Fourth in the series of uber-successful action films directed by Richard Donner. Gibson and Glover return as Los Angeles detectives who can't seem to get through a day without a shooting, a robbery, or a car chase
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Jump the shark. Nuke the fridge. Whatever you want to call itÖthe franchise is running cold. Even with the addition of Chris Rock and Joe Pesci going off each other.
The Story: So Riggs and Murtaugh have been promoted so they wonít blow anything else up. And yet, it doesnít stop them. So they get dragged into a Chinese currency scam that involves modern day slaves. They also fight Jet Li (and shockingly win) and Firefly from the Batman comics makes a cameo in the opening scene. (Not really, but itís basically the rip off version) Little can be taken serious from this film as itís moved more from being a thriller series to a comedy series with things blowing up. No mystery and no real threat from the antagonists. Thereís no reason to hate them, and sadly, the love for these characters isnít enough to make you care about them this go around. The plot is pretty much exposed by now that the two cops are put on a hit list by some foreign power and then have to find a way to stop them. Mix in some odd couple buddy cop comedy and you have the next Lethal Weapon film from now until eternity.
Acting: Iím pretty sure this was a paycheck gig from all involved. There really isnít much attempt at making these characters more fleshed out than they need to be. Thereís no real arc for the characters, nothing all that personal. There is no praise for this film. It has moments where itís fun, but itís just not enough.
Directing: Richard Donner turned this franchise into his bread and butter. Need some money? Want to blow some things up? Get Gibson and Glover on the phone. Letís get together and do a project.
Cinematography: Arguably the best of the franchise, but only because itís the most modern technology.
Production Design: Same as the last 3 films, based strongly on the world that it takes place inÖat the time the movie was made.
Editing: Very fast paced. It seems as though the editors knew they didnít have much on their hands and did their best to keep things moving and interesting. But you can only do so much by the time you hit post production.
Score: If youíve read my other reviewsÖtake a guess
Special Effects: obviously, with the inclusion of the martial arts scenes, there are some more special effects but overall itís a strong entertainment package. The action is usually just kind of ďthereĒ as like the other films, but itís still watchable.
In closing: Stick a fork in this one Johnny, Iím pretty sure itís done. Danny Glover has reached an age where he really is ďtoo old for this shitĒ and Mel Gibson would most likely find issue with the non-christian approaches of Riggs, even for a piece that would take place in this day and age. If youíre a fan of the franchise, watch it for one last hurrah. If not...youíre better off saving your time.