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Lethal Weapon 4

Director:Richard Donner
Writers:Jonathan Lemkin, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and Channing Gibson
Director of Photography:Andrzej Bartkowiak
Editors:Dallas Puett and Frank J. Urioste
Music:Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen and David Sanborn
Production Designer:J. Michael Riva
Producers:Richard Donner and Joel Silver
Warner Bros.; R; 127 minutes
Cast:Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock and Jet-Li

In Lethal Weapon 4, LAPD crime-busting buddies Riggs (Gibson) and Murtaugh (Glover) are promoted, but with all the partners' huffing and puffing on the job, one wonders why they don't just retire. Stars Gibson and Glover may still look good, but the over-the-hill jokes are tired and their wisecracking banter has lost much of it's old magic. Riggs and Murtaugh are assigned to break up a ring of Chinese gangsters who are counterfeiting money and smuggling illegal aliens. Sympathetic to the displaced Chinese immigrants, Murtaugh puts up one of the families – a sensitive subplot that turns politically incorrect when jokes about Chinese cooking and poor English start flying around. Martial-arts star Jet-Li is a highlight; his smooth fighting moves provide the only original bits of action in an otherwise tedious sequence of chase scenes, fireball explosions and bullet showers. Pesci's usual obnoxious chatter makes Rock's sharp monologues (playing the boyfriend of Murtaugh's daughter) a breath of fresh comic air. Maybe Rock and Jet-Li should take over the beat in Lethal 5.

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