Ugh. I don’t know what to make of this.
Lethal Weapon, the series of action movies I loved as a kid (though Aunt Gertie probably should not have let met watch them) is being rebooted as a TV series starring Damon Wayans as Roger Murtaugh and Clayne Crawford as Martin Riggs.
Ehh. I just don’t know how well the concept will translate to today.
Lethal Weapon 1 and 2 were the best films of the series because they were so 1980’s.
Los Angeles. Cocaine related crime.
Martin Riggs i.e. the mentally unstable Vietnam veteran turned cop whose story resonated with a lot of people at the time, as Vietnam vets had been asked to win an impossible war, then came home and were spit on for fighting an unpopular war then expected to just fade back into society without any problems or support offered to come to terms with what they experienced.
Even if you haven’t been to Vietnam, if you’ve experienced depression or know someone who has, Riggs’ willingness to throw himself headfirst into insanely dangerous situations (because of his inability to care whether or not he lives or dies) made him a “Lethal Weapon” and a nightmare for criminals used to being able to bribe or threaten cops into submission.
And that made him the perfect foil for Roger “I’m Getting Too Old For This Shit” Murtaugh, the old timer family man who just wanted to get home to his wife and kids safe and sound everyday.
Two partners, one doesn’t care if he dies, the other cares very much and wants to live, it made for a couple of great movies.
Lethal Weapon 3 and 4 were good movies but not as strong. By then, they hooked Riggs up with Rene Russo and went to work on giving him a happy, respectable life by the end of the series, which ok, good for Riggs, but the happier he gets the less crazy he is.
Joe Pesci, who was introduced in two as the loud mouthed con artist who routinely comes to the duo’s aid was hilariously, and kept the films going in 3 and 4. I don’t see a Leo Goetz character in the series.
And Gary Busey as the villain in the first film. That was back when Gary hadn’t completely lost his mind.
The sad part is I’ll definitely check the show out and I’ll probably give it a chance.
Does it take away from the films? Not for me. They had action. Sadness. Comedy (I still laugh when I think about Murtaugh being stuck for hours sitting on a toilet due to a bomb (an actual bomb) and when his legs go numb, Murtaugh has to help him off.)
The corporate suits know that people my age will tune in for nostalgia purposes, while young people probably haven’t seen the films yet but have heard the name so will check it out due to name recognition.
But with it being on network TV, they won’t be able to engage in half of the activities that got the duo in trouble back in the old days.
Can Murtaugh even say, “I’m getting too old for this shit” on network TV?
I don’t know. I don’t want to root against it until I have seen it but I continue to wonder why an industry filled with the most creative people in the world feels it is necessary to keep rehashing old ideas.