Watching Lethal Weapon 3 in the middle of this season full of big, bloated "threequels," it almost looks quaint. It's also -- and again, this might be due to the dreary current state of the summer blockbuster -- somewhat better than I remembered. Somewhat.
Don't get me wrong, it's a hot mess. They tried to cram way too much into this movie, which is why you get a lot of scenes of Riggs and Murtaugh coincidentally standing next to crimes as they break out. There's not a whole lot of police work going on here. Basically, wherever Riggs and Murtaugh are hanging out -- action will materialize. Witness the unbelievably unbelievable scene where Murtaugh takes Riggs to a hamburger stand and gets behind the counter to make him the world's best hamburger. Why is this scene in there? So our boys can "stumble" upon a crime in progress -- right in the middle of Los Angeles' notoriously dangerous "Hamburger Stand District." It's all pretty damn lazy.
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover should teach a class in chemistry. Their natural, lovable work remains the real draw of the series. These guys could play these roles in their sleep, and indeed there's a bit less spark in their performances this time around. The Riggs character continues his unfortunate watering down, but Glover is given a little more to chew on outside of running around yelling "Riggs!" The "8 days from retirement" bit is beyond played out, but having Murtaugh deal with aging works well for the film. Scenes like the one where Murtaugh accidentally fires his weapon in a locker room and Riggs covers for him are pretty touching.