Loaded with the usual elements, Lethal Weapon 2 benefits from a consistency of tone that was lacking in the first film. This time, screenwriter Jeffrey Boam [working from a story by Shane Black and Warren Murphy] and director Richard Donner have wisely trained their sights on humor and the considerable charm of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover's onscreen rapport.

Loaded with the usual elements, Lethal Weapon 2 benefits from a consistency of tone that was lacking in the first film. This time, screenwriter Jeffrey Boam [working from a story by Shane Black and Warren Murphy] and director Richard Donner have wisely trained their sights on humor and the considerable charm of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s onscreen rapport.

They’ve also dreamed up particularly nasty villains and incorporated enough chases and shootouts to hold the attention of a hyperactive nine-year-old.

Plot sets the duo after South African diplomats using their shield of immunity to smuggle drugs. Tagging along for the ride in a hilarious comic turn is Joe Pesci as an unctuous accountant who laundered the baddies’ money and now needs witness protection to stay out of the washing machine himself.

There’s also a fleeting entanglement between Riggs (Mel Gibson) and the lead villain’s secretary (the sparkling Patsy Kensit) that adds some welcome sex appeal.

Lethal Weapon 2

Production

Warner/Silver. Director Richard Donner; Producer Richard Donner, Joel Silver; Screenplay Jeffrey Boam; Camera Stephen Goldblatt; Editor Stuart Baird; Music Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton, David Sanborn; Art Director J. Michael Riva

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 113 MIN.

With

Mel Gibson Danny Glover Joe Pesci Joss Ackland Derrick O'Connor Patsy Kensit

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