Lethal Weapon had always been a series that managed to increase the stakes and bring in more to love from the acting, the action and the fantastic plot that glued it all together. However, in 1992, films such as Lethal Weapon were getting stale and overdone in the industry. These types of films were facing a ton of criticism due to their lack of innovation and overreliance on plot devices.
Let’s be honest, there are too many buddy cop films and too little innovation, which is something that Lethal Weapon 3 suffered heavily from. The film was quite good for what it was, yet it became a victim to tropes and plot devices that it not only invented but popularized all over Hollywood due to its success.
How to Stream or Download Lethal Weapon 3
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store. Click on the Download button at the end of the review. Check out also our review of Lethal Weapon 2.
The Movie Review
Unlike the previous installments in the franchise, Lethal Weapon 3 tried to do something completely different. Instead of having an organized crime unit or a racially prejudiced apartheid government being the bad guys, the antagonist here is a former LAPD officer known as Jack Travis.
The film follows Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh as they pursue the former LAPD officer turn ruthless arms dealer while racing against the clock as Murtaugh’s retirement is just six days away. To help them in their pursuance of this character, they are aided by Leo Getz and internal affairs officer Lorna Cole.
I think the thing that hurts lethal weapon three the most is not having Shane black involved as one of the screenwriters for the film. His influence is what made the films dialogue and story beats so fantastic and rhythmic for viewers.
Those films had a clear idea of where they wanted to go from start to end, and unfortunately that is not the case here. Unlike the original two films, Lethal Weapon 3 it’s a roller coaster ride of events that goes from many different beats end plot twists. However, not all of those plot twists and story beats work, resulting in a film that is somewhat struggling to find an identity.
The saving grace unfortunately could not be the performance in this film, as they are stellar and work very well within the context of the universe, but aren’t good enough to make this film better than it was.
Mel Gibson in particular sees a huge stride in his acting skills here, being even better than Danny Glover in some parts. Danny Glover is just as good as you would expect him to be, he is such a high caliber actor that he makes even rudimentary sequences feel good to watch.
Joe Pesci as Leo Getz is a fantastic addition to the cast of the film. I should also mention that Rene Russo as Lorna Cole is one of my favorite characters in the entire franchise as the sassy and intelligent internal affairs sergeant.
Stuart Wilson as Jack Travis is probably my favorite performance in the film though, he’s ruthless, he’s weird and he’s got a personality that I just loved to hate!
The part where this film truly shines and sees a huge improvement over its predecessors is the cinematography. The camera work isn’t just static tilted shots anymore, the camera moves around and focuses on the characters while actually having good shot composition in a lot of the moments.
Sure, the lighting isn’t perfect and it could have been much better even then, but it is still a huge improvement over the first two films.
The soundtrack is pretty good as well, although I can’t say much about it as it feels exactly the same as the first two films but used just like the second film. In essence, the production is much better yet the plot is weaker than we would have wanted.
I really wanted to like this film, it is one of my favorite franchises and I have constantly been entertained by these films. However, I can’t in my right mind say that this is anything but an above average film.
Lethal weapon three features some good improvements over its predecessors, yet it is bogged down by the slow script, little to no action sequences that stand out and a plot that just doesn’t work in my opinion.