Time: 119 mins.
Academy Award nomination for Best Sound.
SYNOPSIS: A veteran cop, Murtough, is partnered with a young homicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common, hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one and other to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
BOTTOM LINE: The ultimate action movie. The film that kick-started the current trend of explosive stunt sequences, over-the-top bad guys and witty one-liners. Gibson is mesmerizing in his major Hollywood film debut as the suicidal cop Glover's forced to work with. What starts as a simple case the free-fall death of a local hooker, who turns out to be the daughter of an old friend becomes something much, much more. Riggs and Murtaugh quickly build up trust through a series of unexpected and explosive incidents that lead them closer to uncovering who wanted her killed and why. Unfortunately, the bad guys are aware of their presence and aren't afraid of using Murtaugh's family to keep them in line. What they don't realize is how crazy Riggs really is and how far he'll go to bring them down.
Besides having a great script with exciting, yet fairly believable, action sequences, what really makes this film and the following three eminently watchable is the chemistry between Gibson and Glover. They each have their role to play and give the other the room to perform it to the best of their abilities. It helps that their characters are well-developed and their dialogue witty, turning this film into much more than just a string of mindless action sequences. The plot is well-conceived with villains that are intelligent, ruthless and memorable, especially Gary Busey, who is the most sadistic bastard to come along in quite awhile. There are some excessive moments, but, at least in this installment, they only add to the excitement. Getting a long look at Mel's naked ass doesn't hurt either.