then magically whisked away to Roger Murtaugh’s humble abode.  Murtaugh is portrayed by Danny Glover and to be honest, I can’t think of anyone else who would fit the role so perfectly.  Anyway… Back to the film.  His entire family barges in on him nude in the bathtub to wish him a happy birthday.  Awkward…  I mean what grown kid wants to barge in on his or her nude father.  Now that we have the quick introduction to Murtaugh, we are introduced to Mel Gibson’s Riggs.



In complete contrast to Murtaugh, Riggs lives isolated in a small trailer near the beach with his faithful dog.  Now this is where the ladies can get interested.  The first time we see Riggs he is bare assed naked with a cigarette in his mouth and drinking a beer.  My kind of guy.  I must note that he is sporting quite a fashionable mullet.



So back to Murtaugh.  His wife asks him about a Michael Hunsaker.  We find out he is an old Vietnam buddy of Murtaugh’s who he hasn’t spoken to in over a decade.  Meanwhile Riggs tucks a gun in his super tight Lee jeans and breaks the shit out of his tv.  It is quickly clear that Riggs has problems coping with the loss of his wife.  While Riggs is busy trying to maintain his sanity, we take a peek at Murtaugh firing off some rounds at the shooting range and flashing his patented neck roll before popping off some rounds.  Murtaugh is a six shooter kind of guy, which I dig about him.  Old school…

Riggs ends up getting tangled in a shootout with a sniper at a school who is shooting kids.  There is no way this would be filmed today.  No way.  Now because Riggs is close to losing it, the bad ass just strolls out to the middle of the court yard and talks shit about the sniper until he gets a shot.  A few rounds to the head ought to do the trick.  Way to go Riggs!  Moving along, we finally get a name of the naked girl that jumped off the balcony.  It’s Amanda Hunsaker!  The daughter of Murtaugh’s old Vietnam buddy!  While Murtaugh is working on following up on Michael Hunsaker, Riggs is busy offering one hundred dollars for one hundred thousand dollars worth of cocaine from a bunch of dudes in jean jackets and plaid.  Weird outfits for drug dealers.    These guys had no idea Riggs loves the three stooges, has a real badge, is a real cop, and has a real fucking gun.  Yeah…  They all get blasted, minus one, who ends up almost getting shot in the face by a psycho Riggs.


Later that evening Riggs is drinking and watching some Bugs Bunny cartoons.  Seems like a great time to shine up his gun and load one in the chamber.  Riggs puts the gun in his mouth to commit suicide, but decides against it after damn near causing the gun to discharge.  On a side note, during this scene we are given one of the greatest shots of a mooseknuckle in cinema history.  Get some better fitting pants Riggs.  Jesus.  So he doesn’t off himself and we find out his wife is dead.  The fact that Riggs is insane is developed even further when his Captain and Police Psychologist have a discussion about how he is on the verge of losing his shit.



The toxicology report comes back on Amanda Hunsaker and we find out she had drugs laced with drain cleaner in her system.  It wasn’t suicide!  The dynamic duo of Riggs and Murtaugh are finally brought together after Murtaugh mistakes him for a perp with a gun in the station.  A few karate moves later and Murtaugh is on the ground with a gun pointed at his head.  Nice introduction!  Murtaugh is too old for this shit!

Now here’s where shit gets real crazy.  We are finally introduced to our bad guys.  One of whom is Gary Busey’s Mr. Joshua.  They must have got him from psychos-r-us.  So our big baddie, The General, has a deal to make with one Mr. Mendez.  In a show of pure badassdom, Mr. Joshua proves how radical he is by putting his arm over a lit lighter without showing any sign of pain.  So awesome…  I guess Mr. Mendez better not back out of the heroin deal or he will have to deal with Mr. Joshua and his spectacularly blonde hair.  He’d be crazy to back of of a deal with a bunch of guys who are out there like pluto.  Right?


For all of my fellow movie geeks, this is where we are given a real treat.  Michael Hunsaker is played by none other than everyone’s favorite, Tom Atkins!  And oh yeah…  He has a mustache!  Thank god! Murtaugh tells Michael that his daughter was murdered.  Michael goes on to tell Murtaugh that his daughter was involved in porn and he was hoping that he could help in getting her out of the business.  It turns out that Murtaugh owes Hunsaker a favor from their old Vietnam days.  Hunsaker wants them killed damn it!


In yet another show of complete disregard for his well being, Riggs climbs to the top of a building to talk down a jumper.  Well Riggs ends up handcuffing himself to the guy and forces him to jump off.  Fortunately they land on an airbag, but the guy is scared shitless.  I guess his bitch ass didn’t really want to die.  Once again, way to go Riggs.  Well this pisses off Murtaugh and the two end up in an argument in a store.  Murtaugh coaxes him into putting his gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger.  A well placed finger stops the hammer from coming down.  It turns out Riggs wants to die and isn’t just trying to draw psycho pension.  He’s also hungry…


Riggs and Murtaugh shoot off to investigate Amanda Hunsaker’s meal ticket.  Riggs has apparently seen this guy’s house on the lifestyles of the rich and shameless.  After a shootout, the suspect ends up dead and wrapped up in a pool cover.  Riggs hasn’t met anybody he hasn’t killed.  We finally get a little break in the action and enjoy dinner with the Murtaugh’s.  It turns out Murtaugh’s daughter Rianne has a crush on our tight pants wearing hero.  Can you blame her?

