Lethal Weapon 4
"...the main reason to watch this one is for the Corey Yuen choreographed Jet Li fights. "
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
Director: Richard Donner
Producer: Dan Cracchiolo (co-producer), Richard Donner, Spencer Franklin (associate), J. Mills Goodloe (co-producer), Jennifer Gwartz (associate), Steve Perry (executive), Ilyse A. Reutlinger (associate) (as Ilyse Reutlinger), Joel Silver, Jim Van Wyck (executive)
Writer: Jonathan Lemkin, Alfred Gough
Cast: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock, Jet Li, Steve Kahan, Kim Chan, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Eddy Ko, Jack Kehler, Calvin Jung, Damon Hines, Ebonie Smith
Running Time: 127 min.
Plot: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover return as buddy cops Riggs and Murtaugh, with Joe Pesci riding comedy shotgun as chatterbox Leo. Murtaugh is still the family man. Riggs is still the gonzo loose cannon - what's this? - family man. His will he/won't he marriage to Cole (Russo) is one of the new wrinkles in this powerhouse crowd-pleaser that also stars comedy favorite Chris Rock and international action star Jet Li. Wedding bells, ammo shells, explosive laughter - this one's fully loaded!
YATE'S REVIEW: Unfunny, stereotypical, and offensive to Asians. A couple of nicely choreographed Corey Yuen fights can't save this abomination. Let me put it this way. If you like "flied lice" jokes, this is the movie for you. Maybe I would appreciate it more had it not had so many offensive stereotypes towards Asians.
YATE'S RATING: 1/10 (nice fights though)
JAMES H'S REVIEW: The first "Lethal Weapon" was an outstanding action film, and 13 years later it still remains one of my favourites. LW 2 was a great sequel; adding more humor and trying to out-action its predecessor. LW 3 was more of the same, but not as good. And now, "Lethal Weapon 4" is more like a collection of scenes cut from the first three movies in the series.
The story is pretty standard as far as action movies go, and the comedy is blended quite nicely. However, the whole thing comes off as being a little shallow. It is as if the movie wants to further the careers of the actors than entertain the audience. An example: the very funny "They fuck you with the cell phone" bit. It's more like a bit from Chris Rock's stand-up routine.
Jet Li makes an impressive American screen debut as a really cool assassin who has one whole line in English. But that doesn't really matter now does it? No, I didn't think so.
The fights are damn cool in LW 4. The one in the house on the freeway is quite original and genuinely exciting. However, that isn't as good as the fight between Jet and Mel Gibson at the end. It's very slick to say the least.
Director Richard Donner, a veteran of several action films (LW 1-3, "Superman", and so on) does another great job, keeping things on the edge. Sure it's Hollywood trash, but at least it's fun and entertaining.
JAMES H'S RATING: 6.5/10
S!DM'S REVIEW: High on action and laughs, but also "high" on something else, Lethal Weapon delivers the usual buddy cop lines and humor, but throws in Jet Li to the mix as a triad leader who is counterfeiting Chinese cash in America with the use of indentured slaves--Chinese immigrants who can't pay to come into the country, so are smuggled in. Lots of explosions and f-words, but the main reason to watch this one is for the Corey Yuen choreographed Jet Li fights. For instance, Jet fights James Lew on a rooftop and totally decimates him...Too bad for James Lew. His fought with everybody anyway, one more death can't hurt, right? I think James Lew is also in Commando, disguised as a Hispanic terrorist...Anyway, big-budget explosion marathon.
S!DM'S RATING: 7/10