Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lethal Beverly Hills Blackness

Lethal Weapon

King’s Book Heroes in Hard Times , analyzes Lethal Weapon in comparison to a few other viewpoints. He points out the oppositions views that Lethal Weapon does not portray the black man as taking a submissive role and that both characters have leading qualities. However the undertones of the film is what King focuses on and instead believes that Lethal Weapon indeed portrays the black man as being submissive and incapable of taking on an empowering role. The final fight scene in the film deals with the albino man who both Gibson and Glover have personal issues with. The scene then turns into a situation between just Gibson and the albino in a brawl for white domination. Glover becomes a bystander. All past action and effort to be seen as heroic is forgotten as he stands aside not fighting a battle that is very much his own. It allows black men to be seen as incapable and sub par in comparison to the white male sidekick. I do think that throughout the movie Glover’s character, as a black man, was a substantial role. He was at an important part of his life (just turning 50), he had a family, children, a career. His juxtaposition to Gibson’s character having to deal with being widowed and unstable is what made this cop movie so interesting.

Beverly Hills Cop

Ed Guerrero’s Framing Blackness draws attention to how African Americans are portrayed and stereotyped in films. Cop films especially allow a black character to be highlighted when put next to a white sidekick or “buddy”. Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop stood out because he was a black male in a predominately white environment. This situation empowered him and allowed for his talents to shine through and be seen as different and effective because they stood out from the actions of all of the other white cops. While Eddie Murphy’s race isn’t the focus of the film it is a noticeable thing that effects how many of the scenes are interpreted. He is brash, doesn’t listen to the commands of others, follows his intuition, and is humourous yet intelligent throughout. His character differs greatly from that portrayed by Glover in Lethal Weapon. However Ed Guerrero’s thoughts about the framing of their blackness applies to each film.


Blogger Vladigogo said...

It is difficult to think of another cop film that features a cop who is as comfortably situated as Roger Murtaugh is. No one else is as happy or contented (well, until his daughter gets kidnapped).

9:32 PM  

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