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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround
    English, French, Spanish
  • Animated menus

Lethal Weapon 3 - Directors Cut

Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 116 mins . M15+ . PAL


When you're onto a good thing stick to it, right? Hmm, well when they put this third instalment in the Lethal Weapon series together they managed to break something. All the familiar ingredients are there, along with a couple of interesting additions, but in the end it just doesn’t have the enthral-factor that made the first two films so engaging and engrossing. Sure none of them have been particularly top-heavy in the plot department, however this one can be summarised in very few words.

Sergeant Roger Murtaugh is eight days away from retirement - yes, he finally considers he really is too old for this shit. However he's still coupled with his partner of years now, Martin Riggs, so the chances of a nice easy cruise to the lap of luxury are minimal at best. After a slight mishap with a bomb, he and Riggs are busted down to uniformed patrolmen, yet even then they can’t help but getting caught up in the action, finding themselves in the midst of an armoured car robbery, and, of course, another dangerous (but exciting) chase.

With six days to go, Murtaugh is fending off the advances of an amorous armoured car driver, dealing with Leo Getz as his realtor (yes, he's back) and he and Riggs' case has been taken over by one Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) of internal affairs. When a suspect is shot in the interrogation room however they get their badges back, and are teamed with Cole to track down a dirty ex-cop, one Jack Travis (Stuart Wilson), who just so happens to be the source of previously seized weapons that were due to be destroyed hitting the streets.

When Roger unwittingly shoots a friend of his son, who is found to have one of these weapons, it becomes personal. With only three days to go until retirement and the guilt of his shooting weighing on his mind a drunken binge on his boat is in order, and after an altercation with Riggs the two are back together and out for revenge on Travis. Meanwhile Riggs has met his virtual female alter ego in Cole, and after comparing wounds a romance blossoms. And that's about it.

"You have the right to remain unconscious. Anything you say ain't gonna be much."

Gibson and Glover have a fabulous rapport as usual, Pesci is as pesky as in Lethal Weapon 2, yet ironically although receiving almost equal billing with the two true stars he is hardly in this at all - not that you'll hear any complaints from this end about that. Russo is a good find, and takes to her role as a virtual Riggsette like a cop to a donut. Probably the biggest let down though is the baddie, Jack Travis. He just doesn’t have that super evilness about him that gave such an edge to the first two Lethal Weapon flicks. Sure, all the big booms, the chases - you know the drill by now - are here in their many and various forms, but the story flips and flops about, spending too much time arcing up the corniness to the detriment of any deeper motivations as we were accustomed to from the preceding films, so it almost all ends up like a series of sketches rather than anything resembling a cohesive story.


Yes! We get a 16x9 enhanced presentation in the original cinematic ratio of 2.35:1 once again - so far so good. In a similar fashion to the two other new 'director's cut' releases, sharpness is at the max with this transfer, with the trade-off being occasional outbreaks of quite distracting aliasing. Not as gritty or dark as the previous two films, in fact quite remarkably bright and sunny, things are handled very well colour-wise. Once again contrast and black levels are better than average, and with the slightly more recent vintage of this film specks are at a bare minimum. The layer change is certainly not easy to miss, however it is at least reasonably placed so as not to shatter the mood too much.


What do we want? Lots of groovy sound! When do we want it? NOW! And mercifully we get it here, with another fantastic feast for the ears. The 5.1 mix here keeps all six speakers honest, with the biffs, booms and thumps we expect from a film like this bouncing all around the room where appropriate, and the subwoofwoof eagerly padding things out with wondrous bone-jarring bass when called upon. As with the other entries in the series, synch is fine and the noise to dialogue ratio is balanced quite nicely, so you're never struggling to hear what's being said over a cacophony of effects.

Yet again the music is by Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton and David Sanborn, and once more it's pretty much the same mixture of rather bland and innocuous '80s-ish sounds, filling out the soundscape nicely, but never managing to actually be anything resembling interesting. You know the formula by now - there have to be a couple of pop songs, and in this case it's Sting, Elton John and even Boyz II Men that provide the incredibly forgettable tunes.


After getting at least something in the extras department on the Lethal Weapon 2 disc, you wouldn’t think it unreasonable that this, a later release film, would also have some sort of bonus goodies included. But no - there's zip, nada, nothing, a big fat zero - unless you're easily pleased by something as completely futile as a cast list which is totally non-interactive. Oh well, at least the animated menus are quite pleasant, I guess.


I get to say it one more time - if you purchased the earlier release of this then be annoyed, be very annoyed. Sure, there aren’t any added incentives in the way of extras, save for an extra three minutes or so of footage invisibly added to the feature, however the vision and audio has seen marked improvements.

A disappointing sequel to two absolute benchmarks of the action genre, Lethal Weapon 3 is still quite enjoyable on certain levels, but crosses the line from BDAF to BRDAF (Big REALLY Dumb Action Film), making it more of a toothless popcorn flick rather than a one with some bite. Oh well, popcorn's yukky anyway.

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      And I quote...
    "A disappointing sequel, more of a toothless popcorn flick rather than one with some bite..."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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