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EVERYDAY CARRY FOR LIFE’S JOURNEY

Ⓒ Gallantry 2022

RANKING THE LETHAL WEAPON FILM SERIES

RANKING THE LETHAL WEAPON FILM SERIES

David Spielman
15 minute read

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 1Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

“You’re not trying to draw a psycho pension. You really are crazy!”

- LAPD Detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover)

Gallantry Men everywhere know that the hilarious odd couple at the center of Lethal Weapon and its sequels (all directed by Richard Donner and produced by Joel Silver), LAPD detectives Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), represent the gold standard of brotherhood synergy when it comes to American buddy flicks.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 2Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Aside from the chance to work with Mel, which turned out to be pure pleasure, one of the reasons I jumped at this project was the family aspect. The chance to play intricate relationships and subtle humor that exist in every close family group was an intriguing challenge, as was playing a guy turning 50. Murtaugh's a little cranky about his age until everything he loves is threatened. His reawakening parallels Riggs'.

- Danny Glover

With Murtaugh, you’ve got the straitlaced, risk-averse, cautious, near-retirement family man.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Mel Gibson 3Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

This particular story was a cut above others I had passed on, because the action is really a sideline which heightens the story of these two great characters. I picture Riggs as an almost Chaplinesque figure, a guy who doesn't expect anything from life and even toys with the idea of taking his own. He's not like these stalwarts who come down from Mt. Olympus and wreak havoc and go away. He's somebody who doesn't look like he's set to go off until he actually does.

- Mel Gibson

With Riggs, you’ve got a complete loose cannon, a potentially suicidal former Green Beret with a severe case of PTSD, an unhinged man who just may also happen to be the most effective individual on the entire force.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 4Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

It took about two hours and by the time we were done, I was in seventh heaven. [Mel and Danny] found innuendoes; they found laughter where I never saw it; they found tears where they didn't exist before; and, most importantly, they found a relationship — all in just one reading. So if you ask about casting... it was magical, just total dynamite.

- Lethal Weapon Director Richard Donner

Mix these two lovable polar opposite personalities together (you really can’t help but root for them) and you’ve got yourself the recipe for some seriously entertaining buddy cop movie shenanigans. Sprinkle in some nonstop action, laughs, thrills, hot babes, classic one-liners, and killer villains and, well, now you’ve got yourself what is undoubtedly one of the, if not the, most rewatchable and entertaining movie franchises of all-time.

“I've seen it all. But [Lethal Weapon] thrilled me from beginning to end.”

- Roger Ebert

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 -Hawkins Predator 5Weapon Screenwriter Shane Black as “Hawkins” in John McTiernan’s Predator (1987).
Photo Credit: Grantland

When Lethal Weapon Screenwriter Shane Black wrote the original script at just 23 years old (and then sold it for $250,000 in 1984), his chief objective was to write a Dirty Harry­-esque “Urban Western” in which a violent protagonist (Riggs), someone “reviled for what he did, what he is capable of, [and] the things he believed in” is eventually recruited by the force’s top brass because ultimately he’s the only man that can truly solve the problem.

Talk about a legend being born, right?

So, without further adieu, let’s revisit and rank Richard Donner’s classic franchise, discuss the legacy of the Lethal Weapon franchise, look ahead to the upcoming Lethal Weapon 5, and, of course, dig into a couple of everyday carry lethal weapons that you’re going to want to get your hands on right away because when it comes to talking about Lethal Weapon, well, us Gallantry Men are never (and we mean ever) too old to talk about this s***.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 6Extremely lethal marksman and martial artist Detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) shows Detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) what time it is at the shooting range in Lethal Weapon.
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

1ST PLACE

LETHAL WEAPON (1987)/LETHAL WEAPON 2 (1989) DRAW

“I don’t make things complicated. That’s the way they get all by themselves.”

- Riggs, Lethal Weapon

Look, there’s no two ways about it. The first two Lethal Weapon flicks are just some of the most badass movies ever made.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 -Lethal Weapon 2 7Riggs never forgets an a******.
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Though Lethal Weapon 2 may have a slight edge over the first in certain regards (it’s darker, at times better written, and has even better action sequences than the first one), the original Weapon is still the flick that provides the franchise with its incredible origin story, in turn introducing us to two of the best characters ever to hit the big screen.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 -Lethal Weapon 8Riggs pays a visit to his late wife in Lethal Weapon.
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Lethal Weapon, which follows Riggs and Murtaugh as they investigate the death of the daughter of one of Murtaugh’s Vietnam vet friends, Michael Hunsaker (Tom Atkins), grossed over $120 million ($65,207,127 domestic, $55,000,000 international) on a budget of just $15 million.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 2 9Riggs and Murtaugh are back in Lethal Weapon 2, eager to bag a corrupt South African diplomat using his immunity to cover-up a massive smuggling operation.
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

“[Lethal Weapon 2] doesn't seem like a sequel, but like a movie in which new discoveries are always possible.”

