We're back, we're bad, you're black, I'm mad!
That about sums it up.
When I mentioned that I'd be writing about this series, I was surprised by how many friends cited Lethal Weapon 2 as their favorite. It's an extremely entertaining film, but for me, it doesn't pack anywhere near the impact of the original. There's much to love about this sequel, and Mel Gibson and Danny Glover ooze chemistry once again, but I do have some issues with it.
The way the original was set up, a sequel was hardly necessary. The Riggs character had an immensely satisfying arc, and no longer wants to die. The "suicidal hero" element was the main hook of the original, so taking it away presents what must have been a real problem for screenwriter Jeffrey Boam. It's sort of like being told you have to write a Robocop movie where Robocop is no longer a robot. The best part of the original essentially had to be removed. If LW2 opens with Riggs inexplicably suicidal again, you're making an action movie about coping with depression. If it opens with Riggs upbeat and completely sane, the character will be watered down and disappointing. Boam does a pretty good job of keeping the Riggs character edgy and off-balance, but that batshit crazy quality Riggs had in the first one is sorely missed here. And, it must be noted, it's in even shorter supply later in the series.