Lethal Weapon 3 is a 1992 American action comedy film directed by Richard Donner. It is the third film in the Lethal Weapon series[1] and stars Mel GibsonDanny GloverJoe PesciRene Russo and Stuart Wilson.

In the film, which is set three years after Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Martin Riggs (Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Glover) pursue Jack Travis (Stuart Wilson), a former L.A.P.D. lieutenant turned ruthless arms dealer, during the six days prior to Murtaugh's retirement. Riggs and Murtaugh are joined by Leo Getz (Pesci), as well as Internal Affairs Sergeant Lorna Cole (Russo).

Lethal Weapon 3 met with mixed reviews, but was a box office success, grossing over $320 million worldwide. It was the fifth highest-grossing film of 1992 and the highest grossing film in theLethal Weapon series. A fourth film, Lethal Weapon 4, was released on July 10, 1998.

Contents[edit | edit source]

 [hide*1 Plot

Plot[edit][edit | edit source]

L.A.P.D. Sergeants Martin Riggs (Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Glover) arrive at an evacuated building believed to have a bomb in it. Against orders, they go inside to investigate the bomb. Riggs decides to deactivate the bomb himself instead of waiting for the Bomb Squad to arrive. Unfortunately, he causes the bomb to detonate and the whole building to collapse. This causes them to be demoted to uniform duties, which upsets Murtaugh because he only has seven days until retirement. While on street patrol, the two thwart a robbery using a duplicate armored car, although they only manage to catch one of the two would-be thieves. During the arrest, it is discovered the criminals were armed with a new type of armor-piercing bullet, informally referred to as "cop killers". For their efforts in stopping the raid, Riggs and Murtaugh are reinstated as Detectives by their superior, Captain Murphy (Kahan). Murphy introduces internal affairs Sergeant Lorna Cole (Russo) to the two detectives and informs them that the suspect they have in custody from the raid is a known associate of former L.A.P.D. Lieutenant and suspected arms dealer: Jack Travis (Wilson).

In the meantime, the other criminal who escaped is brought before Travis who is conducting a business meeting with mobster Tyrone (Millar) to account for his actions which have led to police heat being focused on Travis' arms business. Travis has his henchman throw the thief into a pit and has it filled with cement so as to display to Tyrone what happens to anyone who might double-cross him. Travis then goes to the county lockup, using his still valid police badge, gains access to the other raider, and executes him. Travis is unaware that he has committed this execution on camera, and when Cole and Riggs arrive on the scene, they are able to identify him using the footage.

Back at the precinct Riggs, Murtaugh and Cole are reviewing the footage of the execution when they are interrupted by Leo Getz (Pesci) who has dropped by to visit his two old buddies. When the detectives put the footage on pause to talk to Leo, Leo manages to recognise Travis and tells them where he can be found. A botched attempt to publicly arrest Travis follows, although the detectives believe that they may now have a lead to Travis' arms warehouse. En route to rendezvous with Cole at the warehouse, Murtaugh and Riggs come under fire from Tyrone's thugs. Murtaugh kills one of them, Darryl, a young man that Murtaugh's son Nick had recently been emulating. Murtaugh, visibly distraught, stays at the scene and Riggs continues on to meet Cole. At the warehouse, Riggs and Cole are attacked by Travis's henchmen and the two detectives gain the upper hand, secure most of the armament shipment, and the same evening they fall in love. After learning from Rianne that Murtaugh had become withdrawn over the shooting of Darryl, Riggs confronts Murtaugh on his boat and after a tense exchange of words, he helps Murtaugh get over his guilt. At Darryl's funeral, his father implores Murtaugh to catch the man who put the gun in his son's hands. Riggs, Cole and Murtaugh arrest and interrogate Tyrone learning his weapons come from Jack Travis and raid a garage with more people working for Travis.

Travis, no longer able to procure weapons through police arms dumps due to being exposed on the footage from the execution, has Captain Murphy kidnapped in a bid to use his clearance to gain access to the arms dumps. After having Leo work on getting information about a construction site that the garage workers were connected with, Riggs, Murtaugh and Cole realize Travis' plan when Cole notices information has been hacked from the police computer, and they head to the L.A.P.D. arms dump to stop him. A major firefight breaks out at the arms dump between the detectives, their support, and Travis' men. Murphy manages to free himself, and most of Travis' men are either killed or apprehended. Travis manages to escape, and Riggs and Murtaugh vow to catch him, especially after the young officer who is helping them is killed by Travis.