- Roger Ebert

Lethal Weapon 2, which follows Riggs and Murtaugh as they balance protecting an exasperating but funny federal witness, Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) and investigating South African drug smugglers hiding behind diplomatic immunity, grossed nearly $228 million ($147,253,986 domestic, $80,600,000 international) on a budget of $30 million.

Suffice to say, these movies were massive blockbuster smash hits.

Some chief reasons include epic villains like Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey), L.A.-based consul-general Arjen Rudd (Joss Ackland), and security agent Pieter Vorstedt (Derrick O’Connor)...

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 10Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

I had butterflies… I’d never played a bad guy. And no one had seen me since I'd lost 60 pounds and got back into shape. But I decided to take the initiative in order to have the opportunity to work with Dick, Joel, Mel, and Danny. I'm constantly looking for someone to pull the best performance out of me and any of those guys could. They even talked me into dyeing my hair.

- Gary Busey (Mr. Joshua), E!

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 2 11Riggs, having learned that Vorstedt killed his late wife, sets out for vengeance in Lethal Weapon 2.
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

I’m surprised you haven’t heard of me. I got a bad reputation. Like sometimes I just go nuts. Like now. Haha!

- Riggs, Lethal Weapon 2

A hilarious sidekick in the form of Leo “Ok! Ok!” Getz (who makes his first appearance in Lethal Weapon 2)…

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 2 12Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

The creation of the Getz character is the movie's masterstroke; instead of recycling scenes in which the two partners fight with each other, ‘Lethal Weapon 2’ provides a third character who can exasperate both men. Pesci, who was brilliant as the younger brother in ‘Raging Bull,’ provides an entirely different kind of character here - ingratiating, slimy, self-deprecating, lovable. He gives us a counterpoint to the violence, and Gibson and Glover both have fun playing off of him.

- Roger Ebert

Watch all the times Leo Getz says “Ok” in the Lethal Weapon movies HERE!

Smoking hot babes like Rika van den Haas (Patsy Kensit)…

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 2 13“Can you show me all of your everyday carry from Gallantry again, darling?”
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Scenes like the one where Murtaugh narrowly escapes getting blown up while sitting on the john…

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Murtaugh Lethal Weapon 2 14"I'm gonna die on the toilet, aren't I?"
- Murtaugh, Lethal Weapon 2
Photo Credit: YouTube
Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Riggs Lethal Weapon 2 15“Guys like you don’t die on toilets.”
- Riggs, Lethal Weapon 2

Knee-slapping moments like the one where Murtaugh realizes that the commercial gig that his daughter scored is actually for, you guessed it, condoms…

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 2 16Photo Credit: YouTube

And many, many more!

Watch the trailer for Lethal Weapon HERE and watch the trailer for Lethal Weapon 2 HERE.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 -Lethal Weapon 3 17 Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

You selfish bastard. You're just thinking about yourself! What about me? We're partners. We are partners! What happens to you, happens to me. After all the s*** we've been through. Don't you get it? Don't you get it?! When you retire, you're not just retiring you. You're retiring us. You're retiring us… You're the only family I've got! I've got three beautiful kids. I love them. They're yours. Trish does my laundry. I live in your icebox. I live in your life! What am I gonna do? What am I supposed to do?

- Riggs, Lethal Weapon 3

2nd PLACE

LETHAL WEAPON 3 (1992)

Lethal Weapon 3, which follows LAPD Sergeants Riggs and Murtaugh teaming up with old pal Leo Getz and Internal Affairs Sergeant Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) in order to catch Jack Travis (Stuart Wilson), a former LAPD lieutenant turned ruthless black market arms dealer less than a week before Murtaugh’s retirement, grossed over $320 million ($144,731,527 domestic, $177,000,000 international) on a $35 million budget.

The most successful Weapon of the franchise, highlights of Lethal Weapon 3 include the return of Leo Getz and the addition of Rene Russo as Riggs’ new love interest.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 3 18Meet Jack Travis (Stuart Wilson), former cop turned lawless gun smuggler.
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 3 Sergeant Lorna Cole 19“Tell me more about your everyday carry collection from Gallantry, Riggs”
- Sergeant Lorna Cole (Rene Russo), maybe, Lethal Weapon 3
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Watch the trailer for Lethal Weapon 3 HERE.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 4 20Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

3rd PLACE

LETHAL WEAPON 4 (1998)

