I was technically not allowed by my parents to see R-rated movies until I was seventeen. Luckily, I had friends whose parents weren't as concerned about maintaining the innocence of their children. My best friend had an enormous collection of the action extravaganzas I craved as a boy, and many a Saturday night was spent in the company of forbidden friends like John McClane, John Rambo, and John Connor (lotta Johns). And I'll never forget the night I met Sergeants Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh.

I knew right away Lethal Weaponwas special when it opened with nudity! (Keep in mind, I was about eleven).It kicks off with a half-naked girl jumping to her deathand just doesn't let up from there. Lethal Weapon didn't create the "buddy movie," but, for better or worse, it helped make the genre what it is today. Lethal more than earns its place alongside the glorious Midnight Run on a very short list of the eighties' finest blends of action, character, and comedy. It's been endlessly ripped off, (and did some minor ripping off of its own -- see William Friedkin's fantastic To Live and Die in LA, released two years earlier. Even Murtaugh's immortal line -- "I'm getting too old for this shit," was used there first), but, as is the case with all rip-offs, the heart and soul tend to get forgotten. Hell, the heart and soul were forgotten as the Lethal Weapon movies went along -- but I'll get to that later in the week.

categories Features, Cinematical