|Lethal Weapon 3|
|Directed by||Richard Donner|
|Produced by||Richard Donner|
|Screenplay by||Jeffrey Boam|
Robert Mark Kamen
|Based on||Characters by Shane Black|
|Music by||Michael Kamen|
|Cinematography||Jan de Bont|
|Editing by||Robert Brown|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||May 15, 1992|
|Running time||118 minutes|
|Gross revenue||$321.7 million|
|Preceded by||Lethal Weapon 2|
|Followed by||Lethal Weapon 4|
Lethal Weapon 3 is the third movie in the Lethal Weapon Series. It stars Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Joe Pesci. The film plot revolves around Roger Murtaugh, who is facing retirement in seven days, and Martin Riggs, who find out an ex-cop is selling weapons illegally and are intending to use those guns to take out the Los Angeles Police Department. The duo reluctantly team up with another cop named Lorna to stop this ex-cop.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, Sergeants with the Los Angeles Police Department, respond to a call of a bomb at the ICSI Building. The building had already been evacuated. Riggs convinces Murtaugh to go in with him, reasoning that the Bomb Squad never arrives on time. Riggs examines the bomb, and decides to cut one of the wires. They are joined (and distracted) by a stray cat. When Riggs finally cuts a wire, the timer accelerates, forcing them to run for their lives. The building explodes and collapses. Shortly afterward, well within the time remaining if Riggs hadn't have tampered with the bomb, the Bomb Squad arrives. At least they saved the cat.
The next day, they are both busted down to patrolman, and patrolling the streets. It's especially embarrassing for Murtaugh, who is only a week away from retiring from the LAPD. They can't even remember which wire Riggs cut. During the heated argument, Riggs grabs Murtaugh, and stops when he finds Murtaugh is wearing a girdle. He had to wear one so he could fit into his uniform again after it shrunk. Riggs harasses a jaywalker, then notices two men impersonating armored carriers. When the real carrier arrives, one of the impersonators shoots a guard from the real carrier, and gets away in his stolen armored car. While Riggs hangs on, the female driver, Delores, of the real carrier follows with Murtaugh aboard. Riggs eventually tosses one of the impersonators, Smitty, out of the carrier (who gets away), then gets in the cab, buckles his seat belt, and forces it to brake, making the second impersonator Billy fly, crashing through the windshield. He is brought into custody, but taken to the hospital first. Murtaugh is flustered as he spent the entire chase being flirted at by Delores.
The next morning, Riggs arrives at Murtaugh's house, as they are getting ready for the house to be viewed by a potential buyer. Murtaugh gives Riggs dog biscuits to chew on to help him stop smoking. As it turns out, Leo Getz, their old witness protection client, is now their best friend working as Murtaugh's real estate agent. He brings them through, but when Riggs and Murtaugh get into another argument, they end up in a position that scares off the buyers. Murtaugh takes his frustration out on Leo, since Leo mentioned the toilet bomb incident. When Riggs reminds them of the time Murtaugh shot someone with a nail-gun in the house, Leo asks if the repairs after the toilet bomb were properly permitted. He says he'll arrange for some backdated permits so that the sale, when they find a buyer, won't hit a snag. Before they leave for work, Murtaugh and Riggs see Murtaugh's son, Nick, talking to his best friend, Darryl, who has dropped out of high school and became a gang member, trying to convince Nick to join in, but see's Murtaugh and he and his crew leave.
At a housing development in the deserts outside Los Angeles, an African-American mobster named Tyrone meets the foreman of the project, Jack Travis, an ex-cop of the LAPD, who is secretly selling illegal firearms on the black market. He explains that people will buy the houses because they don't want to live next to people like Tyrone. He then calls over Smitty, who turns out to be the armored car carrier impersonator that got away. Travis found out about it, and mentioned that doing something like that would jeopardize their project. He then has one of his henchmen, Hatchett knock Smitty down and pour concrete over him, drowning and killing him as Tyrone watches.
While heading to work, Riggs and Murtaugh notice a scene where it looks like Murtaugh's eldest daughter, Rianne, is being held at gunpoint. They intervene, only to find out that it is a movie scene she is shooting, a scene they just ruined by mistake. Initially, the director fires Rianne, but Riggs gets her re-hired with a pay raise after taking the blame for the misunderstanding. At work, as they change into their uniforms, Murtaugh accidentally discharges his firearm. Riggs takes the heat for it. The two head to the shooting range, where they meet some of their comrades, including Officer Edwards, who is fresh out of the Police Academy and is an incredible shot. Riggs shows them a new bullet that is now in circulation: a pointy-tipped 9 mm armor-piercing bullet ( Riggs demonstrates the Bullets penetration ability by firing it from HIS 9mm Beretta FS92 at a supposed bullet proof vest ) , called a "cop killer" on the streets. The bullets were found in the gun of Billy Phelps, the armored car impersonator they caught. Riggs had him moved to Interrogation so he and Murtaugh could question him.
