May 19, 1992 -- ``Lethal Weapon III'' is the first of the big 1992 sequels to hit Laramie, the others coming up are ``Batman II'' and ``Aliens III.''
As sequels go, this one is fairly well done. You know the routine, crazy detective Riggs (Mel Gibson), and long-suffering near-retirement detective Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are once again paired to endure explosions, screeching tires and bloody shootouts along with a good helping of humor. Also along for the ride again is a character from the second film in the series, Leo Getz, (Joe Pesci) who once again does a fine job as a hyper-kinetic con man who wants to play cop with the big boys.
Gibson and Glover have that same chemistry going between them, but there is the added ingredient in this film of Rene Russo as Miss Rambo detective Lorna Cole.
Even if the ideas are worn out this time around, the actors are all so likable and do such a good job with thin material that the film works. There is also a lot of humor mixed into the script to make the all the violence more palatable. Pesci has very good lines in the movie and gets some big laughs from the audience.
Director Richard Donner shows he hasn't lost his touch with action films. Special effects and stunts are excellent in the film. There are more stuntmen in the movie than actors. Based on the reaction to the film so far, a fourth sequel will probably be made. Hollywood is not about to abandon a formula that works as long as the audience doesn't get tired of it. It would be nice if the films were less violent and more original, but we are stuck with the formula.
This film rates a C+.
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