Lethal Weapon 4, which follows Riggs and Murtaugh teaming up with Getz (now a private eye), Cole, and Murtaugh’s wisecracking future son-in-law, Detective Lee Butters (Chris Rock), as they attempt to take down vicious Chinese mobster Wah Sing Ku (Jet Li), grossed over $285 million ($130,444,603 domestic, $155,000,000 international) on a whopping $140 million budget.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 4 21Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Sprawling action sequences. Hilarious Chris Rock and Joe Pesci scenes. The introduction of Jet Li to American audiences.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Riggs and Chinese mobster Wah Sing Ku 22Riggs and Chinese mobster Wah Sing Ku (Jet Li) get into it.
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Yeah. Lethal Weapon 4 definitely has got the goods.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 4 23“Look at my suit. Look at my tie. What do I look like? The f*****’ Crips accountant? Look at this badge, b****. Check out the gun!”
Photo Credit: YouTube

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 4 24“Ok! Ok! Put the gun down!”
Photo Credit: YouTube

Watch the most uproarious Detective Butters and Leo Getz scenes from Lethal Weapon 4 HERE and HERE, and then watch the trailer for Lethal Weapon 4 HERE!

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 -Lethal Weapon 2 25 Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

THE LEGACY OF LETHAL WEAPON

To say that Lethal Weapon is one of the most influential movies of all-time is an understatement. Sure there were buddy flicks before it (see 48 Hrs.), but Weapon is notable for a) being solely about cops and b) totally raising the bar for what a buddy cop Action Comedy could be.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Tango and Cash 26Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Bad boys II 27Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Rush Hour 28Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Tango & Cash (watch the trailer HERE). Bad Boys (watch the Bad Boys II trailer HERE). Rush Hour (watch the trailer HERE). These are just a sample of the movies and franchises that came out after the release of Lethal Weapon that were clearly inspired by the superb pairing of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as Riggs and Murtaugh.

You heard it here, folks. The Lethal Weapon franchise is the best buddy cop Action franchise of all-time.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 4 29 Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

Yeah, I am directing [Lethal Weapon 5]. I’m really looking forward to it. I wish I wasn’t directing it. I wish Richard Donner was still here to do it, but he left us untimely and he actually asked me, he said ‘Hey kid, if I don’t make it, you’ll take the reins, huh?’ I told him to shut up. I think it’s an honor for me to be able to carry the flag for him. I called Danny up, of course, and said ‘Hey, dude, is it okay with you if I direct this?’ He said yeah, let’s go. I know Danny’s going to pull it off real well, too. He’s kind of like the show pony in this one.

- Mel Gibson, Entertainment Tonight

THE FUTURE OF LETHAL WEAPON

You heard it here, Gallantry Man Legends. Lethal Weapon 5, penned by Richard Wenk (The Equalizer, The Expendables) and set to be directed by Mel Gibson himself, is officially happening for HBO Max.

Read more about it HERE.

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 -Lethal Weapon 3 30“Pardon the interruption, fellas! A new issue of The Dispatch from Gallantry has just hit my inbox and it features the perfect Gallantry Man Lethal Weapon EDC Collection! Move! Move! Coming through!”
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

INTRODUCING THE GALLANTRY MAN

LETHAL WEAPON EDC COLLECTION!

That’s right. The ultimate Lethal Weapon spin-off has arrived and it is now officially time to star in your very own real-life Lethal Weapon movie, Gallantry Man style.

First up on the agenda is finding you, the Gallantry Man Legend that you are, the perfect mix of everyday carry lethal weapons.

Let’s take a look at our fine collection of everyday carry fighting knives and slingshots already, shall we?

LET’S GO!

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 1 31“I can’t believe it. Gallantry has The Black/Leather Ka-Bar 5018 Full Size USMC Fighting Knife in stock. I got to tell Murtaugh!”
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

THE KA-BAR 5018 FULL SIZE USMC FIGHTING KNIFE

KA-BAR 5018 FULL SIZE USMC FIGHTING KNIFE BLACK LEATHER

The KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife, iconic for decades, is exactly the knife you automatically think of when you hear the words "fighting knife".

This 5018 Full Size edition not only has the full 7" blade that you expect from a KA-BAR, but it also features a combo-edge, with a portion of the blade serrated. Constructed from powder-coated 1095 high carbon steel, you'll have the toughness that you need to tackle any task with this one, that’s for sure.

Whether you're feeling like Riggs or Murtaugh, this USMC Fighting Knife, comfortable to wield with its traditional leather oval-shaped handle and equipped with a durable glass-filled nylon sheath, has you covered.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Made in USA
  • 1095 high carbon steel clip point blade with blood groove
  • Partially serrated
  • USMC tang stamp
  • Oval, stacked leather handle with black epoxy powder coated carbon steel guard and butt
  • Includes glass-filled nylon sheath
  • Overall length: 11.875"
  • Blade length: 7"
  • Weight: 10.9 oz.

