Monday, January 07, 2008

Lethal Weapon

Nick Capezzera

Martin Riggs is the definition of a cop in a bi-racial buddy flick. He lives for the job and nothing else. He is courageous to the point of self destruction. Whereas, Roger his straight walking and talking black partner, is a model citizen and is happy to have made it to his fiftieth birthday without a scratch on him. Although Roger is the cop with the higher ranking he appears to become a sidekick to Riggs after his daughter is kidnapped by Mr. Joshua. King had made this point in a chapter about the Lethal Weapon series which I agree with. Roger fills the role just like King explained a sidekick should act. The person should follow the rules, kill less people in the line of duty, and pay attention to the hierarchy, and be more timid. As the movie progresses Roger turns into a cop that no longer shoots bad guys in the leg, but shoots to kill. Mel Gibson’s character is a cop on the edge like most white hero figures become in this genre. He is seen as uncontrollable and even psychotic which work for and against him. However, I don’t see the racial undertones of Lethal Weapon between Roger and Martin. I do see the racial undertones between the protagonist and the antagonist. The Aryan man, Mr. Joshua appears as pure evil and clearly represents the white race, whereas Roger’s blackness works against Joshua in a heroic sense. Finally a black man is rising up over the oppressive white force. There was also a clear reasoning behind the coupling of a black and white partner with separate ideals. It defines Martin and Roger as totally separate entities.


Blogger Vladigogo said...

Reading your comments reminds me of T2, where Arnold is commanded not to kill anybody by John Connor. So he shoots everyone in the leg. So does that make him a sidekick in the film?

8:55 PM  

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