Wow wow wow wow WOW! This movie does NOT screw around! It just opens with every kind of bang they could, then had a second scene that was just as big and ridiculous except they added a shark and Joe Pesci! And the third scene goes hard blowing up a car that is hit by a train! And this is all practical stuff! All PRACTICAL EFFECTS! AHHHH!!!
I can't even ... begin to ... ok ... breath .. breath ...
So what's the plot this time around? Character plot is that both our protagonists, Riggs and Murtaugh, are dealing with fatherhood and grandfatherhood respectively. There is also a whole bunch of stuff with Chinese smuggling for slave labor AND counterfeiting money. Jet Li is a bad guy, Chris Rock joins the cast as a good guy, and Joe Pesci is no longer playing the character of Leo and is just playing Joe Pesci. And everyone is very asian-racist. Lots of "flied lice" jokes. Though, race issues is very much par for the course for these films. On the other hand, they are hitting it very hard here.
The dialogue in this movie feels like it is going as fast as it can to talk over everyone and everything between explosions. It feels ... uncrafted. Improvised, but trying to hit general points necessary to scenes and plots. I really really miss Jeffery Boam's writing. He really understood how these characters talk. What I feel like I'm watching is these actors playing these characters. Especially Chris Rock, who is just playing Chris Rock. The charm and voice of these characters is lost. Not only does every character feel like they are constantly improvising, even the saxophone does, throwing in little wahng-wahng-wa-a-a-ahng jokes all over the place. The film comes across as a Judd Apatow movie, complete with gay jokes, improvising, and lots of f-bombs. But ALSO the most enormous explosions I've seen in an action film!
A thing I've mentioned each time is the franchise's fetish with new construction. Fight scenes and whole climaxes taking place in new construction. This film instead absolutely destroys Murtaugh's finally completely finished home, burning it to the ground. To do the trope, they added it to the car chase scene, as they get Riggs into a modular home on the back of a truck!
That car chase is amazing, by the way. All of the action is amazing. Richard Donner just KNOWS how to make a fantastic looking action film it seems. He's certainly done it three times out of four with this franchise, and it isn't like the first one was exactly bad. It just does not hold a candle to others.
This film is great fun. Probably one of the most fun in terms of sheer action. I loved it for that! But it is nowhere near as well written as the past two have been. The other two had all the pathos and incredible plot to go along with the crazy action. But don't get me wrong, the action IS awesome. This was a GREAT watch. It just isn't as good as Lethal Weapon 2 or Lethal Weapon 3.