“Lethal Weapon” is an absolute reference to the buddy movie. A true classic of the genre, Richard Donner’s cult film created an iconic duo: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Did you know that in the film, Mel Gibson took a big risk by using a loaded gun for a cult scene?
The lethal Weapon: the buddy movie reference
In 1987, filmmaker Richard Donner (Superman) stages the first opus of the saga The lethal Weapon. Carried by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, the feature film quickly becomes an absolute reference in terms of a buddy movie. The buddy movie is a particular style within detective films that depicts a duo of cops that everything opposes, who find themselves forced to work together in spite of themselves. A genre which today is emblematic and which has been strongly influenced by The lethal Weapon exactly. Today movies like bad boys, Hot Fuzz, Men in Black, or Tango & Cash would be nothing without the recipe The lethal Weapon.
With an Oscar nomination, The lethal Weapon becomes an instant classic. The feature film is a hit at the box office with more than $120 million in revenue (for an estimated budget of 15 million). A total triumph that pushes Warner to embark on a complete saga. Richard Donner will then return each time behind the camera to direct the three sequels to The lethal Weaponreleased in 1989, 1992, and 1998 respectively. In all, the Quadrilogy grossed over $950 million in box office receipts. Currently, Warner is in the process of producing a fifth film, which will be directed by Mel Gibson himself, who therefore succeeds Richard Donner, who passed away on July 5, 2021.
A blank ball for more thrills
In 1987, Mel Gibson is already an international star thanks to his participation in the trilogy mad max (1979, 1981, and 1985). He also toured in productions like River or The year of all dangers. But with The lethal Weaponhe is gaining even more notoriety. The role of Martin Riggs quickly becomes cult and stands as one of the most emblematic of his career. It must be said that the actor gave his all to embody this neurotic, unstable, and depressed policeman since the death of his wife.
Martin Riggs is a suicidal cop, as shown by Richard Donner for an unforgettable sequence. The protagonist finds himself alone in his trailer and tries to end his life. He puts a gun in his mouth, ready to fire, but can’t find the strength to pull the trigger, before bursting into tears. The American actor did not hesitate to take a huge risk for this scene. In order to increase the dramatic intensity of the sequence and especially of his performance, Mel Gibson asked the production to put a blank bullet in the gun. When the comedian puts the gun in his mouth, it is loaded! Enough to motivate him to offer an unforgettable performance. And we can say that this unorthodox method worked rather well. We leave you with the scene in question: