Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 11th, 2002
The final (so far) Lethal Weapon is not a bad film at all, but it does suffer from the escalation syndrome. After three explosive films number 4 finds itself in the trap of having to try too hard to top its predecessors. While Chris Rock is a funny guy and he adds some great moments in the film, he’s just simply not necessary and distracts from the Glover, Gibson, Pesci trilogy of hysterics. I could also do without the domestication of Riggs through Russo’s character. All that said, you won’t be disappointed because it’s back to Disney World and another film literally exploding with rides.
Riggs (Gibson), Murtaugh (Glover), and Gets (Pesci) are enjoying a night on Murtaugh’s boat when they stumble upon a ship smuggling illegals from China. Murtaugh’s soft heart has him adopting one of the families and is quickly involved in a counterfeiting scheme. All the while Murtaugh’s daughter is dating a cop he can’t stand (Rock).
There’s a fine Dolby Digital 5.1 track just loaded with aggressive ambient sounds and the music that’s brought these four films to life for years. The dialogue is mostly clear with a few spots toward the climax where words seem to get lost in the mix.
Richard Donner provides one of the best commentary tracks to date. He is constantly providing anecdotes and incredible insight into not only Lethal Weapon 4 but the entire series. You really get a feeling that this cast and crew worked like a family.
Lethal Weapon 4 is presented in its original theatrical release aspect ratio of 2.35:1.This is by far the superior print of the four films. I could not find a flaw in the film or transfer. Colors were particularly realistic and bright. Blacks were reproduced in rich detail allowing a wonderful array of shade and depth. Flesh tones were right on.
My favorite feature has to be the collection of deleted scenes from the first three films. It’s like finding a blank reel of film and discovering precious gems inside. Pure Lethal is a great behind the scenes look at the making of all 4 films. A gallery, bios and production notes, and several trailers round out the package. There is also a pan & scan version of the film for the three people in the nation who care.
Jet Li does make for the best villain in the series if only because he’s just so nasty and tough. You get the feeling that Donner might have been hinting at passing the torch to a new generation of Lethal Weapons with the handling of the Chris Rock character. That would be a mistake. I understand that both Gibson and Glover are getting up there but are they really “Getting too old for this shit”?