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The Man Movie Encyclopedia: Lethal Weapon 2

April 10, 2016 | Posted by Caliber Winfield
Lethal Weapon


Greetings, all.

Welcome everyone to the Gratuitous B-Movie Co……wait, wrong one. Welcome to the Man Movie Encyclopedia. Of course, I jest, I’m very happy that Bryan has returned to help spread the love of action movies. I remember 5 years ago or so a fan of mine said someone had ripped my idea off over at 411. I went and checked it out, and it was vaguely similar, but that was it. Plus, when you’re a creative person, you realize just how often people will have similar ideas. Not to mention Bryan and I are totally different writers, with completely different tastes. I think he’s great, personally. Before I worked for 411 I use to look forward to his stuff because I never agreed with his opinions, heh. That may sound odd, but he’s always a breath of fresh air because he’s so off the beaten path, and he’s a solid writer. So, while this is belated, I’m glad to see he’s back where he belongs, and proud to share the stage with him. Funny note, I’d have to check, but the MME and B-Movie Column debuted either the same week, or within a week of each other.

Now it’s time for another exciting episode of The Minute Man Movie Reviews: This week, 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Good stuff. Solid acting, cool premise, great atmosphere. Worth the rental, but probably not worth going to the theater over. ***3/4 outta 5.

Alright, I hope everyone has their Diplomatic Immunity set, because it’s time to check out the Director’s Cut of Lethal Weapon 2.

We open up with Riggs & Murtaugh along with quite a few other cop cars in pursuit of two vehicles. At one point someone crashes into a small camper trailer and it explodes, because the 80s were awesome. I mean, you could crash into a fire-hydrant in the 80s and it blew up. One of the cars occupants are able to get away as a helicopter comes and picks them up, while the other crashes into a store front and the man simply escapes. You know, I can just about guarantee if I joined a criminal organization that gave me access to helicopter evac, at some point there’d be a conversation along the lines of:

Boss: Caliber, we have to talk.
Caliber: What’s up chief?
Boss: You’re abusing the helicopter evac to try and get girls, aren’t you?
Caliber:Sir, I’m offended!
Boss: Can you explain to me why since you found out about the helicopter 10 days ago, the last 3 missions you’ve been on all resulted in you needing it?
Caliber: Dude, I told you. I got the jewels, and as I got to the get-away-vehicle I thought “better check the oil”. You know, it’s the life blood of the car, I saw a commercial that said that. You’d wanna make sure your blood was good before running, right? So, I check it, and it’s like, half way down that little hexy grid. Now, I’m no mechanic, but I figure that’s probably not good. And you know, I didn’t asked to be reimbursed for my shirt that I had to wipe oil on so I could test the dip stick properly. And it was a Merona brand shirt too.
Boss: Then why did you have them pick you up 3 blocks down the road in front of a Hooters?
Caliber:Safer landing area.
Boss: The place you robbed involved you parking at the top of a parking structure that literally had a helicopter landing pad.
Caliber: Is that what that was? I thought it was parking for a guy named H.
Boss: Amazingly the fire alarm was pulled at Hooters which conveniently forced everyone to come out of the restaurant just in time to see you fly away in the helicopter
Caliber: Did I mention I didn’t ask to be reimbursed for my shirt?

They kick open the trunk to find a boat load of South African Krugerrands. The next day, Riggs is earning money by escaping straight jackets on a bet by dislocating his shoulder. Later that night at Roger’s house everyone is gathered around to watch his daughter, Reann, in her commercial debut. It ends up being a commercial for prophylactics, which of course freaks Roger out. I thought it a bit odd that she at least didn’t mention it. I mean, I’d say something if my entire family were gathered around to watch my commercial debut and I gave them no warning it started off with

Caliber: Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Two-for-One sale! Because nobody wants to share their Flesh-Light!

Else where, we meet the bad guys, Mr. Rudd and his right hand man, Peter. The guy who was in the BMW that crashed into the store front shows up and is swiftly executed. They then discuss warning the cops who are getting on to them.


Back at Roger’s house, Riggs is cooking dinner and gets to talking with Murtaugh’s wife about the night his wife died, killed in a car crash. Later that night, a group of men break into Roger’s house and tie up his family before giving him a stern warning, which he doesn’t really heed.


At the station the next day they learn of their new assignment, protecting an eye-witness by the name of Leo Getz. When they get there, room service shows up, except he’s actually an assassin and makes a pretty weak attempt at snuffing out Leo. I’d fail too, and here’s why…

Boss: We want you to kill Leo Getz.
Caliber: Sure thing. How so? Ricin poison? One of those sweet devices you strap to someone and it makes them look like they shot themself in the head?
Boss: No, just dress up like Room Service and shoot him.
Caliber: What? No fucking way. That’ll never work. Who’s dumb enough to fall for that? Shit, why don’t I just paint a tunnel on a brick wall and have him drive into it? Or how about I order some dynamite from the ACME CO, and then make the dynamite look like a woman, so when he starts kissing it, it blows up? Or, lemme guess, are we gonna have a giant, black ball of a bomb with a giant fuse on a silver platter when I show up as room service? This is fucking stupid.
Boss: Do it and we’ll let you shoot a flame thrower out of the helicopter next time it evacs you.
Caliber: Deal!

