I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

48 Hours + Another 48 Hours

the complete 96 hour saga

48 HOURS is a well made and highly influential movie, but I think you sort of had to be there. Today about 30-42 hours of it holds up.

Coming 5 years before LETHAL WEAPON this is the father of the ’80s interracial buddy movies. The premise is that edgy cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte), in a desperate ploy to stop a killer, manages to get custody of convict Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) for two days to help him with the case. Of course they hate each other until they slowly earn each other’s respect. It’s cop vs. criminal, white vs. black, etc. Part of the fun is watching them flip each other shit and get in fights, although it gets uncomfortable because Nolte uses most of the racial slurs he knows – yes, including the N-word. He later apologizes and says he was just doing his job of keeping Reggie down – I’m not sure what that’s meant to say about cops but you can interpret it how you want.

48 Hrs.I really like the look and feel of this movie, very gritty, not at all a comedy. It’s Eddie Murphy’s first film role and he gives a good performance as a two bit con man. Even though he’s the criminal he’s kind of prissy compared to Nolte. They both wear suits but he looks more like a yuppie. So it’s not entirely convincing when he beats up on Nolte a little. But when it’s just them insulting each other he can clearly hold his own.

Nolte’s character Jack is the text book burnt out cop. The boss is pissed at him, the other people on the force are fed up with him, he has to lie to get what he wants, he carries around a flask of booze, his girlfriend is about to dump his ass, and he’s always making Wimpy-from-Popeye style promises – I’ll fill out a report tomorrow. Obviously that’s the perfect character for Nolte, because he’s dragged himself through alot of dirt and has the face and the voice to show for it. He’s definitely the highlight of the movie.

There’s also a good team of bad guys here, with James Remar (working with Walter Hill again after THE WARRIORS) and Sonny Landham (PREDATOR) playing the two psychotic killers. David Patrick Kelly also returns from THE WARRIORS even playing a character with the same name, Luther. I’m not sure he’s the same guy though, I can’t really reconcile that.

So it seems like there’s everything you need here for a great action thriller type of movie, but not quite. I think the main thing missing is the action. I mean it’s there, but it’s pretty generic. Not real big or intense, mostly just standard shootouts. At least you can tell what’s going on, but I don’t know. Hard to get too thrilled about.

And while Murphy does a good job in the role you can see in retrospect that he didn’t get as much of a chance to be funny as in later movies. There really aren’t many laughs. Worse, he spends most of the movie talking about pussy. The joke is he just got out of the joint, but it gets old fast. Plus I just do not buy the scene where a woman he walks up to in a bar agrees on the spot to go across to a hotel and have sex with him. I mean, the guy is not Usher.

ANOTHER 48 HOURS came 8 years later. Murphy was now a long since established movie star with many hits under his belt. Nolte in real life was trying to stop drinking. Hill was coming off the forgettable Mickey Rourke picture JOHNNY HANDSOME. Why the fuck not take the buddy movie to the next level?

Another 48 Hrs.Well, this isn’t a great one either but I would argue that it’s a little more fun than the first one. Or at least a little less dated. The audience of 1990 expected a movie to kick one’s ass more and harder than it did in 1982. So part 2 has a little more bang. Take for example the re-introduction of Nolte’s Jack Cates. He follows a suspect onto the site of a dirt bike race. When he tries to make an arrest the suspect shoots at him, he shoots back and a gas pump catches fire, barbecuing the guy alive. The other suspect runs and he tries to follow, but ends up hopping back and forth dodging motorbikes. Now that’s what we want to see! Guns, explosions, motorcycles – these are elements you do not get in a close quarters hotel hallway shootout. Pay attention, 1982. You could learn something.

The villain this time is supposed to be Remar’s brother. He’s played by Andrew Divoff in a role not nearly as asinine as the one he plays in those stupid WISHMASTER movies. He leads a trio of long-haired rock star-lookin bikers who seem more like cowboys in THE PROPOSITION than actual bikers. And in fact the whole opening of the movie is clearly played as a western, with a butch lady copy (the sherriff) driving (riding) into the desert, strolling into a diner (saloon) and getting shot by bikers (cowboys). You’d really think at least one of these biker’s would be played by William Forsythe, if not all three of them, but unfortunately it’s some other guys.

