Lethal Weapon(Director's Cut)
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted May 19, 2000
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Movie:

The first pairing of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson brought out one of the biggest buddy-action films of all time, spawning three hugely popular sequels, all handled by director Richard Donner.

This first time around, we meet cops Riggs(Gibson) and Murtaugh(Glover). Riggs has just lost his wife, and is extremely depressed; he approaches confrontations with no sense of risk or danger - everything is all-out, and he doesn't care anymore. Murtaugh keeps with the role that he has with the rest of the films in the series; he plays the one sane guy in a world that seems to be crumbling around him, with Riggs leading the way.

The story revolves around a drug smuggling operation that the two cops have to take down; the series has always been only partially about the story and partially about staging major sequences. There's a lot of ups and downs - the dialogue from Shane Black's script is occasionally a little weak, but the situations he puts the two in are fun and entertaining - Gibson and Glover really take the material to the next level.

This is the director's cut of the film, with an additional 7 minutes added.


The DVD

VIDEO: The overall impression I get from watching this transfer is very good - it has some flaws that are apparent, but for a film that's now 13 years old, the general quality is impressive. Images remain sharp and detailed throughout, with very pleasing clarity. Colors are natural and accurate, but not bold or vibrant. Flesh tones are fine, as well. The only problem is a trace of shimmering on occasion, but that's about it. The image looks a little grainy here and there, but for the most part, the picture looks smooth and clean. The print is also suprisingly clean, with only a tiny mark or two. It's not perfect, but I was very impressed with the effort on this transfer.

SOUND: As with the rest of the "Lethal Weapon" series, this DVD offers both a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack as well as the option of DTS audio. Both offer an exciting experience, although the differences between the two are not major. Surround use is pretty good, with both enjoyable subtle and agressive use on occasion throughout the picture. The usual score from Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen sounds natural and dynamic, as well as well-integrated into the action. Dialogue is clear and not thin or edgy. Both the Dolby Digital and DTS audio sound very good, with the DTS sounding a little richer and fuller, but not hugely so.

MENUS:: New animated main menus, with a clip from the movie playing out in the opening menu.

EXTRAS: Trailer, cast/crew bios and a text section about the final fight.



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