Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Stuart Wilson, Steve Kahan, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Damon Hines, Ebonie Smith directed by Richard Donner Movie Review

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

Two's Company, Three's Lethal

I'm a huge fan of the "Lethal Weapon" movies and think the first 2 are classics with the 2nd movie managing to buck the trend by not being just a rehash of the 1st. But unfortunately when it comes to "Lethal Weapon 3" it sadly fall prey to feeling like a bit of a rehash and in a strange way because we are so familiar with the set up, the characters, their eccentricities that it almost feels longwinded. It still has all the action and comedy which makes the "Lethal Weapon" movies so much fun but other than adding yet another character to the group it doesn't really feel fresh or innovative anymore.

After blowing up a building and finding themselves demoted back to beat cops, Riggs (Mel Gibson - Air America) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover - Predator 2) find themselves back in the thick of things when they discover that a stockpile of firearms has been stolen from a police lock up and are making their way on to the streets. But things become even more complicated when Riggs finds himself falling for internal affairs agent Lorna Cole (Rene Russo - Two for the Money) who at first believes that Riggs and Murtaugh are up to no good but soon finds herself teaming up to get to the source of the firearm theft.

Rene Russo as Lorna Cole in Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

"Lethal Weapon 3" starts off in the exact way that we have become accustomed to with Riggs and Murtaugh bickering their way through a bomb scene which as you guessed it doesn't quite go to plan giving us a huge action special effects sequence to set the pace for what is to come. But then something sort of goes wrong because for the next 45 minutes we get various scenes which don't really add anything to the story other than little clues. It sort of has a feel of the writers coming up with various funny situations to put Riggs and Murtaugh in, such as back walking the beat, and so they try to merge them into another bad guy story which makes it feel a little drawn out. It doesn't quite come together because although each scene plays some part in painting the bigger picture it just doesn't set the right pace.

What also doesn't help is that by now we know that Murtaugh by his own admission is getting too old for this shit and Riggs is a danger to not just himself but all those around him and so there are no real character building scenes. We learn that Murtaugh has but a few days till retirement and planning to sell his home giving way to bringing Joe Pesci back as Leo Getz in for what is almost a pointless cameo to deliver various set piece comedy moments. Those moments where we learned more about their characters in the previous movies, where it slowed down to almost deliver a tender moment are just sadly missing and makes it not feel quite right.

But there is good news and we have a new character to add to the fold, that of internal affairs officer Lorna Cole played by Rene Russo. It such a great character almost a female version of Riggs and as such the scenes between Russo and Gibson such as the scar comparing contest which leads to a not so unexpected romance work well. It does add another dimension to the movie, stopping it from feeling too familiar but not quite enough to make it feel really fresh.

Adding to the good news is that although we have the familiarity, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are as good as ever as Riggs and Murtaugh. Their partnership, their comic timing and so on is still as hot as ever making some of the less imaginative scenes work thanks to their great chemistry.

As for the actual storyline, well it borders on the routine now with Riggs and Murtaugh after some more bad guys who this time are selling dangerous weapons, which thanks to a clever twist makes it personal. But in a way the storyline plays second fiddle to the partnership, the comedy and action and on the action front "Lethal Weapon 3" doesn't let you down. It starts with a big bang and throughout there are various action scenes covering gun fights, car chases all which slowly build to the big ending.

what this all boils down to is that by no means is "Lethal Weapon 3" a bad movie, just one which suffers because we are so familiar with the set up. Those moments of character building which made "Lethal Weapon" and "Lethal Weapon 2" so much more than just a buddy cop movie are sadly missing and although we have the introduction to Lorna Cole, brilliantly played by Rene Russo, it doesn't really make up for this loss.