I was working at a movie theater in the summer of 1998, the summer Lethal Weapon 4 was released. One of my job responsibilities was to stand and wave goodbye to people as they'd leave their movies. (Armageddon came out the week before LW4, and I got a lot of mileage out of the line, "With all this waving, my Armageddon tired!"). I was excited about Lethal Weapon 4. I hadn't loved the previous installment, but Mel Gibson and Danny Glover were back, I had come to terms with the fact that Joe Pesci wasn't going anywhere, Rene Russo is about as solid a love interest as an action movie can get, I think Chris Rock is hilarious and I had heard amazing things about Jet Li. Plus, this would be the first Lethal I saw on the big screen. How could it go wrong?

Answer: In just about every conceivable way.

Lethal Weapon 3 was a mess, but it was a fun mess. LW4 isn't fun at all. It's downright boring. Everyone looks tired and uninspired (rhyme). The laughs aren't there. The action, aside from a great highway chase, is run-of-the-mill and confusingly shot. And there's a downright icky sentimental streak running through it -- a sappy side that is light years away from screenwriter Shane Black's original vision for these characters.

categories Features, Cinematical