Reggie is just getting out of the joint now, even though the other movie said he had two years. They added on 5 years for another charge. Cates still has Reggie’s Porsche and his share of the money but tells him he won’t get it if he doesn’t help him with his new case, finding a mysterious drug dealer called The Ice Man. The Ice Man has hired those bikers to kill Reggie because, it turns out, the money he stole was from The Ice Man and also because he knows what The Ice Man looks like.

The great sleazeball-character actor Kevin Tighe (rhymes with TODAY YOU DIE) plays an internal affairs officer riding Cates’s balls in a not-so-subtle manner. Tighe played a nice paramedic on the old TV show EMERGENCY but in these types of movies he’s always a grade-A prick with only one dimension to his personality. The prick dimension. When he tells Cates “I bet you think I enjoy this” he is smiling, to show that he enjoys this.

Murphy does get to be funny a few times. I think the best part is when his opponent runs out of bullets so he makes a big show of taking his time and gingerly taking aim for his next shot. There’s kind of an ongoing joke about him having a bad day – when his car gets blown up Cates tells him “Ah hell, you’re havin a bad day” and later in a bar he pulls a gun and gives everybody a lecture about everything that’s happened to him on his bad day. If any young people see this it will blow their fuckin minds to see Eddie Murphy being kind of funny and dressed in male clothes of his own size.

Well I don’t know man, I kind of like these movies. But not all that much. Maybe if they do WHAT THE HELL, ANOTHER 48 HOURS, WHY NOT? some day they’ll finally knock it out of the park.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, April 11th, 2008 at 4:00 am and is filed under Action, Comedy/Laffs, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

69 Responses to “48 Hours + Another 48 Hours”

  1. I dunno, I thought these worked a bit better than the LETHAL WEAPON movies, which I also just watched for the first time. I think they hold up better anyway, they seem less dated. Maybe just because no one’s hair in 96 HOURS is as ridiculous as Gibson’s in LETHAL WEAPON. Like those movies the plots aren’t as important as the character dynamics, but I liked that ANOTHER 48 HOURS attempts to preserve continuity and extends the plot of 48 HOURS. I like the character interactions between Nolte and Murphy ever so slightly better than Gibson and Glover. I think Walter Hill handles the action scenes better than Richard Donner, especially in ANOTHER 48 HOURS (that scene where the bikers rip through the screen of the porno theater for instance). I REALLY like the way they’re shot, really gritty but with enough neon to let you know you’re in the eighties. I approve of these HOURS’.

  2. Gwai Lo: I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I actually really dislike the first LETHAL WEAPON movie. In my opinion, LETHAL WEAPON is like a bloated, unfocussed, melodramatic, poorly acted re-make of 48 HOURS. I’d cut it more slack if the action was any good, but I think LETHAL WEAPON fails on that front too. And the relationship between Gibson’s character and Glover’s daughter was so creepy I never bothered with the sequels.

  3. I liked the first LETHAL WEAPON ok but I definitely agree with all your points: bloated, unfocused, melodramatic, etc. Maybe it’s because I’m finally getting around to these films in a time when theatrical action movies are nearly incomprehensible, but I’m finding these aspects kinda endearing. And as for the 96 HOURS pictures, they have solid acting, plotting, cinematography, action, soundtracks, etc. etc. Practically unheard of these days, so they’ve undated themselves maybe.

    I myself experienced diminishing returns with the LETHAL WEAPON sequels though so I don’t even know if I’d suggest bothering with them. The action gets bigger but not necessarily better. Case in point, part two features a scene where Gibson hooks up some cable or something between the roof of a house and his car and then pulls the whole thing down. The scene apparently cost an ass-load of money, but I think that scene I mentioned with the bikers simply riding their motorcycles through the porno screen is way more cinematic action filmatism. And speaking of part 2 it’s got a pretty dunderheaded idea of how far “diplomatic immunity” gets you. Part 2 is the best of the sequels though, if you don’t like that one don’t bother with 3 or 4.

