Lethal Weapon (1987) Poster


Frequently Asked Questions

Showing all 7 items
Jump to:


  • Veteran LAPD Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is paired with Detective Sergeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), who has become so reckless, violent, and suicidal since the death of his wife three years earlier that he is considered to be a "lethal weapon". They are assigned to the mysterious murder of Amanda Hunsaker (Jackie Swanson), daughter of Roger's old friend and former army buddy Michael Hunsaker (Tom Atkins). Together, the mismatched investigators undercover a ring of heroin smugglers employing a group of former Vietnam War special forces troops known as the Shadow Company, masterminded by a ruthless retired General, Peter McAllister (Mitchell Ryan), and his chief enforcer, Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey). As Riggs and Murtaugh discover more about Shadow Company's network, they must learn to trust each other when the criminal organization turns on them.

  • Lethal Weapon is based on a screenplay by American screenwriter and film-maker Shane Black. It was followed by three sequels, Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) (1989), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) (1992), and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) (1998).

  • In the film it's briefly explained a few times that Riggs' wife (Victoria Lynn) had died recently. The police psychologist is seen explaining to Rigg's captain that "his wife of 11 years recently died in a car accident" and the incident has plainly thrown Riggs into a deep depression that's affecting his everyday life and his work and has made him suicidal. There are definitely some psychological models that could be applied to Riggs himself—one could be post-traumatic stress disorder, a syndrome which many people who go through a traumatic incident can develop suddenly. However, Riggs still working and solving drug-dealing cases but he often loses control, like we see in the scene at the Christmas tree lot—where he demands that his backup team shoot the crook holding him hostage, seizes the guy's gun and growls about shooting him after he surrenders. At the end of the film, having defeated his and Roger's enemies, Riggs has regained some of his self-control. As he tells Roger in the last scene of the film, he's not really "crazy" but has come out of his depression to a certain degree.

  • Riggs is using the Heckler & Koch PSG-1. This was the first appearance of that legendary weapon in a non-documentary film. Since the end of its US civilian importation and later discontinuation, the PSG-1 has been one of the most expensive of all tactical rifles (priced well over 10,000 USD). Due to this fact, it is quite rare for the genuine article to be seen in movies.

  • Just after Riggs frees Murtaugh and his his daughter, Rianne (Traci Wolfe), Joshua follows Riggs, Murtaugh, and out of the disco club and into the street. He steals a car, and Riggs and Murtaugh chase after him on foot. With a bullet in the shoulder, Murtaugh cannot keep up, but he notices that Joshua is headed for the freeway and tells Riggs to take the third Street bridge and cut him off. Riggs machine-guns Joshua's car, causing it to burst into flames. Joshua ditches the car, steals an Audi, and speeds away. Meanwhile, Murtaugh decides to go after McAllister, who is also making his getaway. To get away from Murtaugh, McAllister steps on the gas while pulling out into the street and is broadsided by a bus. The car flips over and bursts into flames, roasting him alive. Riggs catches up with Murtaugh and informs him that Joshua got away. Realizing that Joshua is probably going after his family, Murtaugh commandeers a patrol car, and he and Riggs head to the house. Joshua has already made there and shoots the two officers assigned to watch the Murtaugh home. Joshua breaks into Murtaugh's living room but finds no one at home. Suddenly, the patrol car bursts through the living room wall. Joshua shoots at it, but there's no one in it, because Riggs is standing right behind him with a gun pointed at his head. Riggs and Joshua go at it hand-to-hand on Murtaugh's front lawn, with Murtaugh taking command of the situation, letting Riggs "arrest" Joshua himself. The two battle until Riggs wins, clenching Joshua in a leg-scissor hold until he passes out. As the police haul Joshua away, however, he grabs the gun from the policeman's holster, forcing both Riggs and Murtaugh to shoot him first. In the final scene, Riggs puts flowers on his wife's grave then stops at Murtaugh's house to give him the hollow-tipped bullet he'd saved to commit suicide because he won't be needing it anymore. Murtaugh invites him in to partake of the world's lousiest Christmas turkey, Riggs invites in his dog Sam, and Sam and Murtaugh's cat Burbank immediately go at each other. "I'm too old for this," Murtaugh says as he closes the front door.

  • In the Lethal Weapon Director's Cut, over 7 minutes of new material can be found, which mainly show Riggs's self-destructive and desperate ways more explicitly, but also feature Roger's problems with aging. The whole sniper shooting at kids scene is part of the new material.

  • No, Danny Glover was born July 22, 1946. So he would have only been around 40 during filming and the release of the movie.


See also

Awards | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews