Thursday, January 20, 2011

Film News

 Never Hand Hollywood a Lethal Weapon

      A host of online news publications reported today (including my go-to site Slashfilm) that the collective brainchild of director Richard Donner and writer Shane Black, Lethal Weapon, will be...prepare to gasp....rebooted. If your tastes for film are remotely similar to mine, then the audacity of Warner Bros. to reboot a classically unique— in my opinion, iconic film franchise—is laughably appalling. 
      Mel Gibson has disassociated himself from a Lethal Weapon 5 sequel as skillfully as Hollywood has neglected Mel Gibson. After all, how can Hollywood justify working with a tirade ranting, viral apocalyptic, anti-Semitic personality from Down Under, who has managed to enrage civil rights activists, GLAAD, and a glutton of religious groups? For the same reason Gibson refuses a fifth Lethal Weapon installment—it's an overly abused franchise that has seen its better days.
      First of all, any film (reboot or not) that adapts the immortal title Lethal Weapon ought to include Gibson as Detective Martin Riggs and Danny Glover as Detective Roger Murtaugh—straying from this casting arrangement is pure blasphemy. Secondly, Lethal Weapon is a benchmark film. It is a perfect example of the classic buddy cop action story. If you are going to reboot a film franchise with a formulaic premise, then please spare us the novelty by NOT including the name of the original film.  
      Essentially, Warner Bros is attempting to sucker fans of the franchise into seeing the 'reboot,' as if seeing the film is a statement of their loyalty to the franchise; such a dubious, profit whoring move by WB. We can safely conjecture that Hollywood studios are increasingly reliant upon reboots because there is less risk involved, and a greater potential stream of revenue. In other words, a reboot is a Hollywood creation to generate wealth. It is not, as some may argue, an artistically motivated attempt to reinvigorate a stale franchise; although, this can sometimes be an unintended benefit of the reboot model—case in point, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. 
      A reboot is, by definition, a completely altered account of the original story. Therefore, drop the classic title. I am not going to drop $10 bucks on a supposed Lethal Weapon reboot knowing full well that the film I will be subjected to is vastly different; it is not the other way around as WB wants you to think. You do not need to be an astute observer to realize that the film we will get is another buddy cop action one. Any fan of this brand of genre will see the film and gauge it on its own distinct merits—as a buddy cop story, not a Lethal Weapon story. 
      For those who have any interest in seeing a Lethal Weapon reboot, Tales From the Gangster Squad writer, Will Beall has been tapped to pen the script. His pitch for the film is quite simple; "hard R-rated edgy street cop movie." In other words, Beall himself is implicitly concluding that any connection to Lethal Weapon is preposterous. Instead, Beall is merely contending that he is just going to write his own tense buddy cop action flick. By walking into the theater with this spirit of expectations, I will be more apt to see the film. And who knows. It could totally blow my mind.

*I love this scene! Fast-forward to the 1:40 minute mark for the truly wacky Mel Gibson moment. His odd character behavior seems to foreshadow some of Gibson's own personal plights.

Source: Slashfilm


  1. Mel did kinda become a lethal weapon himself these days :)

  2. Lol Dez. Nice wit. I could not have said it better myself!

  3. by the way, love the new profile pic, in it you look like someone who should be cast into JERSEY SHORE :)))

  4. Thanks Dez. LOL I give off that impression a lot because I'm Italian and I live on the east coast. Although, I do not ACT like a Jersey Shore cast member. The jersey shore craze is big where I live.

  5. I'm with you. I'd be more apt to see this if it doesn't include any mention of Lethal Weapon. Murtaugh and Riggs are icons. Even though Gibson has since de-evolved into a raging lunatic, he will always be Riggs. Like Harrison Ford will always be Han Solo.

    I am a little disturbed by the amount of rebooting/remaking going on these days. There are plenty of fascinating, original stories out there. Great post. :)

  6. Melissa, Thanks for following my blog and for the thoughtful comment!

    I am glad you agree with me here. I have become increasingly jaded by Hollywood's obsession or presumptive need to green light every reboot/remake that is pitched its way. There needs to be a serious quality factor in determining what would constitute a solid remake or reboot. The mere fact that a franchise has been successful in its past is not validation enough to qualify one. This is an arresting fact that the big studios fail to address because reboots and remakes represent financially sound, less riskier investments. But for the sake of quality, originality, and artistic impact, the studios need to exercise more reasoned caution.

    For example, the announced sequel for Rounders is a legitimately credentialed candidate for capitalizing on an old property largely because Norton and Damon will reprise their roles. A Lethal Weapon without Riggs and Murtaugh...well that's just treasonous to the lasting franchise.

  7. I would definitely see a sequel to Rounder, Norton and Damon were spectacular. I also don't like this trend of bringing television shows into the movies. For the most part it just doesn't work and their choices for what gets a film treatment leave a lot to be desired.

  8. I agree with Dezmond. Mel has become a lethal cocktail in himself.

    And I'm sick to death of all these remakes. They should be left alone. Clearly, film makers of today have no imagination.

  9. Hi Wendy!

    It is a pretty sad and dramatic fall from grace, but we all agree that Mel 'flew off the handle.' I still love many of the characters he played; although, it is difficult to disassociate his chaotic personal life from his characters. Detective Riggs will always hold a warmly nostalgic place in my heart. Awesome character!

  10. I don't really agree with them bringing it back but okay. Money for anything.

    Cool blog, following and supporting

  11. @Doo

    Thanks for the comment. Yup, the studios are run by a corporate mentality. Anything that has the big money sign behind it, they'll go after.

    Thanks for the support. I checked out your blog too and I will be following it!