Welcome to Second Union’s “Films To Make You Festive”. For the majority of December, Second Union will be talking about our favorite “festive films” in an attempt to get our readers ready for the holiday season. Expect action, adventure and all the nostalgia a Christmas period can possibly produce!
There are certain films that will always hold a place in the deepest part of your being. Typically reserved for childhood classics, movies such as this inherently possess a sense of subjectivity and bias due to the consistently positive experiences had by those viewing it. One such film for me is Lethal Weapon.
Released in 1987, Lethal Weapon may not be considered a Christmas film in its truest sense, however, it is is one of the most endearing, entertaining and eventful films to take place during the holiday season.
For those who may not have yet seen it (please amend this immediately if you befit this criterion) Mel Gibson and Danny Glover star as Detectives Martin Riggs and Roger Murtagh respectively, whose lives take a dramatic turn after they are suddenly tasked with solving the mystery behind the “suicide” of an old friend’s daughter. What ensues is a breathtaking piece of drama, intrigue, and comedy that will keep you firmly behind this pair of highly unlikely allies.
Alongside Gibson and Glover are the film’s main antagonists played by Mitchell Ryan and the always enthralling Gary Busey. Although sparse, the periods in which these characters spend time together is nothing short of wonderful. The chemistry between all parties makes the entire exchange seem as though either outcome is an absolute possibility, even though we all know how this tale will reach its end.
Furthermore, when watching Lethal Weapon you can’t help but get sucked in by Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen’s brilliant score. A score that is as much a character in this film as the faces we see on screen.
Finally, a special mention has to go to that scene with Mel Gibson and the gun in his mouth. Having seen this film on a number of separate occasions, it still manages to provoke a reaction within me that I can only describe as dread and discomfort. But what a scene right? Interestingly, there was an actual bullet loaded in the chamber so that Gibson would be able to truly feel what was necessary for the scene.
So what makes Lethal Weapon a Christmas Film? Well, it’s a film of redemption, of personal achievement, and most of all, it’s a film that is more fun than anything else. It’s a film that you can appreciate both superficially and intimately. It’s a film that will make you realize that Christmas is a time for all to enjoy one way or another.