If you have never seen the Lethal Weapon movies starring Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, you really missed out. Growing up, I watched this movie so many times, I can remember every scene vividly and I loved the amazing chemistry and friendship Riggs and Murtaugh shared. Lethal Weapon was an amazing, action-packed, funny 1987 classic that made me laugh, cry, and want to shoot all the bad guys. In order to understand the new Lethal Weapon series, you have to understand the history behind it.
This Is How It All Began!
Wikipedia states that in the 1987 movie, Mel Gibson played Martin Riggs, a young former US Army Special Forces soldier who recently lost his wife in a car accident. As a result, he becomes suicidal and reckless in his job and takes out his anger on his suspects. This leads to his transfer to the LAPD where he meats Danny Glover a.k.a. 50-year-old LAPD Homicide Sergeant Roger Murtaugh, who is the complete opposite of Riggs because he is a practical, no-nonsense cop who likes to follow the rules.
Riggs And Murtaugh Learn To Trust Each Other
At first, Murtaugh is wary of Riggs and doesn't like that they are paired together because Riggs is crazy and unorthodox. Forced to rely on each other, their job is to investigate a possible homicide of one of Murtaugh’s old Vietnam War buddies, Michael Hunsaker. Hunsaker tells Murtaugh that his daughter, Amanda, committed suicide, but autopsy reports that his daughter was poisoned with drain cleaner. Amanda is heavily involved with drugs and prostitution, so they visit her pimp to find out more information. They accidentally find a drug lab instead and a shootout goes down. Riggs kills the pimp and saves Murtaugh. After Riggs saves his life, he gains a new respect for his partner and begins to trust him.
That Was Too Close For Comfort!
As they seek answers and grow closer to solving the case, they find themselves almost getting blown up by a bomb set at Amanda’s friend’s house! Knowing it was a professional that set the bomb, Murtaugh realizes at that moment that Hunsaker knows more than he has let on so they confront him before Amanda’s funeral. They find out Hunsaker used to launder money for the Shadow Company, a heroin smuggling operation run by former Vietnam War Special Forces operators, General Peter McAllister and his right-hand man, Mr. Joshua (played by a much younger Gary Busey before all the drugs drove him crazy.)
This Is Only Going To Hurt A Little
Later on, Riggs is almost shot down by Mr. Joshua, but they fake his death to gain an advantage. The Shadow Company kidnaps Murtaugh’s daughter, Rianne, in exchange for his surrender. Riggs and Murtaugh plan an ambush on the Shadow Company, but both of them are captured and tortured for information. Riggs manages to escape his torturer and frees Murtaugh and Rianne. Then they proceed to chase after the bad guys. Knowing they are going to prison for life, McAlister tries to escape in his car, but he ends up crashing it, and is killed by a box of grenades that is detonated in the car.
Let's Get Ready To Rumble!
Mr. Joshua tries to go after Murtaugh’s family, but Riggs and Murtaugh stops him just in time where Riggs and Mr. Joshua almost fight to the death! Riggs decides not to kill him though and ties him up instead, but when he breaks his bonds, Murtaugh and Riggs pull out their guns and they shoot to kill Mr. Joshua. Case closed!
Time To Heal Old Wounds
At the end of the movie, Riggs visits his Murtaugh’s family home for Christmas and gives him a gift: a hollow-point bullet which he had been saving to commit suicide. Giving it to Murtaugh symbolizes that he has made peace with the loss of his wife and he doesn't need it anymore.
Out With the Old, In With The New!
What makes the TV series different from the 1987 classic is that Fox is focusing more on the characters and less on the action scenes. According to tvseriesfinale.com, Fox chief Dana Walden said, “Even the artwork you saw of Lethal Weapon, we’re trying to focus on the characters, not on guns, or the violence, in the show. You have to hit a balance.”
This is quite understandable because the movie never really dug deep into Riggs’s relationship with his wife. We just knew that he was hurting and angry because he lost wife so tragically. That will be really intriguing to learn the backstory behind his lost love. In the TV trailer, Riggs lost his unborn child in the same accident so I know that must have left battle scars. No wonder he is willing to let the robber shoot him in the head. Riggs is insane, but isn’t that what makes him so hot and dangerous?
I'm Getting Too Old For This ISH!
Damon Wayans has big shoes to fill as Sergeant Roger Murtaugh, but I know he can do it because he comes from a whole family of brilliant actors and actresses. TVline.com tells us that Wayans brings a more relaxed and comedic twist to Murtaugh’s personality instead of being uptight and strictly professional all the time. He is willing to bend the rules a little bit as long as he gets home to his wife and three kids. It will be refreshing to see one of the Wayans brothers in a more serious role, which will show the world how diverse and talented his family is. Murtaugh was pretty badass back in the day so it will be fun to see Damon Wayans get ruffed up a bit.
Say Hello To My Little Friend!
Clayne Crawford may not be as famous as Damon Wayans, but he’s not a rookie to the game either. He has been doing his thing since 1997, appearing in movies such as the 2002's, A Walk to Remember and Swimfan, 2004’s A Love Song for Bobby Long, 2005’s The Great Raid, and 2012’s The Baytown Outlaws. His common theme lately has been the hot, violent types, which shows in his recent roles as Quinn, a professional man of violence in the TNT hit show, Leverage. He also played the main protagonist in the 2010 DVD prequel to Smokin’ Aces, Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball.
According to a blog, his family and folks back in his hometown of Alabama were really proud of Crawford when they saw him in the recurring role of the shady Kevin Wade, a troubled young man with a mysterious past in the eighth season of 24. The A&E series, The Glades Wiki page told us that in the first season, Crawford played Ray Cargill, the ex-husband of Callie Cargill, who was charged for armed robbery and given a 4.5-year sentence, and in the second season, he was released from prison to become a police informant and became a good father to his son. Currently Crawford can be seen in Rectify on SundanceTV.
Check out these other fashionable gunslingers in the Movie Pilot original video below:
Check out the hilarious comedian and TV’s famous bad boy teamup on Lethal Weapon, premiering on Fox on September 21st at 8/7c!