After drinking a few Coors in the back of Murtaugh’s boat and having a “my dick is bigger than yours” showdown at the shooting range, they end up tracking down the hooker who witnessed Amanda Hunsaker’s death jump.  It turns out Dixie may have been in the room with Amanda.  Just as they go to talk to her, her house blows up.  RIP Dixie.  I’m sure there will be some disappointed guys out there tonight.  An annoying kid on the street informs them that a blonde guy with a tattoo like Riggs’ special forces tattoo visited the house just before it exploded.  This reeks of Mr. Joshua!

Back to Michael Hunsaker’s house.  His daughter was killed because of something he was into.  It turns out Hunsaker was going to spill his guts about the heroin running he was involved with and they killed his daughter.  Unfortunately for us, Hunsaker is killed by Mr. Joshua who snipes him from a helicopter.  No more Tom Atkins for us.  Boo…  This incident stears our heroes and bad guys into a head on collision.  Riggs ends up getting shot in the chest by Mr. Joshua and thrown through a window.  Thank god he was wearing his vest.

Riggs and Murtaugh high tail it back to his house after receiving a call from dispatch originating from Murtaugh’s neighborhood.  They find out that Mr. Joshua has taken his daughter Rianne.  Bad move Mr. Joshua.  Now you have really pissed them off.  They are going to do it Riggs’ way and they are going to get bloody on this one.  A meeting is arranged in the desert for Murtaugh to surrender in exchange for his daughter’s safety.  Keep in mind that our bad guys believe Riggs to be dead.  It’s a shame for a shitload of them that he isn’t because many meet their untimely demise from the barrel of Riggs’ sniper rifle.  This of course comes after Murtaugh pulls the old “I have a grenade and I’m going to blow us all up bit.”  It turns out our head bad guy The General has been sneaking up on Riggs this whole time and now everyone is captured.  Here’s where shit really hits the fan.


Enter Al Leong.  This guy has been terrorizing the big screen for years.  Whether it’s trashing the San Dimas mall as Genghis Khan in ‘Bill and Ted’ or helping Hans Gruber take over the Nakatomi Building in ‘Die Hard’.  The dude is badass.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, so Riggs gets the electro-shock treatment from Leong’s Endo, while Mertaugh is tortured in another room.  Man, these guys are begging to get fucked up.  Riggs breaks Leong’s neck while hanging from chains, sets Murtaugh and his daughter free, and then sets his sights on beating the shit out of or killing everyone in sight.


Mr. Joshua escapes and has a badass shoot out with RIggs in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard.  Mr. Joshua gets away with Riggs in pursuit, while Murtaugh goes after General McCallister.  Now we get a classic showdown.  Mertaugh stands in the center of the street while The General’s car bears down on him.  No way he lives.  No way…  With one shot Murtaugh takes out the driver.  The car then gets hit by a bus, flips over, and explodes because it was loaded with grenades.  Happy trails to yet another bad general (see Die Hard 2 Shitmas Post).

Mr. Joshua has headed directly to Murtaugh’s house to exact some revenge and kill his family.  Now we get the final showdown between Riggs and Mr. Joshua.  There’s no way Mr. Joshua can win, he’s too fucking blonde.  Riggs and Mr. Joshua have a good old fashioned fist fight/wrestling match in the front lawn under the spray of a broken fire hydrant.  Damn they could write action movies in the eighties.  Riggs stops just shy of choking him to death, only to have Mr. Joshua steal an arresting officer’s gun.  Let’s just say that one round each from Riggs’ and Murtaugh’s guns does the trick.  I certainly hope someone gets that shit off of Murtaugh’s lawn.  To end things we are treated to a solemn Riggs in a graveyard wishing his dead wife a Merry Christmas, followed by Christmas dinner at the Murtaugh’s.  Shame on you if you say this isn’t a Christmas movie.


‘Lethal Weapon’ is one of those films that I could watch anytime of the year, but it is a necessity at Christmas.  I’ll never get too old for this shit.  If you don’t like this movie, I’m not sure we should be friends.  It has everything you could ever want from a film.  What is there about violence, nudity, and drug use that doesn’t scream Christmas?  Sounds about right to me.  If you find yourself with a little extra cash this holiday season, you should run out and pick this up.  Be sure to grab the Director’s Cut of the film, as I feel it is more complete with the added footage.  Stay tuned…  Next year I will unleash the pure badassdom of Chuck Norris in ‘Invasion USA’.  It’s time…





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