A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
Martin Riggs is an L.A. cop with suicidal tendencies and Roger Murtaugh is the unlucky police officer with whom Riggs is assigned. Together they uncover a huge drug-smuggling operation, and as their success rate grows so does their friendship. Written by
Graeme Roy <email@example.com>
This is not only one of the best cop-buddy movies but it is also by far one of Mel Gibson's best movies. In my opinion it almost matches Braveheart which is by all standards a great movie.
First of all the overall acting in this movie is nothing short of excellent. Especially Mel Gibson portrays the deeply disturbed Martin Riggs with great finesse and his ability to create nuanced characters shines through in this movie. You genuinely feel with him and feel the incredible weight of his wife's death on him. Furthermore one of the things that makes Mel Gibson one of the really great actors in Hollywood is his ability to portray rage. Pure, uncontrolled rage and he certainly lifts the movie a few nudges acting wise. The other lead actor, Danny Glover, is also great in his role as the aging family father and he literally embodies the part of Roger Murtaugh and his line: "I'm too old for this s*h*i*t" has become a legend in the film world. Gary Busey is one of my top 10 screen bad guys. Not because he is an especially talented or great actor but he brings an edge to his character that makes one believe that he is the perfect nemesis for Riggs. Last but not least we have the underused Mitch Ryan (whom we have come to know best in the part of Edward Montgomery in Dharma and Greg) and he also does a great job with the relatively few lines he is given.
In terms of story and interaction between the characters I can only say that it is close to perfection. The meeting between the two main characters is a classic moment and their slowly growing to like each other is also brilliantly done. The on-screen chemistry between the two actors is excellent and I'm tempted to say that they have the best chemistry EVER in film history (perhaps bested only by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs). In terms of the story the relationship between Riggs and Murtaugh has been weighed more heavily than in the following movies which means that the villains will naturally be less refined than in the following movies and this weighing is very acceptable because the relationship between Riggs and Murtaugh is the carrying element of the movie.
The action in the movie is excellent for an 80s movie. I'll even say that I think that the action in this movie is better than much of the action in movies today because somehow it just seems much more believable in this movie than it does in movies like Die Another Day for example where the action has been amplified so much that it just becomes ridiculous and, lets face it, silly. Most of the action involves Mel Gibson and this works great because he really is one of the greats when it comes to action. He gives the action credibility unlike "actors" like Sylvester Stallone or Steven Segal. You genuinely believe that he could be able to shoot someone with a sniper rifle at a distance of 1 - 2 kilometers.
All in all a movie where basically everything works and is perhaps underrated by the voters of IMDb.
9/10 - watch this movie right now!
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