Monday, January 07, 2008

Lethal Weapon and Heroes in Hard Times

In Lethal Weapon there is a blatant juxtaposition between the two heroes Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs. On the one hand you have an older cop who is living the life he has always dreamed of in a nice suburban home with a beautiful wife and kids and with a fulfilling job. The other hand has a man who is broken by the loss of his wife, broken to the point of insanity and it clearly shows in all that he does at work. Riggs' recklessness and no-holds barred nature shatters Murtaugh's life and shakes his will to the core. King has some appropriate remarks to say about the trials and tribulations of being the hero. His comments on the 3 characteristics of unfortunate cops hit right at home with Rigg's character, who comes dangerously close to committing suicide not once but multiple times. However, i would liked to have more back story on the domestic relationship between the Riggs and his wife. We know that she died in a car crash but was their relationship troubled with domestic violence? For a self proclaimed professional shot Riggs certainly turns to tears and sighs in depression at the sight of his wife's picture. Murtaugh, through association with the wild Riggs, gains access into King's labeled circle of 'heroes with troubles' when trouble come home with a gun to terrorize the family. I found the subject of race to be extremely down played and less prevalent than the issues of friendship and families, but it would be interesting to see how the movie would appeal (or not appeal to audiences) if the races were reversed. The most telling of who the top cop was happens blatantly in one pivotal scene: a baddie proclaims, "There's no more heroes left in the world." and BAM! in bursts Mel Gibson! Was i also the only one who picked up the DVD four pack and noticed who stood slightly in front as the star cop in all four movie covers? Kinda makes me wonder why the man who has his life together doesn't partake in the glory...maybe because he has less to lose...or maybe it's something else that stands in his way...


Blogger Vladigogo said...

Interesting take, especially as you looked at the advertisement for the film in terms of who gets a bigger build on the box. And yes, he is "the hero" who comes in and saves Roger and his daughter. And Roger is merely beaten up with fists. Riggs is electrocuted in water. That stings.

9:19 PM  

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