Critical Condition: Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon (TV2, 8.40 Sunday)


“Don’t expect even a spark of originality from Fox’s Lethal Weapon, the fifth iteration of the Mel Gibson/Danny Glover movie franchise — and the 1000th example of TV’s abiding affection for bicker-and-bond buddy cops. This is a strictly a by-the-books affair, starting with its appropriation of pre-tested characters up to and including the completely ludicrous but fun to watch McG-directed car chase. Still, there was nothing particularly novel about the first four Weapons, either: It was the chemistry between Gibson and Glover that made the series work. And chemistry — this time between Damon Wayans and Rectify’s less well-known Clayne Crawford — is exactly what turns this latest Weapon into the best of the season’s multiple reboots.” — USA Today.

“Tonally, the pilot splits the difference between the original film, which offered violent action with touches of comedy, and the later films, which were comedies with more than a touch of violent action. As in the movies, the relationship between the leads is more important than the crime-fighting; the mystery here is not particularly involving. All you need to keep in mind is that these are the good guys, and those are the bad guys, and those other people are just caught in the crossfire.” — Los Angeles Times.

“The chemistry may develop, but whether the writing will keep pace is unclear from the premiere, which involves an apparent suicide that may not be a suicide at all. A good gauge of how quickly a crime show will run out of ideas is how early it resorts to the tired old ‘but he was left-handed!’ eureka moment to crack a case. Here, that coin is spent in the first half-hour of the first episode. Hmmm.” — New York Times.

“The new Lethal Weapon is more modest, and nicer; less offensive, thus, less interesting. The cool-but-rude assholes of the ’80s have become the tough-but-nice douchebags of the ’10s … ‘You’re too old for the…’ Riggs tells Murtaugh, almost quoting the most famous line from Lethal Weapon, the last couple words fading into nothing because you can kill a million people on network television as long as you don’t swear. Truthfully? We’re all a little too old for thi…” — Entertainment Weekly.

Lethal Weapon is ridiculous and predictable, a super familiar story with new leads reminding you of old leads, and modern personalities that are really dated personalities. It’s a copy of copy of a copy and praying for something fresh out of that is, well, pretty ridiculous. So what you get is what you expected and the question then is: Are you okay with that, and if so, why?” — Variety.

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