What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although Lethal Weapon (which stars Mel Gibson in one of his signature roles) is considered an iconic action comedy, it has a lot of graphic violence. And despite the comic moments, the tone is often quite serious. It treats the deaths of villains and innocent civilians in a very casual manner, as if killing bad guys is simply part of the job of being a cop. The only violence that seems to have a psychic toll is the harm done to young, attractive women. Sex is portrayed only in the context of prostitution and murder; there is female nudity (bare breasts) and a naked male backside. There is frequent profanity, including "f--k." Characters are shown smoking cigarettes and drinking beer throughout the movie. One of the main characters is shown intoxicated as he holds a gun to his head. Early in the film, a woman is shown snorting cocaine and swallowing pills before falling to her death from an upper floor in a high-rise. A character is hung from a ceiling and tortured with electric shock -- jumper cables are pressed against his body. Another character is tortured by having salt rubbed into his wounds.
- Families can talk about the violence here. Do you think there is a message here amongst the carnage -- or is this simply an action film and not meant to be taken seriously?
- How is race used as a comedic device? Families may want to compare and contrast the ways in which race is presented in more recent films such as Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, and Men in Black.
- How does this film meet the criteria of meeting the "buddy movie" formula so often employed in movies?