When you think of Christmas movies visions of George Bailey, Ebenezer Scrooge and Santa Claus dance through our head. Scenes of Mel Gibson being electrocuted are probably the furthest from your mind. Yet, when you think about the great “Christmas” movies of all-time, you’ve got to include the Christmas-set action classic Lethal Weapon.
The original Lethal Weapon (and the best in the series by far) focuses on the unusual partnering of LAPD detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) – a suicidal cop who is wallowing the devastation of his wife’s mysterious death (which is revealed in Lethal Weapon 2) – and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) – an old school detective with a family who’s seemingly on the verge of retirement (wait, does he ever retire?). The two, despite their obvious differences, work together to take on a dangerous drug ring run by a group of Riggs’ former covert ops buddies including the psychotic Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey).
Lethal Weapon succeeds because of the high-intensity, red-blooded action sequences constructed by director Richard Donner (Superman) and the chemistry (and ensuing comedy) of Riggs and Murtaugh penned by Shane Black (who would write a number of 90s action flicks like The Last Boy Scout and Lethal Weapon 2).
No matter how many times you watch this film, you can’t help but get sucked in. There’s so many great scenes — the great car chase sequence, the aforementioned fight scene between Riggs and Joshua, the famed leap by Riggs with a potential suicide case and of course Murtaugh’s famous line of “I’m too old for this shit.” All classics and they never, ever get old.
Of course it’s a little weird that this is set during Christmas, but remember, this was the ’80s and while certain things just didn’t make sense (see: hair metal, acid-washed jeans and bloody action movies set during the holiday season), they always were highly enjoyable. So this holiday season, if you see Mel Gibson in a firefight with a bunch of drug dealers in a Christmas tree lot, hunker down for two hours of awesomeness that is Lethal Weapon.
Lethal Weapon can be a great present, click here to pick it up.
Bill Bodkin is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. He can be read weekly on Trailer Tuesday and Singles Party, weekly reviews on Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, Law & Order: SVU and regular contributions throughout the week with reviews and interviews. His goal is to write 500 stories this year. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English and currently works in the world of political polling. He’s the reason there’s so much wrestling on the site and is beyond excited to be a Dad this coming December. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom