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Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities.

Director:

Richard Donner

Writers:

Jeffrey Boam (screenplay), Shane Black (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,405 ( 157)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Martin Riggs
Danny Glover ... Roger Murtaugh
Joe Pesci ... Leo Getz
Joss Ackland ... Arjen Rudd
Derrick O'Connor ... Pieter Vorstedt
Patsy Kensit ... Rika Van Den Haas
Darlene Love ... Trish Murtaugh
Traci Wolfe ... Rianne Murtaugh
Steve Kahan ... Captain Murphy
Mark Rolston ... Hans
Jenette Goldstein ... Meagan Shapiro
Dean Norris ... Tim Cavanaugh
Juney Smith ... Tom Wyler
Nestor Serrano ... Eddie Estaban
Philip Suriano Philip Suriano ... Joseph Ragucci
Learn more

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Storyline

Riggs and Murtaugh are trying to take down some drug dealers but the they turn out to be not run of the mill drug dealers; they have automatic weapons and helicopters. Eventually they grab one of their vehicles and find a million dollars worth of gold coins or Krugerrands in the trunk. Later Murtaugh is threatened by the men they're pursuing. That's when the Captain reassigns them to protect a man named Leo Getz who is suppose to testify in a big case. When they get to where Leo is, someone tries to kill him and that's when they learn he laundered half a billion dollars worth of drug money. He then takes them to a place he once went to and that's when the people there start shooting at them. Later when they come back with back up they learn that the men work for the South African consulate and have diplomatic immunity. They deduce that they are the ones they were looking for, but because of they have diplomatic immunity they can't do anything. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Je conduis. Non, je conduis. [canada] See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the first movie turned out to be huge hit, earning $120 million worldwide on a budget of $15 million, it was decided to make the sequel. Producer Joel Silver asked writer of the first film Shane Black to write the script for the sequel, and Black agreed. Despite having some problems in his personal life, Black managed to write his first draft of the script in six months, along with his friend, novelist Warren Murphy, co-creator of Remo Williams (the lead character of The Destroyer novels) which itself was turned into Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985).

Although many people thought that their script was brilliant, Warner Brothers and producers, including Silver, and director Richard Donner, however, disagreed with Black's decision to kill off Riggs's character in the ending, because they wanted to keep him alive for future sequels, and they also thought that Black and Murphy's script was way too bloody and dark, and they wanted a lighter, more comedic script, while their draft was completely serious, and it focused more on courage and heroics, like Riggs coming full circle, from the way he was in the first film, and how his relationship with Murtaugh and his family brought him back to life, and into the real world, helping him to let his guard down, and learn to accept the love of real people. In Black's version of the script, it's the very love that makes Riggs willing to die to protect them.

Other parts from Black and Murphy's script, which were changed or left out of the final version of the script, include Leo Getz being only a minor character, and having only one scene, and few lines of dialogue. A lot more violence throughout, like South African villains, who were even more vicious in the original script than in the final film, torturing Shapiro, a female police officer working with Riggs and Murtaugh (the one who is killed by a bomb in the pool in the film) to death in a very nasty scene. There was also a scene where Riggs is tortured by South Africans in a similar way like he was in the first film, but much worse. The script also included an action sequence, in which plane full of cocaine gets destroyed, causing for cocaine to fall all over Los Angeles like snow.

The ending of the script included a climactic battle, which took place on hills engulfed with a big brush fire, and after the destruction of the stilt house, Riggs chases Benedict (original name of the villain Pieter Vorstedt from the movie) who was different, and lot more dangerous in the original script, and Riggs's "arch-nemesis, his worst nightmare" as Black himself said, into the fire. After the final battle with Benedict, Riggs dies very slowly after he gets stabbed by him. The last scene in Black's script, was Murtaugh watching the video tape that Riggs made earlier, since he had a premonition that he was going to die, and in which he says his goodbye to Murtaugh.

Following the studio's negative reaction on his script, and their demands for massive re-writes, Shane Black left the project after six months, earning only $125,000 for his work (Warren Murphy also earned the same amount), and never worked on any of the other sequels. Black said in later years in interviews how he considers his original script for Lethal Weapon 2, which was also called "Play Dirty", to be his best work, and most intense script he has written, and how other than the scene where stilt house gets destroyed, his script was completely different than the one used for filming. He also said how the problem with the final version of the second movie was that they did too much comedy, and how he dislikes the other two sequels of the film, because of the way they ruined Riggs's character.

Despite many attempts by fans of the Lethal Weapon movies, and Shane Black, his original script for the second film was never found, and it remains a highly demanded, and the most wanted, of all of Black's scripts. See more »

Goofs

When Murtaugh is showing Riggs the new addition to his home, the contractor fires his pneumatic nail gun. In all scenes, it can clearly be seen that there is no air hose attached to the gun, seemingly making it impossible for it to work. However, some nail guns are powered by batteries, CO2 gas, or even blank cartridges. The nail gun used doesn't appear to have the 'air hose' connection. See more »

Quotes

[Admiring the view over L.A]
Roger Murtaugh: That's downtown L.A. How would you like to have a house up here?
Martin Riggs: Well, it would be okay on the three days of the year when you can actually see it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Merrie Melodies theme is briefly heard during the opening sequence. See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive a 15 certificate, the UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC. These cuts included:
  • Reduced violence in the scene where Murtaugh kills two thugs with a nail gun (a shot showing blood on a thug's head was shortened and another showing nails embedded in the other thug's chest was optically darkened).
  • Most of the sex scene between Riggs and his girlfriend was cut.
  • Riggs' vengeful killing of the villains who killed his girlfriend on the pier was entirely cut.
  • Riggs' repeated shooting of a villain during the final shootout was reduced.
  • Kicks to Riggs' face by villain in climax were reduced.
Later video and DVD releases had some cuts waived but were raised to an 18, whilst retaining the edits of the pier killing and repeated shooting of a villain by Riggs. The cuts were fully waived in 2010 and the certificate downgraded to a 15. The uncut version is only available on Blu-Ray, while the DVD still has an 18 certificate but is missing the killing of the two thugs on the pier and of the guards on the container. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comedy Lab: Alex Zane's House of Games (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Still Cruisin' (After All These Years)
Performed by The Beach Boys
Produced by Terry Melcher
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Written by Mike Love and Terry Melcher
See more »

User Reviews

 
A fine Sequel
23 January 2005 | by mjw2305See all my reviews

Riggs and Murtaugh now face a bunch of south African criminals hiding behind their diplomatic immunity. The duo have to fight for their right to fight back, as the criminals declare war on the cops, and arouse the lethal weapon in Riggs.

The introdction of Joe Pesci's character is a little annoying at first but it soon grows on you and he adds a focus for the comedy element.

Richard Donner again directs the cop duo and again we have a movie well worth watching.

Plenty of action, a few more laughs and a lethal weapon that is still just as sharp, all combine to deliver another great outing for Riggs and Murtaugh.

8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Afrikaans

Release Date:

7 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Play Dirty See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,388,800, 9 July 1989

Gross USA:

$147,253,986

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$227,853,986
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)| Dolby Digital (5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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