In 1992, LETHAL WEAPON 3 kicked off the summer movie season with a hilarious blend of comedy, bullets and mayhem.
Murtaugh (the perfectly exasperated Danny Glover) is once again on the edge of retirement, entering his final week on the job.
His partner Martin Riggs (hilariously off-the-cuff explosive Mel Gibson) sees no reason to treat their last week with kid gloves, dragging them in to defuse a bomb as the film opens.
This time around, they find themselves pulled into a massive cache of weapons stolen from police lockup, masterminded by our one-note villain detective Jack Travis, played by Stuart WIlson, who would fare much better as a bad buy in "The Mask of Zorro" 5 years later.
The actions scenes are great fun, big budget and well executed under the direction of Richard Donner (The Omen, Superman) who directed every entry in the series.
Rene Russo is excellent as kick-ass Internal Affairs detective Lorna Cole, who matches Riggs in every department. Russo steals every scene she's in, she rocks.
Joe Pesci returns from the last film as con man Leo Getz, now selling houses and sticking his nose in every where he can, including on the poster. Years have not been kind to Pesci's performance/role. What may have been hilarious in '92, is just annoying now and humorless. His "okay, okay, okay" catchphrase is painful.
After audiences loved the Getz character in "2", he was inserted into this film after the script was finalized. He definitely feels shoe-horned into the plot.
Pesci's role aside, this is pure summer action movie fun, a fast-moving , enjoyable thriller geared for adults. The finale in a housing development is terrific and this might be Michael Kamen's best movie score.
A huge hit, it drove a final sequel 6 years later. The third time serves up lethal charm and gets a B.