Just when it seemed that the Glover and Gibson chemistry was as good as it could be, Richard Donner finds a way to improve it. Joe Pesci was the best thing that could have happened to the franchise. This second installment keeps everything that was good about the original and makes it bigger and better. Lethal Weapon 2 is a lot more fun than the first film. The guys are much more comfortable in the roles and it’s obvious they’re having a blast. Watch for a few scenes where you can see Glover working very hard not to crack up around Pesci.
This time out Riggs (Gibson) and Murtaugh (Glover) must protect a mob witness, Leo Gets (Pesci). (Whatever you need, Leo gets). Their charge is annoying and won’t shut up. Gets ends up involved in the boys’ attempt to bring down a South African diplomat using his immunity to sell drugs.
The DVD sports a rich Dolby Digital 5.1 track. As with the original this is an extremely aggressive sound mix. With more explosions than the first film had, your sub will work overtime. The dialogue is mixed much stronger this time, which is a good thing. The conversations with Pesci are golden. Kamen’s score is enhanced with some wonderful David Sanborn licks. Awesome use of ambient sounds will give you plenty of ear candy.
Lethal Weapon 2 is presented in its original theatrical release aspect ratio of 2.35:1. There is a pan & scan version but who cares? As with the first film there are some noticeable film artifacts, but the transfer is fine overall. The blacks are richer here without the grays observed in the first film. Colors are accurate but once again do not show brightly; however, flesh tones are near reference. The many explosions are rendered with significant realism.
This time there is a short behind the scenes feature. Not much new here, but you can’t help but notice the actors’ chemistry carries off camera as well as on the film. There must have been some great outtakes in these films. Trailers and the common bio materials finish off a sparse collection of extras. I hesitate to consider it a bonus feature, but both wide and pan & scan versions are offered on this DVD.
Just as the original Lethal Weapon transformed the buddy cop film into a healthy genre, Lethal Weapon 2 does the same for the action/comedy. This film has everything that made the franchise so popular: groundbreaking explosions, non-stop action, character chemistry, and funny conversations that rival Abbott and Costello’s classic routines. Overall we’re lucky the boys didn’t take their captain’s advice too seriously when he told them: “Don’t make jokes. Make arrests.”
Special Features List
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
- Production notes