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Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

Action & Adventure movie directed by Richard Donner

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The End of the Franchise

  • Dec 27, 2007
In what is supposed to be the final installment of the highly successful and lucrative Lethal Weapon franchise, Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Riggs (Mel Gibson) find themselves up against the Chinese mafia threatening to stake a claim and take over L.A. They become involved in the case while fishing on Murtaugh's boat with Leo Getz (Joe Pesci), who is now a private investigator, and are attacked by gunfire by a freighter. The boat turns out to be carrying illegal Chinese immigrants that someone in the U.S. has been using to sell into indentured slavery. Meanwhile, Riggs girlfriend Lorna (Rene Russo) is pregnant and Murtaugh's eldest daughter, Rianne (Traci Wolfe) is secretly married to a young police officer, Lee Butters (Chris Rock) and is pregnant, too. As the duo begins to unravel the case, the discover that the real mastermind behind all the criminal activity is a man named Wah Sing Ku (Jet Li). The action builds to a final confrontation between Riggs and Murtaugh and Ku which could be duo's last fight ever.

LETHAL WEAPON 4 was planned to be the final installment of the franchise, and the studio pulled out all the stops. This movie is full of action. There are car chases, explosions, and amazing hand to hand fights. There's the classic witty banter between Murtaugh and Riggs that marks the Lethal Weapon movies as unique from other action-buddy pictures of the same vein. There's the comic interludes of Leo Getz who seems almost as crazy as Riggs once did. All of the recurring characters from the films are back. Murtaugh's house gets destroyed again. There's even a small message about the "injustices of illegal immigration". As a bonus there's also a big name comedian thrown in for more comic relief and a big name Asian action star thrown in to be the villain.

Besides being the last Lethal Weapon movie, LETHAL WEAPON 4 is also notable for being the American introduction of Chinese action star Jet Li.

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About this movie


In the fourth and reportedly final film of theLethal Weaponseries, director Richard Donner reunites with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, who reprise their roles as Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh for one last hurrah in a film that is decidedly better than the third and first chapters. This time the pair are pitted against Jet Li, who plays the leader of a Chinese organized crime unit. Li, a veteran of hundreds of Hong Kong action films, more than holds his own against the more established team of Gibson, Glover, Renee Russo, and Joe Pesci with his subtle yet strong portrayal of the quietly irrepressible Wah Sing Ku. As always with theLethalseries, the plot is incredibly simple to follow: someone steals something, someone gets killed, and Murtaugh is reluctantly thrown into the mix while Riggs dives into the case with gleeful aplomb. As with the previous movies, we watch for the sheer action and chemistry alone. The action sequences throughout the fourth installment are exquisite, from the opening scene involving a flamethrower, a burning building, and a half-naked Murtaugh strutting like a chicken (don't ask, just watch), to the climactic showdown that pays genuine tribute to Jet Li's masterful martial art skills. As for chemistry, the bond between these characters is so strong by now that you sometimes feel like you're watching a TV series in its sixth season, such is the warm familiarity between the audience and the personalities on the screen. The humor is more ...
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Director: Richard Donner
DVD Release Date: December 15, 1998
Runtime: 127 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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