In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 16. Lethal Weapon

By Joan Amenn

Turns out there is more than one film that references Christmas with guns, explosions, mayhem and world weary but good-hearted cops. No not THAT one, we’re talking about “Lethal Weapon” (1987). The first of a very profitable series directed by Richard Donner, which is strangely also the name of one of Santa’s reindeer, “Lethal Weapon” certainly doesn’t skimp on its action scenes. Mel Gibson is distraught, Danny Glover is “too old for…” well, you know, and Gary Busey gets a career reviving shot at playing a convincingly menacing bad guy. The chemistry between Gibson and Glover as well as some very funny lines in the script go far in compensating for plot holes. Busey is great even if a hard look at his nefarious plans would make it very clear they are as murky as a holiday Jell-O mold. While the rest of the series got progressively weaker and less enjoyable, “Lethal Weapon” was so financially successful that it launched a slew of other films trying to cash in on its formula. This included that OTHER Christmas movie with guns, explosions, mayhem and a world weary but good-hearted cop that hit theaters the following year.  But that may be the subject of another entry in this advent calendar countdown.


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