Jack Travis arrives at the same building, where he reveals the credentials of an LAPD Lieutenant while covering up knowing that there's camera. In the meantime, Riggs and Murtaugh go up an elevator with a female detective who is in Internal Affairs. At their mutual stop, it is revealed that the detective is Lorna Cole, and Internal Affairs is taking over the case of Billy Phelps, the captured armored carrier impersonator. Angered by this change, they all go to Captain Ed Murphy to clear things up, and meet the head of Internal Affairs as well. They decide to have Riggs, Murtaugh and Cole work together on the case with Riggs and Murtaugh reinstated to their positions as Sergeants. While they are in their meeting, Jack Travis encounters Billy Phelps in an interrogation room and shoots him with a silencer on, then leaves quickly. Riggs, Murtaugh and Cole find Phelps dead in his seat.
Cole reveals that there was a camera covertly installed in every interrogation room, so they see close-up who killed Phelps. As it turns out, Jack Travis is an AWOL cop who they believe correctly has turned rogue. Cole then dismisses Riggs and Murtaugh's involvement, since their man, Phelps, is now dead. Leo Getz walks in on them to tell Murtaugh that the house has termites, but recognizes Travis in the surveillance video. He says he got the man Los Angeles Kings hockey tickets to the Forum. As a result, the three go to the game at the Forum to apprehend him. Riggs takes the extraordinary step of using the PA system to call out to Travis. Ultimately, Leo finds him, and gets chased out onto the hockey rink by Travis. He's shot in the arm and thrown to the ice. Riggs follows Travis out of the arena, but loses him. Leo is taken to a hospital for a minor flesh wound, but Riggs recommends he be admitted for a few days. Then, as a prank on Leo, as usual, Riggs adds "proctology" to Leo's chart, thus dooming him for a needless and unnecessary rectal exam.
To celebrate their re-promotion, Murtaugh takes Riggs to a friend's lunch shack. While Murtaugh makes some hamburgers for them, Riggs notices something at nearby: several gang members in an apparent drug deal. He intervenes in that, and gets hit in the back of the head by a 2-by-4. Just then, hearing the gunshots, Murtaugh arrives. Most of the gang escapes, but one hides in a shed. Murtaugh orders the man to surrender, but gets shot at. Murtaugh returns fire, shooting several rounds through the aluminum wall of the shack. The man crawls out, shot several times, and he collapses just beyond the door and dies. Murtaugh turns the man over and takes off his sunglasses: it turns out it was Darryl. Murtaugh is distraught, since Darryl was Nick's friend.
The call comes in to the Murtaugh residence, where his wife picks up, and finds out about Darryl. Murtaugh arrives home in his car, but doesn't go in...he drives away, still upset, and unable to face his family about what happened.
The next day, Murtaugh didn't arrive to work, but Riggs covers for him to Captain Murphy and the precinct's psychologist. He then comes across Lorna Cole, who insists she speak with him. He drags her into the men's restroom, where she dresses him down for interfering with the Internal Affairs investigation, but Riggs turns it on her, saying she's the one that hasn't been forthcoming. They agree to work together. In Cole's office, they look up information on the gun that Darryl had. It was stolen from an LAPD impound lot several months back. The reason Internal Affairs is in on the case is because they believe Jack Travis is stealing guns and ammunition from LAPD impound and selling them on the street and the black market.
Riggs and Cole go to a suspicious address, one that Billy Phelps have called several times. There, they're encountered by a Rottweiler, who is guarding the firearms facility. Riggs distracts the dog and gives him some of the dog biscuits he'd been using to quit smoking, thereby taming him. Cole and Riggs then go in to find a bunch of guys loading a truck full of stolen weapons. They initiate a fight, where Cole shows extraordinary hand-to-hand martial arts combat skills. The two steal the truck that has some boxes of weapons, and Riggs lets the dog go with him and Cole. They head back to her place to dress their wounds, and begin comparing old battle scars. Things get heated, and the two end up making love. Riggs briefly stops himself because of a possible "serious ethical breach", only for Cole to tell him to shut up.
As it turns out, the aforementioned Tyrone was the intended buyer of the guns Riggs and Cole recovered. Jack Travis convinces him to give him another chance to get his guns and more ammo.
