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Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

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Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities.

Director:

Richard Donner

Writers:

Jeffrey Boam (screenplay), Shane Black (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,553 ( 1,135)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Martin Riggs
Danny Glover ... Roger Murtaugh
Joe Pesci ... Leo Getz
Joss Ackland ... Arjen Rudd
Derrick O'Connor ... Pieter Vorstedt
Patsy Kensit ... Rika Van Den Haas
Darlene Love ... Trish Murtaugh
Traci Wolfe ... Rianne Murtaugh
Steve Kahan ... Captain Murphy
Mark Rolston ... Hans
Jenette Goldstein ... Meagan Shapiro
Dean Norris ... Tim Cavanaugh
Juney Smith ... Tom Wyler
Nestor Serrano ... Eddie Estaban
Philip Suriano Philip Suriano ... Joseph Ragucci
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Storyline

Riggs and Murtaugh are trying to take down some drug dealers but the they turn out to be not run of the mill drug dealers; they have automatic weapons and helicopters. Eventually they grab one of their vehicles and find a million dollars worth of gold coins or Krugerrands in the trunk. Later Murtaugh is threatened by the men they're pursuing. That's when the Captain reassigns them to protect a man named Leo Getz who is suppose to testify in a big case. When they get to where Leo is, someone tries to kill him and that's when they learn he laundered half a billion dollars worth of drug money. He then takes them to a place he once went to and that's when the people there start shooting at them. Later when they come back with back up they learn that the men work for the South African consulate and have diplomatic immunity. They deduce that they are the ones they were looking for, but because of they have diplomatic immunity they can't do anything. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The magic is back! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Afrikaans

Release Date:

7 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Play Dirty See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,388,800, 9 July 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$147,253,986

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$227,853,986
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the first movie turned out to be huge hit, earning one hundred twenty million dollars worldwide on a budget of fifteen million dollars, it was decided to make the sequel. Producer Joel Silver asked writer of the first film Shane Black to write the script for the sequel, and Black agreed. Despite having some problems in his personal life, Black managed to write his first draft of the script in six months, along with his friend, novelist Warren Murphy, co-creator of Remo Williams (the lead character of The Destroyer novels) which itself was turned into Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985).

Although many people thought that their script was brilliant, Warner Brothers and producers, including Silver, and director Richard Donner, however, disagreed with Black's decision to kill off Riggs' character in the ending, because they wanted to keep him alive for future sequels, and they also thought that Black and Murphy's script was way too bloody and dark, and they wanted a lighter, more comedic script, while their draft was completely serious, and it focused more on courage and heroics, like Riggs coming full circle, from the way he was in the first film, and how his relationship with Murtaugh and his family brought him back to life, and into the real world, helping him to let his guard down, and learn to accept the love of real people, and in Black's version of the script, it's the very love that makes Riggs willing to die to protect them.

Other parts from Black and Murphy's script, which were changed or left out of the final version of the script, include Leo Getz being only a minor character, and having only one scene, and few lines of dialogue. A lot more violence throughout, like South African villains, who were even more vicious in the original script than in the final film, torturing Shapiro, a female police officer working with Riggs and Murtaugh (the one who is killed by a bomb in the pool in the film) to death in a very nasty scene. There was also a scene where Riggs is tortured by South Africans in a similar way like he was in the first film, but much worse. The script also included an action sequence, in which plane full of cocaine gets destroyed, causing for cocaine to fall all over Los Angeles like snow.

The ending of the script included a climactic battle, which took place on hills engulfed with a big brush fire, and after the destruction of the stilt house, Riggs chases Benedict (original name of the villain Pieter Vorstedt from the movie) who was different, and lot more dangerous in the original script, and Riggs' "arch-nemesis, his worst nightmare" as Black himself said, into the fire. After the final battle with Benedict, Riggs dies very slowly after he gets stabbed by him. The last scene in Black's script, was Murtaugh watching the video tape that Riggs made earlier, since he had a premonition that he was going to die, and in which he says his goodbye to Murtaugh.

Following the studio's negative reaction on his script, and their demands for massive re-writes, Shane Black left the project after six months, earning only one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars for his work (Warren Murphy also earned the same amount), and never worked on any of the other sequels. Black said in later years in interviews how he considers his original script for Lethal Weapon 2, which was also called "Play Dirty", to be his best work, and most intense script he has written, and how other than the scene where stilt house gets destroyed, his script was completely different than the one used for filming. He also said how the problem with the final version of the second movie was that they did too much comedy, and how he dislikes the other two sequels of the film, because of the way they ruined Riggs' character.

Despite many attempts by fans of the Lethal Weapon movies, and Shane Black, his original script for the second film was never found, and it remains a highly demanded, and the most wanted, of all of Black's scripts. See more »

Goofs

Riggs' hair changes lengths several times throughout the film. See more »

Quotes

Murtaugh: You are not dead until I tell you! Got that Riggs?
See more »

Crazy Credits

We miss you, Jay Engel See more »

Alternate Versions

The newly released Director's Cut has over 3 minutes of extra footage - Riggs gets attention from some women at a hotel spa; the exploding toilet sequence is lengthened and Murtaugh sees it hit his car; Murtaugh gets information about bodywork on his car from a auto repairman; Leo recalls a suspects address in a very unusual, humorous way. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comedy Lab: Alex Zane's House of Games (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

How Much
Performed by The Skyliners
Courtesy of Original Sound Record Co., Inc.
Written by Joseph Rock, James Beaumont and The Skyliners
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A really lethal sequel
8 August 2000 | by coverme6See all my reviews

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover return to kick heads and shoot bad guys for the second time, as Riggs and Murtaugh, the "Oscar and Felix" of law enforcement in "Lethal Weapon 2." This time

around, the boys are forced to become the 3 Stooges when they are assigned to guard a feisty, foul-mouthed federal witness named Leo Getz (the frantic Joe Pesci) from a group of sadistic Afrikaner thugs (led by the usually dark-natured character actor Joss Acklund). At the same time, Riggs meets a new love named

Rika (the hot Patsy Kensit), who happens to be a pawn in the

villain's dangerous games.

The action is faster and more furious in this sequel to the

slam-bang original. Even the banter gets a boost, thanks to the

added comedic riff by Pesci. Watch for his slightly annoying,

yet hilarious speech on a Subway tunafish sandwich!


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