“We’re back, we’re bad, he’s black, I’m mad!” The fun continues in Lethal Weapon 2! Like no other action film sequel I’ve ever seen, Lethal Weapon 2 manages to go above and beyond Lethal Weapon, with better dialogue, better action and better bad guys than before.
Although the novelty of the two main characters has largely worn off and their friendship has increased greatly, their dialogue, each man sparking off the other, is still as fresh as ever. While the action is brash and over-the-top in true Hollywood style, their wise-cracking conversation seems more realistic than ever. Near the beginning of the film we see Murtaugh’s daughter (Traci Wolfe) star in a condom commercial, to the disbelief of her father, and this quickly becomes a hilarious running gag.
On the more serious side of things, this is actually quite a politically charged film, with racist South African baddies. In one scene, Murtaugh enters the South African embassy to make a distraction for Riggs. He asks if he can emigrate to South Africa, and the emigration officer nervously refuses on the grounds of him being black. Apartheid was officially abolished the year after this film was made, and I believe Lethal Weapon 2 may have been a small part of that. At any rate, the South Africans make for good, memorable baddies. As Murtaugh jokes near the end of the film, “They’ve been de-kaffir-nated.” Ho-ho.
For more reasons than this busy student has time to list, this is a really awesome sequel to an already great film. I just want the banter and the action to go on forever. Let’s see if they can keep the magic up in number three!