  4. I’m a fan of Jet Li, so I was tempted to watch whichever LETHAL WEAPON sequel he was in, particularly after his performance was regarded as nuanced by several people I tend to trust. But sometimes being a fan doesn’t mean you have to be obsessive. Or at least that’s the reason I provide when asked why I never bothered with THE ONE and KISS OF THE DRAGON. God knows watching Li fight a midget in ROMEO MUST DIE didn’t help me appreciate his art.

  5. I’m not necessarily head over heels with LETHAL WEAPON or anything, but I would disagree that the relationship between Gibson and Glover’s daughter is creepy. She has a crush on him, he seems to find it amusing/flattering and likes and respects here in a platonic way and it never goes any further than that. All seems innocent and quite believable to me.

    (BTW is it pathetic that I find Riggs telling Murtaugh “I’ve got three kids, I love them, they’re yours” in LETHAL WEAPON 3 genuinely quite moving? Because I do)

    As for the 48 HRS movies I’m not too hot on them. Maybe I need to watch the first again some time, but I just remember it as being an OK now fairly generic action movie with a couple of funny scenes. The second one was pretty much a washout after a promising first twenty minutes or so. It redifines “retread”. The first couple of BEVERLY HILLS COP movies offer a lot more early Murphy fun in a similar vein, even though I wouldn’t recommend using the scripts in a screenwriter’s class.

  6. caruso_stalker217

    March 18th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I know I’m six months late to this discussion, but for Christ’s sake fellas LETHAL WEAPON 2 is the greatest sequel of all time.

    And, yeah, that was a good scene in LW3. Even if the film itself is pretty damn bland.

  7. I usually like Jareth’s points, but I gotta say I don’t know what’s so creepy about Riggs and Murtaugh’s daughter in LW1. She has a crush on him, the kid brother calls her out on it in front of everyone, and then that’s about it. If anything, I think it was to show the wild streak with Rhiann (or was it Trish? I keep getting the names of the Murtaughs confused) – she just got busted smoking pot, she’s making googly eyes at a guy who looks like Mel Gibson, it’s typical teenage stuff that foreshadows her staying out with her friends too late and then getting kidnapped.

    I can see why some people think LW is unfocused – the conspiracy about the badguys and their relation to the suicide at the beginning is about as convoluted as Above the Law, but I actually kinda like the first half better, when it’s a police procedural, not an action movie, and Riggs and Murtaugh are just learning about each other, finding out what they have in common instead of what makes them different. I’d still recommend the sequels, there really is some great chemistry between Gibson and Glover that transcends the idiot plots of 3 and 4.

    As for the 48 Hours movies – SPOILER – if I remember correctly, the identity of the Iceman made no sense. (didn’t they start shooting this movie without a finished script too?) And one thing that alot of people didn’t like about Another 48 Hours was that Cates and Reggie hated each other again, apparently not caring about anything they went through in the first one. I think LW2 shows that you can make a buddy movie where they’re actually BUDDIES still interesting and fun.

  8. I agree with Vern about the grittiness and lack of comedy in the first film. It’s pretty surprising given what Murphy would go on to do, and there’s a few things in it that shocked me having expected that sort of thing, like Cates calling Reggie the N-Word at one point, though there’s a pretty funny bit later on the movie where Cates’ black captain does the same and when everyone reacts shocked he goes “Yeah, you heard what I called him!”.

  9. The one thing I really hate about the first LETHAL WEAPON is the ending. Even by 80’s action movie rules it is stupid, that Riggs and Gary Busey would wrestle it out on Murtaugh’s front lawn, while all the cops just stand there and let them do their macho thing.
    Oh, and btw, Jet Li’s part 4 villain is one of the greatest action movie villains ever! One of the rare kind that really is so superior to the heroes, that they seriously consider to just go home and let him escape at the end. And it’s totally understandable!

  10. The ending of Lethal Weapon 2 is pretty stupid too if you think about it. By rights, Riggs and Murtaugh should be ought of a job, or at least severely demoted, but in the third movie there’s no indication anything happened to them as a consequence of their actions for causing an international incident. It’s only in LW 4 that they get any sort of serious punishment for something, and that’s just property damage! Also, given Gibson’s recent problems, it makes watching Riggs make fun of people for being racist just feel weird.

