Richard Donner hasn’t directed a movie since 2006’s underrated Bruce Willis thriller 16 Blocks, but even if the veteran filmmaker had decided to call it a day he’s already left behind a more than impressive legacy as the driving force behind some all-time favorites.
Not only did he helm one of the greatest horror movies ever made in The Omen, a beloved comic book blockbuster in Superman, an enduring classic in The Goonies and a staple of the Christmas schedule in Scrooged, but he also delivered arguably the greatest and certainly most influential buddy cop actioner to come out of Hollywood thanks to Lethal Weapon.
No matter how oversaturated the subgenre became over the following decades, there wasn’t a duo who came close to generating the sort of natural chemistry that defined the adventures of Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs and Danny Glover’s Roger Murtaugh. The franchise may have eventually fallen victim to the law of diminishing returns, but it still remains massively popular to this day.
A fifth installment has been the subject of rumors and speculation for years but has finally gained some traction over the last little while, with Gibson confirming the script was in the process of being written and Glover claiming it could be something extraordinary, and in a recent interview, Donner announced that he’ll definitely be back behind the camera.
“This is the final one. It’s both my privilege and duty to put it to bed. It’s exciting, actually. It’s the last one, I’ll promise you that.”
Long-awaited sequels to major franchises have always been very hit or miss, and Lethal Weapon 5 needs to deliver not just for the fans, but also because you can guarantee that if it doesn’t live up to expectations, the jokes about 90 year-old Donner, 64 year-old Gibson and 74 year-old Glover being too old for this sh*t will basically write themselves.