KA-BAR 5018 Full Size USMC Fighting Knife

KA-BAR 5018 Full Size USMC Fighting Knife

$139.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Iconic for decades, the KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife is exactly the knife you automatically think of when you hear the words "fighting knife". This edition, the 5018 Full Size USMC Fighting Knife, has the full 7" blade… read more

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 3 32“Hey, if you think that’s a clean shot, wait until you see the Straight and Serrated Ka-Bar USA Fighting Knives that Riggs bought me for Christmas. That’s right, boys. You guys are looking at a straight-up Gallantry Man Legend.”
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

THE KA-BAR USA FIGHTING KNIFE

KA-BAR USA FIGHTING KNIFE STRAIGHT

With a polymer oval-shaped handle that’s comfortable to wield, a matching Kydex sheath, and a full-sized 7" blade made from powder-coated 1095 Cro Van steel, the 1213 USA Fighting Knife features all the toughness you could ever possibly need to tackle any task.

Tang stamped with USA, you already know that this Lethal Weapon is American-made and American-loved.

Get some!

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Made in USA
  • 1095 Cro-Van high carbon steel clip point blade with blood groove
  • Straight blade
  • USA tang stamp
  • Oval, stacked polymer handle with black epoxy powder coated carbon steel guard and butt
  • Includes Kydex sheath with USA embossment
  • Overall length: 11.75"
  • Blade length: 7"
  • Weight: 1.3 lb.

KA-BAR USA Fighting Knife

KA-BAR USA Fighting Knife

$119.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Iconic for decades, the KA-BAR Fighting Knife is exactly the knife you automatically think of when you hear the words "fighting knife". This edition, the 1213 USA Fighting Knife, features a full-sized 7" blade made from powder-coated… read more

THE KA-BAR USA FIGHTING KNIFE

KA-BAR USA FIGHTING KNIFE SERRATED

With a polymer oval-shaped handle that’s comfortable to wield, a matching Kydex sheath, and a full-sized 7" blade made from powder-coated 1095 Cro Van steel, the 1214 USA Fighting Knife features all the toughness you could ever possibly need to tackle any task.

Tang stamped with USA, you already know that this Lethal Weapon is American-made and American-loved.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Made in USA
  • 1095 Cro-Van high carbon steel clip point blade with blood groove
  • Partially serrated blade
  • USA tang stamp
  • Oval, stacked polymer handle with black epoxy powder coated carbon steel guard and butt
  • Includes Kydex sheath with USA embossment
  • Overall length: 11.75"
  • Blade length: 7"
  • Weight: 1.3 lb.

KA-BAR USA Fighting Knife

KA-BAR USA Fighting Knife

$119.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Iconic for decades, the KA-BAR Fighting Knife is exactly the knife you automatically think of when you hear the words "fighting knife". This edition, the 1214 USA Fighting Knife, features a full-sized 7" blade made from powder-coated… read more

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 4 33“Haha! We’re getting the Black Hella Slingshot from Gallantry for the office, baby!”
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

THE HELLA SLINGSHOT

HELLA SLINGSHOT BLACK

Sure guerrilla forces once used it, but the truth is that the slingshot is most commonly remembered as a childhood toy.

Enter the Black Hella Slingshot, a modernized, handmade in San Francisco version of the one that you oh-so-fondly remember from your younger years now made with far superior craftsmanship.

A reliable self-defense weapon for backpacking, each one of these truly unique and dipped in black and white forked tree branches comes with a leather ammo pouch and natural latex bands.

Yeah. You’re going to want to have this Lethal Weapon on you ASAP.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Handmade from forked tree branches
  • Leather pouch
  • Natural latex bands
  • Made in San Francisco, CA
  • 8" - 10" L x 3" - 5" W

Hella Slingshot

Hella Slingshot

$28.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Although it was once used by guerrilla forces, the slingshot is most commonly remembered as a childhood toy. But the Black Hella Slingshot is a modernized version of the one you remember in your younger… read more

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 1 34“C’mooooon! We’ve got some movies to stream after we read the new Dispatch from Gallantry!”
- Detective Martin Riggs, probably, Lethal Weapon
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

STREAMING THE EDC LETHAL WEAPON

Watch all 4 of the classic Lethal Weapon flicks with a subscription to HBO MAX right HERE!

Ranking the Lethal Weapon Film Series 20220511 - Lethal Weapon 2 35“You only date Gallantry Man Legends, huh? Well, that’s good news for me because I’ve got a piping hot, fresh new issue of The Dispatch from Gallantry just waiting to be read by the two of us in my inbox, you know what I mean?”
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB.com

#GALLANTRYOKOK

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