  11. Has anyone ever seen Shane Black’s original LW2 script, where Riggs dies at the end? Apparently, it’s powerful stuff and vastly better than what we eventually got on screen.

    I just can’t take to the LW sequels, try as I might. They all have good moments, for sure, and are not totally awful or anything but I love LW1 so much they simply can’t compare.

    BTW, the very last scene in LW was meant to be Murtagh kicking the shit outta some guy for backtalking him. It was filmed, too, and is (only in part) in the “Pure Lethal” doc that comes with LW4.

    As for the 48 HOURS films, having just watched them back to back they hold up well – part 1 more so than 2.

    The language is still astonishing in 1 – the N word flying like bullets. Like someone up above said, no way could they make that flick anything like that now.

    And yeah, the whole “Iceman” thing in 2 – totally dumb.

  12. Yeah, but the LW 2 ending works at least from an action movie point of view. Plus: The villains murdered a half dozen cops in their homes, so I doubt that any jury would plead Riggs and Murtaugh guilty. But yeah, just like it has been noted before, it’s incredible how wrong the movie (and almost every other movie) gets diplomatic immunity.

  13. Well, If LETHAL WEAPON 2 has tought us anything, it´s that you can´t get diplomatic immunity from headshots

  14. is there nobody out there who loves LW4? Am I alone in this godforsaken universe on this one? It has a great villain in Jet Li, Chris Rock and Joe Pesci has great comedic interplay. the action is plenty and spectatular (granted, they are retarded. Especially the one with the shark and Murtaughs sinking vessel.Not to mention the chickendance.) and it just feels like they had fun making it (like MAVERICK,also a fucking forgotten movie!).
    i think it´s “bloody marvellous!”

  15. CJ: Regarding the ending of LW1, I must remind you that these are L.A. cops. Pre-Rodney King L.A. cops. Pre-Rodney King L.A. cops with their hands on a cop killer who also kidnapped a cop’s daughter and destroyed his house. Gary Busey got off light, is what I’m saying. In real life, it wouldn’t have just been Gibson whaling on him on the front lawn while nobody did anything.

  16. Personally, I go for the LW movies,instead of the 48 hours. Jack and Cates are just being assholes to each other, while the Riggs/Murtaugh relationship starts at mistrust but develops a helleva lot more into pure and deep friendship. i think for me emotionally the LW “saga” resonates to me more.

  17. I meant Jack and reggie of course

  18. The LW series turns into a bizarre form of action-sitcom. Each sequel is like a new season, in which a wacky new character is introduced to create opportunities for new shenanigans. By the next sequel/season, that character is absorbed into the cast like a family member, and a new one must be introduced to shake up the status quo. Like any sitcom, most will agree that it jumps the shark somewhere along the way (the dentist office scene?) but if you have loved and followed the characters the way I do, you put up with the drop in quality just to hang out with them some more, and there are always a couple top notch scenes (episodes?) to compensate.

  19. Mr Majestyk – I couldn´t have put it into words better

  20. Well, pretty much EVERY character returns at one point on the Lethal Weapon series! Even if it’s just for a cameo! Like the bomb squad guy from part 2, who returns in part 3, just to say one line to Riggs in the bathroom.

    Also I wouldn’t say I love Lethal Weapon 4, but I really like it.

  21. LW: Classic. Riggs & Murtaugh develop chemistry like we’ve never seen before. Shane Black’s dialogue, the true star here in an excellent action movie, is hilarious, manly, & pregnant with detail. In a dazzling display of sarcastic negations of compliments that surely makes Aaron Sorkin jealous and manly minispeeches that surely impress John Milius, as well as some “your wife’s lousy cooking” jokes, these 2 partners become amazing friends right before our ears. Few movies thoroughly impress me with their writing. LW’s script is a stud.
    -Also, I like how Riggs goes on foot to chase down the bad guys in their cars on the freeway at the end, iIrc. Big ups to cardiovascular fitness!

