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Latest Lethal Weapon installment lives up to summer movie hype

Isabella So

Contributing Writer

Movie

Review

Back again for more laughter and action are Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) as America's favorite law-enforcement officers in the fourth Lethal Weapon film in the wildly popular series.

After the disappointing, mega-budget mind-numbing catastrophes like Godzilla and Armageddon, LW4 is a welcome treat. No bumbling plots, no cheesy effects; just explosive action that truly delivers.

In this slam-bang installment, our two favorite cops are given promotions to captains after blowing up a whole city block with a gas tank while trying to stop a madman. But making them captains does not assure the city any safety from these two accident-prone pros.

Going on a little fishing trip proves this point as our two heroes come across the smuggling of Chinese slaves. When Martin and Roger stop the shipment, it infuriates some major Chinese crime lords, which starts the plot of the movie rolling along quite nicely.

Murtaugh and Riggs must now find more evidence to pin their suspects to the crime, but not without the help of the foul-mouthed Lou Getz, once again played by Joe Pesci (LW2 and 3). There is also a newcomer to this crack team of specialists, Officer Lee Butters.

As Butters, Chris Rock brings more laughter to the game through his experiences as a very funny comedian. It's a thrill to watch his wacky antics against the work of the rest of the cast.

Weaving in and out of the main plot are the subplots. Two of the strongest come in the form of unexpected pregnancies.

They include Riggs' live-in girlfriend, Cole (portrayed once again by Rene Russo), and Murtaugh's daughter, whom we find out is secretly married to Murtaugh's worst nightmare, Butters.

Though plots and subplots are important to a movie, nothing is more important than the fact that Richard Donner returns as director of this action-packed sequel. Donner and producer Joel Silver have found a way to keep audiences entertained with a secret formula present in all three LW's.

Although some of the action is predictable and unreal, audiences will still find themselves wanting more.

There are five major action sequences that are supremely well-staged and likely to take home a few special-effects trophies during upcoming award shows.

When talking about action, one must not forget about Jet Li, the chief villain. He plays the role so well that I'm afraid he might be type-cast in future roles. Li is an expert in martial arts and a well- known Asian actor.

His moves are beyond impressive, and he reminded me of Jackie Chan and the late Bruce Lee.

Comparing Lethal Weapon 4 to the other summer action flicks, this is by far the best and gives you non-stop thrills. I would gladly pay the $6.50 to experience the action once again.

Lethal Weapon 4

HHHHH

Rated

R

Running Time

120 min

Playing

Local Theaters

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