But then I’d get the room, and sure enough I’d get let in, and just before I pull the gun I’d start…

Caliber: Ugh. Fuck you guys, seriously. I told my boss NO WAY, NO WAY would this work. Putting on the tuxedo and saying I’m Room Service, no way would it work. But it did! It was so damn easy! You know how much shit I’m gonna have to eat because of this?! Even worse, next time he has a ridiculous idea, I’ll have to do it because he’ll reference how this worked! So one day you’re gonna hear on the news about how a 250lb guy with a giant goatee dressed up like a 60 year old woman to try and marry a billionaire and bilk him out of his fortunes because his crime boss thought it would work!

Riggs just tackles everyone except Roger out the window and they all fall 70feet into a pool. The bad guy gets away, quickly, in a wet tuxedo, which would lead me to believe he’s the $6 Million Dollar Man. I mean, that’d be like running in fucking concrete. Later back at Roger’s house, Leo explains that he use to launder drug money, and was caught skimming, thus becoming an eye witness. They ask him about any of these drug dealers he use to work with, and he’s vaguely able to remember a house where he had a job interview with a cat named Hans. They find it, and Riggs sees large amounts of money being counted, so he gets closer, only to get shot at by the same guy who pretended to be room service. He narrowly escapes and steals a tow truck to get away in, although Riggs is able to hop aboard first, with Leo & Roger in tow. It soon ends when two cars take up the two lanes on the mountain road and the guy has to slam on the breaks, forcing Roger to crash into the back of him, which then launches the car the tow truck was caring into a pick-up truck that’s in front of it, which then causes a surfboard to fly off the rack on top and through the windshield of the tow truck. Yeah, I just said that. Seriously, what kind of material is that windshield made of that a SURFBOARD could go through it? Cellophane? Anyway, they head back to the house to find people packing up and attempt to arrest them. However, diplomatic immunity, baby, so everyone is let go. Outside, Riggs runs into Rudd’s secretary, and he’s digging her action. Later at her place, Rudd puts the moves on her, and she turns him down. Which means at one point in time he was thinking “Man, this girl in her late 20’s/early 30s, she’s gotta be so hot for a fat guy in his 60’s who looks like he’s besties with Grandpa Munster. She’s probably picturing me like, dancing or something cool. She’s gonna be so happy when I do my patented ‘creepy face touch’, man, girls love me”.
Leo is happy with his sandwich. The next day Riggs harasses Rudd through out his day before heading over to Roger’s house and discovering he’s trapped on the toilet. It has a pressurized bomb attached to it, and if he sits up it explodes. He learned this via the “boom you’re dead” written on the toilet paper. Which I always thought was pretty stupid of the bad-guys, because why give the guy a heads up? You’d think the boss would be on top of his guys doing things like this.

Boss: So you planted the bomb as requested?
Henchman: Sure did!
Boss:And you didn’t leave any clues to the fact like you always do, right? Because then the plan never goes as…well, planned.
Henchman: Well, yes and no. See, you hit me up and told me not to do that, JUST as I’d got done writing it on the toilet paper. But don’t sweat it, I fixed it. After I wrote “BOOM you’re dead”, I drew an arrow pointing to it and wrote “Nope“. So, I’d say we’re solid.

The Bomb Squad is called in, and they freeze the bomb with liquid nitrogen to give them a second or two to leap off the toilet. His tub is old school cast iron, plus there’s a bomb blanket they pull on each other. Is everything in the bathroom made of cast iron? Because the toilet lands in one piece. Theoretically Murtaugh could have just ridden that toilet like a rocket. Well, Roger & Leo go to the South African consulate and cause a rukus so Riggs can sneak up to Rudd’s office. He basically tells him to get lost before shooting his fish tank. Later that day Riggs follows Rudd’s secretary and talks her into coming to his place. It’s an awesome pad, just a trailer out on the beach, which is all I’ve ever wanted, except up in the mountains.


Anyway, while Riggs is busy showing her his lethal weapon, all of his cop friends are being murdered. Either via gun-shot, or multiple explosions. There’s an attempt to get Rog’, but he’s got himself a nail-gun, so he’s all gravy. They don’t fuck around with Riggs as they send multiple helicopters to fuck his place up. There’s a point where he stands up on top of is place, with the spotlights on him as he blasts away with an automatic weapon, and you know, you just KNOW he did it because of how cool it’d look to the chick. I probably would have thrown in a shoulder roll while I was at it, to really show her I’m high action. Afterwards, he feels it’s OK to just drop her off at her house, as if that was just part of the date. She isn’t in shock or anything either. Well, he ends up getting knocked out, and when he comes to, he’s wrapped up in a mail-bag at the end of a dock. Rudd’s right hand man, Peter, then tells Riggs about how he’d been on to them a few years before, and Peter was instructed to take him out. However, instead of killing him, he ended up killing his wife. Right after that news he’s thrown in the water, but he simply pops his shoulder out and escapes. He then sees Rika, the secretary, and is stoked to find he won’t have to call anybody the next day or plan for Valentine’s Day. He does however go back and get her body, because, well, she was wearing his coat. Letterman jackets are expensive.
Riggs and Murtaugh are no longer cops tonight as they take on Rudd and the gang. First up, Riggs literally pulls down a house with his truck, but not before Roger is able to pull Leo out to safety. Doing cool shit like that has never worked for me.