That afternoon, Rianne arrives at Riggs' beachfront mobile home, where he has brought his new Rottweiler in with his other dog Sam and watching the Three Stooges while Mickey McGee is renovating and attaching next to a new home. She says Murtaugh hasn't come home, Riggs has a feeling he might know where he is. That night, Riggs heads out to the marina, where he finds Murtaugh aboard his boat, drunk. His killing of Darryl has driven Murtaugh to drink. Initially, Murtaugh is angry that Rianne came to Riggs, since he's always worried that Riggs would one day seduce his eldest daughter. Riggs works to snap Murtaugh out of his funk with rhetoric about how they share the same problems, and they need to stick together.
Riggs finally talks Murtaugh down, reasoning that Murtaugh had no choice but to kill Darryl since Darryl was shooting at them and would've shot anyone else who came along. The tension resumes when Murtaugh convinces Riggs to tell him his own problem, and Riggs reveals he "slept with somebody he shouldn't have." Murtaugh punches Riggs off the boat, assuming he meant Rianne. After pulling Murtaugh into the water with him, Riggs clears it up, revealing his liaison with Cole, though he has to clarify that he means Lorna, as her uncle works in the Traffic division. They are briefly encountered by an LA County Sheriff boat officer, who tells them to clear out of the water.
The next morning, Murtaugh finds Nick attempting to shave, getting ready for Darryl's funeral. Murtaugh helps his son, and hopes he doesn't blame him for killing his friend, and Nick says that he doesn't blame his father for having to kill his friend. He blames Darryl for choosing to go down the path of a gang member and shooting at his father.
The Murtaugh family, Riggs and Cole all attend Darryl's funeral. When Murtaugh goes to apologize and express his condolences, Darryl's mother slaps him in the face. The boy's father, however, gives Murtaugh an admonishment: Find the man who gave the gun to Darryl. Riggs, Murtaugh, and Cole then begin a series of raids, tracing the path of Darryl's gun. First they strike one of Darryl's gang buddies, whom Murtaugh dresses down about "genocide", and black people killing each other. He leads them to Tyrone, who in turn directs them to one of Travis's other associates at a garage, where Cole once more shows her hand-to-hand combat skills, this time for Murtaugh to see. The henchman gets away, but one of Travis' other henchmen, Hubie, is taken into custody.
Later, outside the station, after Captain Murphy is seen with Herman Walters, Travis is seen bent down on the vehicle next to Murphy's, where he takes Captain Murphy hostage and begins his next journey to LAPD's storage facility to get more guns and ammunition using Murphy's clearance (as he can no longer use his own due to being exposed on the footage from Phelps' murder). As they work their way through storage, Riggs, Murtaugh, and Cole return to the precinct, where Murtaugh asks Riggs to show him some hand-to-hand combat. Riggs demonstrates a roundhouse kick, but when Murtaugh tries it out, he accidentally kicks out a water cooler, leading to a brief run-in with the psychologist. Some more research leads them to Mesa Verde Construction, Travis' cover operation. Leo Getz returns from the hospital, promptly going through a tirade about hospitals because of the unnecessary and needless rectal exam, before Murtaugh calms him down and sends him off to research Mesa Verde.
As Travis gets finished loading up the guns and ammo he's stealing, with Captain Murphy in tow, still as a hostage, Cole discovers the files on the very same equipment had just been accessed and deleted. They hurry to the scene, with Edwards tagging along for extra help. Travis attempts to escape via the Subway, which is still under construction. The group discovers the guns missing, and traces them down into the subway, where a gunfight ensues. They attempt to kill Murphy, but he manages to push his immediate captor, Hatchett, into the electric circuit of the subway train tracks rail electrocuting him, and gets away. Edwards is killed when he takes cover behind a barrel, and gets shot by Travis, who is armed with the "cop killer" bullets.
Riggs chases Travis and his henchman, who are getting away with the guns on a truck designed to ride the subway rails. He rides the front of a subway car to get to the surface behind the truck. Once surfaced, he commandeers an LAPD motorcycle and pursues after the truck. Murtaugh races in his vehicle to catch up. Riggs pursues Travis on the wrong way of a freeway, then into a section that is under construction. Travis manages to get stopped, but Riggs flies off an unfinished ramp, hanging by some cables. The cables give away, and he falls through several platforms. He's okay, despite dislocating his unstable shoulder again. Leo arrives on the scene with the location of Mesa Verde's desert construction project, Rancho Royale. Leo wants to go with them, but Murtaugh shoots out his tires, preventing him from tagging along.
