Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cinematic Advent Calendar - Day 10

Lethal Weapon (1987) - Dir. Richard Donner

Quite possibly the most underrated Christmas movie of all time, most people often forget that this film is one at all. The time of year aside, Lethal Weapon (1987) has a dark undercurrent that sheds light on a very realistic side to the holiday season: suicide. The film wastes no time establishing the Christmas setting with "Jingle Bell Rock" playing throughout the opening credits. The story begins with the suicide of a young, drugged up girl, leaping to her death from a twenty story balcony. From there the two principle characters, Murtaugh and Riggs, are introduced. Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is a middle-aged family man with a wife and three kids. Riggs (Mel Gibson) is an ex-special forces widower with nothing to lose, giving him the reputation of being a loose canon. The two of them both work for the LAPD and are partnered up when Riggs is deemed too unstable for solo work. The recent death of his wife has Riggs depressed to the point of not caring if he lives or dies on the job and contemplating suicide during his lonely evenings. Murtaugh, on the other hand, provides a compliment to the void in Riggs' life by opening up his home and family to his new partner. The result is a lasting friendship that spanned three sequels. 

Riggs just wanted a little snow with his Christmas tree.

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