Caliber: OK, I’ve got a plan, wait for my signal and then go in and get Leo!
Adam Carolla: You got it, partner.
*2 hours later*
Adam Carolla: Uh, Leo’s dead and the guys got away. What the hell was your signal?!
Caliber: I thought I could pull the house down with my car!
Adam: That’s insane, it doesn’t have any real power! Your car is just a REPLICA of the 1966 Batmobile! Not the real thing! You bought it for $2000!
Caliber: Hey, I’m an optimistic guy, I thought it could be done.
Adam: Could you at least take the Batman mask off while we’re having this conversation?

So, they figure out that Rudd and his crew are going to be taking a ship out of the country. They head there and wreak havoc to the best of their abilities, shooting everyone and thing in sight. Riggs has a an under whelming fight with the guy who killed his wife, and who also has a hair cut that looks like it’s gelled down with camel spit or something. But he kills him in an awesome way by dropping a shipping container on him. Which he does by simply pressing a button, which is how it always goes. I mean, that’s a major, MAJOR safety flaw, isn’t it? Just one button and a two ton object can come crashing down?

Engineer Chief: Harrison, your design has resulted in the accidental deaths of 106 ship workers in the last year.
Engineer Guy: But how many bad guys were killed when there seemed to be no other way to kill them, but the good guy knew, thus lulling bad guy into a false sense of security?
EC: 6. Which is why we’re keeping the design. Clearly the pros out-weigh the cons.
EG: Goddamn right.

How sweet would that be though? If you could just have that switch on hand. Significant other wants to watch The Big Bang Theory, *BOOM*, you hit the switch. Person lying and saying their dog is a Service Animal so they can bring them into the restaurant, *BOOM*, you hit the switch. It’d be a pain in the ass to get these shipping containers out of the places they’ve been dropped, but we’d be close to having a utopia.
Where was I? Right, so the right hand man is dead when Rudd shoots the shit out of Riggs. He again hides behind his Diplomatic Immunity, but Murtaugh revokes that shit. Roger then makes sure Riggs isn’t dying, and all is right.

Man Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
1-Liners: 3
Guys Beat Up: 4
Guys Killed: 29
Swear Words: 115
Boobs: 2
Explosions: 5
Slow-Motion Scenes: 15
Car Chases: 2
Chases on Foot: 1
Broken Bones: 1
Fight at a Motel? Yes
Guy Get Girl? Yes
Guy Smoke Cigarettes? Yes

[surf board goes through a guy’s face]
Riggs: Wipeout

[Roger kills two of Rudd’s men with a nail gun]
Murtaugh: Nailed’em both

[Rudd shoots Riggs quite a few times, then holds up his passport at Murtaugh]
Rudd: Diplomatic immunity!
[Murtaugh shoots Rudd in the head]
Murtaugh: It’s just been revoked.

Thus far, the only film to have a mark in each category of the Man Movie Encyclopedia Tally. If Richard Donner were told this, he would surely say it’s the greatest honor of his entire career. Hell yeahl.

Riggs was suppose to die at the end of this film, but franchises don’t grow on trees, thus his survival.

Pesci actually designed the character of Leo Getz himself. Originally he was suppose to be kind of a fop, but after Leo had met a Disney Land employee who kept saying “OK, OK, OK, so you’re going down this way, OK, OK, and”, he based it on that. When he tried it out for Donner, he loved it.

Shane Black, the writer of the original, as well as the story outline for this, wanted Riggs to die. However, since Warners wouldn’t allow it, Shane walked away from the franchise.

Released by Warner Brothers on July 7th, 1989, to 1,803 theaters, Lethal Weapon 2 opened up at number 1, with a theater average of $11,308 and a grand weekend opening of $20,388,800, barely knocking Batman out of the top spot. It kept Bats at bay for 3 weeks before being taken out by Turner & Hooch. At the end of it’s 14 week run, it ended up bringing in a world wide total of $227,853,986 on a $25 million dollar budget, with domestic covering $147,253,986 and Foreign with the reminaing $80,600,000.

Lethal Weapon 2 is a perfect sequel, and does everything a sequel should do. Devlop the characters further, and ramp up everything that made the original work: the humor, the action, and the violence. Leo Getz is a great addition, and serves as the comic foil perfectly. As the 80’s would prove, nothing beats the Nazis when you need a villain, and these guys were no slouch. Lethal Weapon 2 is a hell of a film, and easily my favorite of the series.

4 & 1/2th Head Butts Out of 5

Any questions, comments, drunk-ramblings, feel free to send them my way, I always dig hearing from you, the beautiful people.

Twitter: @CaliberWinfield

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