    LW2: Awesome. Just try not to figure out why a guy would leave a note for his bomb victim.
    LW3: Very nice.
    LW4: Ugh. But I liked the plastic sheeted mobile home on the interstate scene! And I like how Riggs & Murtaugh finally convince each other to confront Jet Li at the end. “How’d he do that?” {They say a lot with their eyes here — resignation, reluctance, pissed offness at Riggs’s eagerness, “I’m too old for this shit”ism, determination, sense of justice, sense of probable doom.} “Well. Let’s go ask him.”

    ****************************************

    48 HRS.: Loved it. “Alright listen up! I don’t like white people. I hate rednecks. You people are rednecks. That means I’m enjoying this shit.”
    +48 HOURS: Not bad.

  22. How can anybody like LW3 over LW4? At least part 4 made sense and had a seriously great villain! I think the beginning of part 3 is maybe my most hated moment of the whole series. I just can’t understand why Riggs would at this point in his life play with a bomb and risk not only his life, but also his partner’s and best friend’s, just for shits and giggles.

  23. CJ – Nice to hear. i believe that LW4 has gotten an unfair treatment by a lot of critics (pfft..critics! What do they know?) . The laughing gas scene is pure genius!

  24. 85% of LW4 felt like a bad TV show. Tori Spelling would have fit right in. The shark? They just toss a gun into the water? The cutesy Chinese kids? The overstretched “gay” subplot? The Pesci “THEY FUCK YOU!” rant & bonding moment with Chris Rock? The dentist? And that photograph finale in the hospital? And that ending credits song? Wretched. Just wretched.

    I demand an apology from this thread for making me remember LETHAL WEAPON 4.

  25. It’s also a bit weird to me how they reveal Riggs and Murtaugh are both Vietnam vets in LW, but rather than use it to have the two of them bond, it just seems to be there so Riggs can recognise the Special Forces guys who are the villains, and Murtaugh can have an old war buddy who’s working with them.
    “How can anybody like LW3 over LW4? At least part 4 made sense and had a seriously great villain! I think the beginning of part 3 is maybe my most hated moment of the whole series.”
    But Part 4’s beginning has no real point to it, and has some guy in bulletproof armour going on a rampage in downtown LA for reasons unexplained!

  26. Don´t take the series to seriously. that´s my motto.You eitherlove it or hate it. But the first one is clearly the best in terms of a good movie. The second still has it´s dark moments,but Pesci´s entry into the series gives it a more lighthearted feel. Why anyone can hate these movies is beyond me. Go watch MAMA DRACULA and then tell me how much you hate these movies!

  27. Sheesh man, you make it sound like the film was full of kids, doing cutesy stuff, when they (at the moment I’m not even sure if it was more than one!) only appeared in only three or four short scenes and one (maybe the only one) even did something in only one of them!
    And yeah, everybody laughs about different stuff, but I thought the “do we want Leo to shoot the shark” scene pretty funny. On the other hand, I didn’t think the gay joke was that funny, although it was a throwaway joke, that didn’t even deserve to be called “subplot”, so I don’t mind.
    About Chris Rock I’m a little bit torn either, because at one hand he fit pretty well into the cast, but on the other hand the movie stops cold three times to let him do a quick stand up routine. Although these short breaks are at least funny.
    But seriously man, you hate the photo ending? It’s a little bit cheesy, but it’s a good ending for a series full of so many characters, that we (in some cases literally) saw grow up in every single part!
    Also they finally figured out how to use Joe Pesci right.

  28. You have a good point there ,Stu. The whole Vietnam backstory is never mentioned again.Neither is Riggs martial arts training. Still he gets the living shit kicked out of him by Jet Li and others

  29. I´m rewatching LW4 right now and I´m still amazed at jet Li´s performance. He is not very big. But his physical presence is hard felt, because you get the feeling he can kill you with a single blow. Great performance and his stone-cold gaze pierce through anything.

  30. I’ll watch LW 1-3 a thousand times each before I rewatch LW4 once.

    And that didn’t sound like an apology, CJ.

