Last updated: 1 July 2015
Lethal Weapon is the first of a series of American movies that were released in 1987, 1989, 1992, and 1998, all starring Mel Gibson (Martin Riggs) and Danny Glover (Roger Murtaugh) as a mismatched pair of Los Angeles police officers. These movies fall into the action-comedy genre, and are generally considered to typify the "Buddy Cop" cliché. Gene Shalit jokingly declared "Lethal Weapon has to be the greatest film of all time. No doubt."
The movie received a highly positive reception, thanks to the movie's relentlessly fast-paced, upbeat tone, with a deeper plot than most other action movies. The film, which had a moderate budget of $15 million, grossed $65 million domestically and $55 million abroad, ranking it among the Top 10 movies of 1987. The movie was released in the spring, a rather unusual time for action movies. It also solidified the careers of both Gibson and Glover.
The film's success inspired a number of sequels, each one generally considered to be funnier and more extravagant (but not necessarily smarter) than the last. Each film also introduced a new main character: Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) in 1989's Lethal Weapon 2, Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) in 1992's Lethal Weapon 3, and Detective Lee Butters (Chris Rock) in 1998's Lethal Weapon 4.
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