Riggs and Murtaugh head to Rancho Royale, where they are joined by Lorna Cole. Murtaugh intends to use Darryl's gun to finish off Travis. They use Murphy's car unmanned as a decoy, then attack the development. Riggs gets a truck to pour our Exxon fuel and drives through the house frames, spilling the fuel all over the place. Murtaugh lights the fuel lighting the development ablaze. Travis ends up shooting Cole, provoking Riggs in a battle to the death. Murtaugh fights through some of Travis' men (even kills one with an ax!), then finds some "cop killer" bullets and loads up Darryl's gun with them. During the fight, Travis gains the upper hand over Riggs and tries to run him over with a mini-digger, using its blade as a bullet shield. Murtaugh takes out one last henchman, then tosses Darryl's gun to Riggs, loaded with the "cop killer" bullets. Riggs shoots through the plow of the digger, and guns Travis down with his own ill-gotten armor-piercing ammo. Travis takes one last look at Riggs and says with his last words: "Go to hell, Riggs." Riggs replies to him "You first," and finishes him off lifting his foot off the brake lever of the digger allowing it go forward into the burning housing development, taking Travis with it, thus incinerating.
Tending to Cole, Riggs finds that she wore two bullet-proof vests. She was still badly hurt, but they prevented even worse injuries. Riggs goes with her as she is medevac'ed by helicopter from the scene. He then lectures her on how you're supposed to live for somebody, not because of them, declaring his love for her.
Murtaugh's final day of work arrives, and he is taking a bubble bath when his family comes in to celebrate his retirement. He breaks the news: he's decided not to retire after all. Leo Getz breaks in and says he's finally sold the house, but Murtaugh tells him about his decision not to retire and sell the house, and Getz gets upset at the development. The movie ends with Riggs arriving and saying goodbye to Rianne with a kiss as she heads off to work. He's also started smoking again, because of a "dog biscuit problem". Murtaugh is, again, suspicious because he saw Rianne kiss Riggs, but Riggs eases his fears by saying it was just a "friendship kiss." He also tells him he's spoken for already and that things are getting serious between himself and Cole, who he is picking up from the hospital later that day. They already have a dog, after all.
In a post-credits scene, Riggs and Murtaugh arrive at the scene of another bomb threat. As soon as they exit their vehicle, the building explodes. They quickly get back in the vehicle and drive off like nothing happened, both cursing their bad luck, saying "I'm too old for this shit!"
Cast[edit | edit source]
The Murtaugh Family
- Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh
- Darlene Love as Trish Murtaugh, Roger's wife
- Traci Wolfe as Rianne Murtaugh, Roger & Trish's daughter
- Damon Hines as Nick Murtaugh, Roger & Trish's son
- Ebonie Smith as Carrie Murtaugh, Roger & Trish's daughter
- Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs
- Joe Pesci as Leo Getz
- Rene Russo as Lorna Cole, Martin's love interest
- Stuart Wilson as Jack Edward Travis
- Steve Kahan as Captain Murphy
- Alan Scarfe as Herman Walters
- Nick Chinlund as Hatchett
- Gregory Millar as Tyrone
- Jason Rainwater as Officer Edwards
- Bobby Wynn as Darryl Smithers
- Delores Hall as Delores
- Mary Ellen Trainor as Dr. Stephanie Woods
- Mark Pellegrino as Billy Phelps
- John Cenatiempo as Smitty
- Norman D. Wilson as Fast Eddie
- Pete Antico as Hubie Bartholomew Smith
- Danny Rey and Sylvia Webb White as Mr. and Mrs. Smithers
- Danny Wynands as Hershel
Production[edit | edit source]
The movie was filmed from October 1991 to January 1992.
Director Richard Donner is an animal-rights and pro-choice activist, and placed many posters and stickers for these causes in the film. Of note are the T-shirt worn by one of Murtaugh's daughters (the actress's idea), an 18-wheeler with an anti-fur slogan on the side, and a sticker on a locker in the police station.
Demolition scene[edit | edit source]
In the film's first scene, Riggs accidentally sets off a bomb that destroys the ICSI Building. The ICSI Building is actually the former City Hall building of Orlando, Florida. The entire scene was filmed in Downtown Orlando, at the intersection of Orange Avenue and South Street. From August to October 1991, the production crew fitted the old Orlando City Hall building featured in the opening scene with carefully placed explosives to create the visual effect of a bomb explosion. Bill Frederick, the mayor of Orlando, Florida, was the policeman who sarcastically claps and said "Bravo!" to Murtaugh and Riggs after the explosion. Warner Bros. decided to use the demolition of the building in the film, and as a result paid for the demolition.