  31. I like LW4. On the whole I think it’s better than 3 (although there are parts of 3 that are probably better than anything in 4). I think what turned a lot of people against it was its smug attitude. I think they thought these characters were much closer to the world’s hearts than they actually were. The “we’re a family” ending, all the effort they put into giving these characters a grand send off. I mean the tagline was literally “The Gangs all here”*. How attached to Rene Russo’s character were most people after her 15 minutes or so of screentime in Part 3? How attached were they to the character they hadn’t even seen Chris Rock play yet? It was LETHAL WEAPON 4 not STAR TREK VI.

    *Well that was one of about four taglines, all of which are competitors for the worst tagline for an A-list film ever

  32. Hey,Mouth? Remember LETHAL WEAPON 4…?

  33. I guess if you don’t here anything from me anymore, Mouth found out where I live.

  34. The end at the cemetary when Leo and Riggs are having a very intimate ( in a friendly way) conversation is really LW at it´s heart. It´s about friendship…..well either that or I´m to damn drunk.

  35. First the flirting a few days ago, and now CJ invites me to her house for some kinky shit.

    You are one crazy German broad.

  36. I´m getting emotional now, reaching the end of LW4. ´Cause I won´t get to see more of these guys again……

  37. Oh come on Mouth, why can’t we be friends? Why can’t we be friends? Why can’t be friends? Why can’t we be friends?

  38. I’m too old for this shit.

  39. Am I sensing a catfight..?

  40. Definitely smells of pussy here. . .

    Sorry, that was too easy & too crass. Couldn’t resist, though. Maybe I’m not so old after all.

  41. caruso_stalker217

    March 19th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I don’t think anyone can blame LETHAL WEAPON 2’s ending because the third film never addressed what happened afterward. As someone said the original ending had Riggs dying, which would have stopped the series right there. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it said anywhere, but I’m sure they actually shot this ending before the producers decided they wanted more movies. Riggs clearly dies on screen while muttering “Rodge” which is kinda fucked up that his buddy wasn’t there when he died. That helicopter (or was it a crane?) shot at the end shows Murtaugh holding what I believe to be a dead Riggs.

    I like the final ending because it’s such a great buddy moment and George Harrison’s “Cheer Down” is the best fucking ending song ever in a movie. I think the original ending would’ve been good if they’d went with it, but I think the ending we got fit the movie better.

    Also, does anybody remember hearing about a movie Richard Donner was going to direct with Gibson and Glover, where Gibson would be playing a guy getting out of prison and Glover was his buddy on the outside? I remember reading about it maybe eight or nine years ago, but nothing ever came of it.

  42. I’ll second the awesomeness of “Cheer Down.” Totally pleased that one was included later in Harrison’s solo compilation album.

    As for LW2, the story I remember is that the Shane Black draft had Riggs dying. But later rewrites (like Warren THE DESTROYER Murphy) kept him alive. I think that was a Donner/Silver call there.

    Come to think of it, “Your license has been revoked!” is the sort of line and mentality Murphy would have churned out. As well as Black.

    ~And in off-topic irony, LW2 came out in summer 1989. What else came out that summer? the James Bond picture LICENSE TO KILL. The original title? LICENSE REVOKED. Just saying.

  43. The FIRST movie has an alternate ending where after everything’s resolved, Riggs decides to leave LA, so the partnership ended there too. And LW2 had another ending where Patsy Kensit’s character never died and joins Riggs and the Murtaughs for dinner. Blech.

  44. And it wasn’t “You license has been revoked!” Wasn’t the line, it was “It’s just been revoked!” in reference to the Diplomatic Immunity. Still anvilicious, just not AS bad.

  45. caruso_stalker217

    March 19th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    “DIP-LO-MA-TIC IMMUNE-EH-TEE!”

  46. What’s the consensus on “He got de-kaffer-nated”?

  47. caruso_stalker217

    March 19th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I thought it was nice that Murtaugh was able to get a pun into the series. That is typically Riggs’ area.

    “So what does Infernal Repairs what with our guy?”

