Saturday, January 05, 2008

"Lethal Weapon" and "Heroes in Hard Times"

Mel Gibson's character in "Lethal Weapon," Martin Riggs, epitomizes the character King writes about in his chapter White Male Guilt. Riggs feels guilt over his wife's death and becomes an alcoholic, chain smoking, daredevil. He is extremely selfish thinking only of himself when he places himself in dangerous situations that could potentially hurt others. Riggs is isolated and alone and a person no one would aspire to be.

Danny Glover's character, Roger Murtaugh, is the complete opposite. He has a great, solid family. He is a stand-up cop who always makes the right, safe, choices. He is a man other cops aspire to be. While King writes in "Heroes and Hard Times" about how it is difficult for cops to maintain solid family lives, Glover's character manages to do so, however, his normal family life is meant to further emphasize Gibson's character's crazy problems. Riggs and Murtaugh are the exact buddy pair King writes about, and their types are seen in so many cop films.

Another thing I found interesting was the villain in "Lethal Weapon." King writes that many villains in cops films are creepy looking Aryan men. The villain, Mr. Joshua (played by Gary Busey), is the epitome of that cliche character King writes about.
From King's perspective, "Lethal Weapon" proves much of what he writes about as being true. From the typical buddy cops, to the typical villain, it all falls right into line with what King writes.


Blogger Vladigogo said...

What about the fact that Vietnam hovers so much over the film? What does that suggest? Is this a political film then? Is this a commentary about an America in the near past vs. a contemporary America (the 80s)?

7:01 PM  

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