The building was demolished so that it would collapse slightly forward (toward Orange Avenue), minimizing the chances of it damaging the new City Hall building, built directly behind it. The space was cleared out and became a plaza for the new City Hall, with a fountain and a monument.
Writing[edit | edit source]
Leo Getz was originally not in the script and all of his scenes were written in afterwards. In the original script Leo had left L.A. for New York.
Screenwriter Jeffrey Boam is credited twice in the 'screenplay by' credits. This is because he did one draft by himself (granting him the first credit) and a second draft collaborating with Robert Mark Kamen (granting him the second credit). In this rare scenario, Boam was hired to rewrite his own script with a second writer. After receiving the unusual writing credits, the advertising department assumed it was a misprint and produced posters with the credits "Story by Jeffrey Boam, Screenplay by Jeffrey Boam and Robert Mark Kamen". After a few of the posters had been sent out, the WGA contacted the department, telling them that the initial credits were the correct ones, and ordering the posters to be recalled and destroyed. A few still remain in circulation, however.
Carrie Fisher was an uncredited script doctor on the film.
Promotion[edit | edit source]
For promotion of the film, theater lobbies featured a 3-D cut out of the film poster of Riggs and Murtaugh posing with their guns and Leo Getz peeking from the background. On the display, there was a motor which helped Leo's head bob up and down from behind them.
Release[edit | edit source]
Box office[edit | edit source]
The $35 million film was a big box-office success, earning $145 million. Although slightly less than the $150 million domestic gross of the first sequel, it was nevertheless the second-most successful summer film of 1992 (after Batman Returns) and the fifth most profitable film of the year, as well as the highest-grossing in the series worldwide with $320 million worldwide.
Critical reception[edit | edit source]
The film was met with mixed reviews to positive reviews. It currently holds a 56% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews with an average rating of 5.5/10, as well as a metascore of 36 out of 100 on Metacritic from 18 critics.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a positive review, awarding it 3 out of 4 stars.
Home media[edit | edit source]
Lethal Weapon 3 has been released on VHS and DVD numerous times. The first DVD was released in 1997 and featured the film's theatrical version. The 1997 DVD contains both the widescreen and the pan and scan editions. The Director's Cut was released in 2000. Since then, numerous sets have been released that contain all four films in the series (featuring the same DVDs). The film was released on Blu-ray Disc in 2011.
Video games[edit | edit source]
Also released was a Lethal Weapon 3 pinball game.
Soundtrack[edit | edit source]
Lethal Weapon 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), was released on June 9, 1992 on audio cassette and CD. The soundtrack was performed and composed by Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton, and David Sanborn. Its title songs, "It's Probably Me", and "Runaway Train" were written and performed by Eric Clapton with the assistance of Sting and Elton John respectively.
In 2013 La-La Land Records issued the complete score on a two-disc set as part of Lethal Weapon Soundtrack Collection.
Track listing[edit | edit source]
Original album[edit | edit source]
- "It's Probably Me" – Sting/Eric Clapton
- "Runaway Train" – Elton John/Eric Clapton
- "Grab The Cat"
- "Leo Getz Goes To The Hockey Game"
- "Darryl Dies"
- "Riggs And Rog"
- "Roger's Boat"
- "Armour Piercing Bullets"
- "God Judges Us By Our Scars"
- "Lorna – A Quiet Evening By The Fire"
La-La Land album[edit | edit source]
Tracks in bold are previously unreleased, tracks in italics contain previously unreleased material.
- Trust Me 3:34
- Afterglow :57
- Jaywalker 2:01
- Armoured Car Chase 4:33
- Leo Getz 3:20
- Concrete Death 1:59
- Rianne's Big Break 2:16
- Locker Room :43
- Firing Range :59
- Jack Kills Billy 3:15
- Hockey Game :58
- Dum-Dum Wound 1:07
- Shooting Darryl, Part 1 3:12
- Shooting Darryl, Part 2/Step Into My Office 2:17
- Man's Best Friend/Lorna's First Fight 6:41
- Scars/Love Scene 3:45
- Roger's Boat 5:28
- Shaving 1:17
- Gun Montage/Lorna's Second Fight 3:33
- Captain Abducted/Captain and Travis 1:34
- Unauthorized Access 1:57
- Gun Battle 3:47
- Riggs Falls 2:11
- Drive to Housing Development/On Three 3:34
- Fire/Fire Battle/A Quiet Evening by the Fire 7:01
Original album as above, followed by: Additional Tracks
- Leo Getz (alternate) 2:38
- Armoured Car Chase (no overlay) 4:33
- Gun Battle (alternate) 5:26
- I Can't Retire 1:30