  48. I totally never got de-kaffer-nated until just now. This is why I love this board.

  49. Wow I have no recollection of ever posting on this thread even though apparently I did. Just saw 48 Hrs. for the first time in maybe 20 years, and like Alien, Blade Runner, and Grape Nuts, I think you really have to be an adult to appreciate it. (Alien and 48 Hrs. also both have bigger and more “crowd-pleasing” sequels that I liked better as a kid but don’t like quite as much now)

    Stuff that bothered me as a kid, like the lack of action and the underdeveloped villain, seem like cool 70s-style minimalism now. The back-and-forth dialogue and the acting is the real highlight anyway. I mean, the villain disappears for over half the movie(!) but we don’t even notice b/c the two leads are so awesome. Plus I also liked how Annette O’Toole’s character had nothing to do with anything – her character could have easily been cut out of the movie without really changing the story, but I liked that they left her in – she’s one of the main reasons why we feel we know Cates so well at the end. (I’m sure a remake would end with Ganz kidnapping her or something)

    Oh – one more thing – there’s an unbroken continuous shot in the police station right after the hotel shootout I never noticed. It’s a great “just how good is he?” style exposition scene that sets up the plot and also great filmatism.

  50. Also Eddie Murphy was about the same age as Miley Cyrus is now when he filmed this movie. That’s insane.

  51. The lack of villain appearance is something that is common in action/comedy genre. Most of the LETHAL WEAPONS you almost forget about the Villain of The Week because of how much you enjoy the company of the lead characters and their antics.

  52. That is the thing i totally love about LW. You are so invested in the characters that the crimeplot itself becomes completely redundant. The first one was about drugs,right?. Patr 2 about krugerrand. The third installment dealt with “copkiller-bullets” and the fourth one about forgery. But that is it. You remember the villains and what they are about. No character development. Only evil shit.

  53. Correction: LW 2 is also about Riggs redeeming his past and kills that Adolf Cocksucker responsible for the death of his wife. Damn! That movie is great!

  54. Since I was just talking about the crimeplots, I guess my previous correction was quite useless

  55. young Eddie Murphy was AWESOME AS FUCK.

    Then look at his poor choices and yeah, what happened?

  56. Both movies have been playing on the HBO channels lately so I watched them again a few weeks ago. The first one holds up pretty good IMO. I’m probably one of the few who thinks this is a better Eddie film than BEVERLY HILLS COP. This would have been pretty much a straight crime film if someone else had been cast, but he put enough of his humor into the role to make it more than that. Thus was the case for BHC too (Stallone famously was set to do it, hoping it would be his DIRTY HARRY). Eddie and Nick (at his growly surly best, or at least 2nd only to THIN RED LINE) have a better chemistry than the characters in BHC, especially as it doesn’t feel like it plays for laughs specifically (like it did in the BHC sequels, often to their detriment).

    One thing that bothered me about the boss dropping the N bomb is that he did it with a thumbs-up while he did it. That always struck me as odd.

  57. I love the wave of naming sequels ANOTHER [TITLE]. Too bad we never got to the YET ANOTHER trilogy wave. I’d love to see YET ANOTHER WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S.

    Watched 48 last night and really liked it for its gritty ’70s feel, not trying to be a comedy at all but having some funny parts, minimal action but solid in that. Last time I saw ANOTHER 48 I remember finding it boring. But I read 50 minutes got cut out including the entire role of the captain from the first movie, so now I’d be fascinated to see the extended version.

  58. The “ANOTHER” thing died out once the SCARY MOVIE franchise took ahold of it I think. There was also the TV Movie ANOTHER MIDNIGHT RUN too.

  59. Don’t forget Another 9 1/2 Weeks!

    On another related note – I know James Horner gets a lot of shit for recycling scores (like the Commando/48 Hrs/ Red Heat trilogy), but I just saw Cocoon for the first time yesterday and when his music for Star Trek II suddenly appears at the climax, I couldn’t help but smile. Shit, if more sci-fi movies used that score (and more action movies used the Commando score) the world would be a better place.

  60. Last year, I went on a business trip to Jamaica. Problem is, I don’t really like reggae, so one of the only albums I had to listen to with an island vibe was the 48 HRS score. Made going through customs way more epic, let me tell you.

  61. Horner re-used his ALIENS score in the Harrison Ford-as-Jack Ryan movies he did, too. And there’s even a little bit of 48 HRS in CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER. All good work though, I think at least. I said in regards to the latest Malick trailer that I understand the “derivative” criticism but if you’re being derivative of greatness, why stop?

