Blu-ray Review: Long Overdue ‘Lethal Weapon Collection’ is Spectacular Package

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CHICAGO – With surprisingly little fanfare, the “Lethal Weapon Collection” has finally been released stateside (after being available for some time overseas) and it’s a fantastic package with at least two films that have held up more spectacularly than you probably remember and some great special features.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Perhaps it’s because so many films that followed it mimicked the buddy comedy formula of 1987’s “Lethal Weapon” but I didn’t remember Richard Donner’s film being nearly as good as it is now that I’ve caught up with it a quarter-century later. (Yes, I feel old too.) The movie itself has held up incredibly well and a great HD transfer certainly helps. Gibson was at the top of his movie star charisma game here and Donner perfectly paces a very smart film, the kind of adult-action that isn’t made often enough any more. You really can’t say this about nearly as many ’80s movies as you think — if “Lethal Weapon” came out today, it would still be a smash hit.

“Lethal Weapon 2” has also held up better than you may remember and even “3” and “4” seem downright solid when compared to the late-franchise entries in most modern blockbuster series (it certainly helped to have Donner direct all four movies…an increasingly rare situation). Warner Bros. has gone all out with all four films as they each look fantastic in HD and come with their own special features.

However, the most impressive special features come on a separate disc under the banner “I’m Too Old For This S**t: Lethal Weapon and the Hollywood Monster It Created.” Recorded in 2010, the four documentaries assembled focus on each of the four films with interviews with most of the major players including not only Danny Glover, Mel Gibson, and Richard Donner, but Rene Russo, Chris Rock, and many of the key behind-the-scenes contributors. There’s clear affection for these films in this excellent series of retrospectives. It’s not hard to see why.

Lethal Weapon Collection was released on Blu-ray on May 22, 2012
Lethal Weapon Collection was released on Blu-ray on May 22, 2012
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Special Features:
o Commentary by Director Richard Donner
o Theatrical Trailers
o Additional Scenes
o Honeymoon Suite - “Lethal Weapon” Music Video
o “Stunts and Action”
o Sting and Eric Clapton - “It’s Probably Me” Music Video
o “Pure Lethal: New Angles, New Scenes and Explosive Outtakes”
o “I’m Too Old For This S**t: Lethal Weapon and the Hollywood Monster It Created”

“Lethal Weapon Collection” stars Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo, Joe Pesci, and Chris Rock. All four films were directed by Richard Donner. It was released on Blu-ray on May 22, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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