Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lethal Weapon

For the first half of the book, I tend to agree with Neal King’s analysis of biracial buddy cop films relating to the Lethal Weapon series. Mel Gibson, also known as Martin, plays the “hero” as is portrayed as King describes: “hard-bitten, alienated, and pissed off at just about everybody.” Whereas his “sidekick”, Roger, enjoys “happiness and a stable home life” and is a model employee who considers “the safety of others, follows the rules…” There is a constant tug-of-war between the actions of Roger and Martin, where Roger is constantly having to try to catch up to Martin and Martin constantly encourages Roger to break the rules and to do whatever needs to get done to get the “bad guys.” King also talks about lost ground – “real men do work that is both devalued and difficult but vital to a sick world’s survival.” Both Roger and Martin are part of the lost ground; they are cops in a city that does not look highly upon them and does not pay well, but they are needed in order to keep the peace. They feel that management is simply in the way of keeping the corruption in check.
When it comes to the other half of the book, though, when Neal discusses the homoeroticism of the obscenities and language of the cops with each other and criminals and with the male bonding between the two cops, I disagree. Claiming that the line between “straight” and “queer” I think is taking it to a completely different level. Yes that could be one way of viewing their male bonding, simply because “they spend nearly all of their physically intimate time, groping and spurting blood and spit, with men.” I don’t understand why it can’t simply be more of a brother feeling – looking out for each other’s backs and feeling like the other is family. I think that type of relationship is important in the Lethal Weapon movies since Martin lacks a family and struggles with the loss of his wife, while his partner has everything he wishes he had. The way they describe their guns “That’s some piece of hardware you got there”) and talk about hunting down criminals I view as the vulgar language a city male gains from growing up in the area.


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