  62. Majestyk – that’s a funny story. I went to the mall the other day and there inexplicably was a steel drum set lying around for kids to mercilessly bang on. All the adults looked tired and defeated already and I’m sure that was making it worse. I realized that if only I knew how to play the theme from Commando, every male in the mall at least would have perked up for a second.

    onthewall – man, I need to see those Jack Ryan movies again, just to hear the score.

    re: Cocoon, it’s awesome that Horner’s fantastic score was recycled in the Super 8 trailer. That was an incredible trailer, way better than the actual movie, and his score should get about 60% of the credit for it.

  63. neal: CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER is the more engaging of the two I think. And the score over the ambush sequence in the middle of the movie is a perfect bit of tense music over a rather brilliantly executed action scene.

  64. CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER is far better than PATRIOT GAMES, as is HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, though PATRIOT GAMES is passably entertaining, and from my experience of Mr. Clancy’s writing that still qualifies as alchemy. SUM OF ALL FEARS was a total snoozer though. I’m not sure about the forthcoming reboot; Chris Pine doesn’t excite me, nor does the title (JACK RYAN), but Costner raises a flicker of interest and I rate Branagh as a director. Cast Costner as Ryan, and I have been sold.

  65. The score was great. I was sure it was harold faltameyer until I looked it up.

    I generally prefer Patriot Games just because it was shot in Annapolis. Seeing Ford beat up a dude on a street I passed daily was cool. Also when he turns from main street onto a California highway.

    Funny about casting more interesting older actor in the supporting role, I thought the same about TOTAL REMAKE. cast Cranston as Quaid and now we’re talking.

  66. The original Paul

    December 26th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Well not sure how all this got into the “48hrs” thread, but I’m willing to go with it.

    First, “Patriot Games”, both novel and film, are pretty good. They work for me. The novel is one of the shortest Jack Ryan novels (not that the word “short” can be used in conjunction with just about anything Tom Clancy has written) and makes a good basis for a “straight” action film.

    “Hunt for Red October” is a very good novel and a very good film, although I wish they’d stuck with the “well-oiled machine” depiction of the US military instead of going down the route of “everybody shouts at each other to get stuff done” thing, which stands up REALLY badly today. I’d even go as far as to say that some of the over-the-top antagonism between Ryan and his boss kinda makes me wince. That aside, it’s a really tense and effective film.

    “Clear and Present Danger”, on the other hand, is an unexpectedly subtle novel translated into a boring film that’s also a total Harrison Ford ego-trip. Ryan is actually a fairly minor character in the novel, and to get Ford his screen-time in the film, he ends up being shoe-horned into scenes that the character wasn’t even present at in the novel. Which would be ok if the Jack Ryan of “Clear and Present Danger” wasn’t by far the most boring portrayal of any of the first three films (haven’t seen “Sum of all Fears” and I don’t particularly want to after some of the reviews it’s had). Yeah, there were a couple of good action scenes, but the novel strings its various set-pieces together with some effective thematic linking that the film doesn’t seem to “get”. I don’t think it’s bad so much as I don’t find much good in it.

    “Lethal Weapon 4″… no, it’s not by any means the same as the first two films. I don’t think it’s a bad film though, and it’s at least more interesting than LW3. I can see why the humour rubs Mouth up the wrong way, but I still like it myself. It also sets up one or two genuinely shocking moments (what happens to a pregnant woman in this film stuck with me).

  67. I’m also reminded of the IN LIVING COLOR spoof 48 HOURS AGAIN. Thats good titling.

    I rematched LETHAL 4 earlier this year when the Blu ray came out and still hated it. My problem is less that the characters changed and more that they don’t seem like characters at all. It’s the Mel and Danny show. I like LETHAL 3 for the evolution of the characters. Nice to see Riggs meet a woman who can hold her own, though Lorna Cole isn’t as badass now as she seemed in 1992.

    The dockyard fight in 4 is really well shot and edited though, but infuriating they forgot to even mention Riggs used to have some martial arts training, even if he hadn’t practiced since the Busey fight.

  68. Rewatched, but rematch works too. Franchise Fred vs LETHAL WEAPON 4 round 2!

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