Top 20 Christmas movies: #20 ‘Lethal Weapon’

Posted: December 1, 2012 in Movies

*I will be doing a “top 20” feature for the best Christmas movies of all time, right up to Christmas – I hope you enjoy!*

When you think of Christmas, or Christmas time, you think of Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Clause, or maybe even something to do with Christmas trees.  However, you forget that one of the best buddy cop movies ever made was a Christmas movie.  Yep, of course I’m talking about Lethal Weapon starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

It’s a tale of a young rebel cop gets partnered up with the salty old vet on the verge of retirement.  What follows is one of the greatest pairs of on-screen chemistry cinema has ever seen (well in my opinion anyways).  The year was 1987 and Gibson’s career was already established having become a star in the Mad Max films.  Glover was a veteran actor and teaming the two budding actors up together would be the start of one of the best cop-drama franchises this side of World War II.

What makes the film a “Christmas” movie is that the entire movie revolves around Christmas time.  The film starts out with Riggs (Gibson) on an undercover drug bust in a Christmas tree lot, carries through leading up to Christmas day, and ultimately ends with Murtaugh’s (Glover) entire family – including Riggs – gathered around the Christmas tree opening presents.

The overlaying theme throughout the film is Rigg’s constant battle with suicide – wanting to end his life after his wife dies from illness – and Murtaugh struggling to accept Riggs as he is.  It’s a classic “come as you are, stay for the pie” film that fits perfectly with the themes we’re taught during the holidays.  What makes the movie even more endearing and sets up the other Lethal Weapon films perfectly is that at the end of the film Riggs gives Murtaugh the bullet he was going to use to kill himself.  It’s a sign of friendship and trust that Murtaugh doesn’t have to worry about Riggs anymore.

While you may not think of Lethal Weapon as a must watch during the holidays, the constant blend of comedy, action, and humility makes Gibson and Glover a must watch this holiday season.   Plus, who doesn’t love Mel Gibson’s mullet?


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