With the construction site details provided by Leo, the three depart for the construction site. At the construction site, the detectives come under heavy fire and eventually manage to destroy most of the site and Travis' men. Travis is himself shot and killed by Riggs with his own armor-piercing bullets, after Travis shoots and wounds Cole and attempts to finish her off. Cole, however, manages to survive because she took the extra precaution of wearing two bullet-proof vests, and she and Riggs admit that they would like to get more serious with each other.

On his retirement day, Roger's family is celebrating, but he tells his family that he has decided to remain with the force, preserving his partnership with Riggs; a choice which his family slowly comes to accept. After the credits roll, Riggs and Murtaugh pass a hotel which is under a bomb threat, and Riggs decides to take another try at disarming the charge. But before they can even get out of the car, the building blows up. Riggs and Murtaugh back away quickly in an attempt to save their lives and their careers. Both can be heard saying under the exasperated groan, "I'm too old for this shit."

Cast[edit][edit | edit source]

Production[edit][edit | edit source]

The movie was filmed from October 1991 to January 1992.

Director Richard Donner is an animal-rights and pro-choice activist, and placed many posters and stickers for these causes in the film. Of note are the T-shirt worn by one of Murtaugh's daughters (the actress's idea), an 18-wheeler with an anti-fur slogan on the side, and a sticker on a locker in the police station.[1]

Demolition scene[edit][edit | edit source]

In the film's first scene, Riggs accidentally sets off a bomb that destroys the ICSI Building. The ICSI Building is actually the former City Hall building of Orlando, Florida. The entire scene was filmed in Downtown Orlando, at the intersection of Orange Avenue and South Street. From August to October 1991, the production crew fitted the old Orlando City Hall building featured in the opening scene with carefully placed explosives to create the visual effect of a bomb explosion. Bill Frederick, the mayor of Orlando, Florida, was the policeman who sarcastically claps and said "Bravo!" to Murtaugh and Riggs after the explosion. Warner Bros. decided to use the demolition of the building in the film, and as a result paid for the demolition.

The building was demolished so that it would collapse slightly forward (toward Orange Avenue), minimizing the chances of it damaging the new City Hall building, built directly behind it. The space was cleared out and became a plaza for the new City Hall, with a fountain and a monument.

Writing[edit][edit | edit source]

Leo Getz was originally not in the script and all of his scenes were written in afterwards. In the original script Leo had left L.A. for New York.

Screenwriter Jeffrey Boam is credited twice in the 'screenplay by' credits. This is because he did one draft by himself (granting him the first credit) and a second draft collaborating with Robert Mark Kamen (granting him the second credit). In this rare scenario, Boam was hired to rewrite his own script with a second writer. After receiving the unusual writing credits, the advertising department assumed it was a misprint and produced posters with the credits "Story by Jeffrey Boam, Screenplay by Jeffrey Boam and Robert Mark Kamen". After a few of the posters had been sent out, the WGA contacted the department, telling them that the initial credits were the correct ones, and ordering the posters to be recalled and destroyed. A few still remain in circulation, however.[citation needed]

Carrie Fisher was an uncredited script doctor on the film.[3]

Promotion[edit][edit | edit source]

For promotion of the film, theater lobbies featured a 3-D cut out of the film poster of Riggs and Murtaugh posing with their guns and Leo Getz peeking from the background. On the display, there was a motor which helped Leo's head bob up and down from behind them.

Release[edit][edit | edit source]

Box office[edit][edit | edit source]

The $35 million film was a big box-office success, earning $145 million.[4][5][6] Although slightly less than the $150 million domestic gross of the first sequel, it was nevertheless the second-most successful summer film of 1992 (afterBatman Returns) and the fifth most profitable film of the year, as well as the highest-grossing in the series worldwide with $320 million worldwide.

The film featured the songs "It's Probably Me," performed by Sting, and "Runaway Train," performed by Elton John and Eric Clapton.

Critical reception[edit][edit | edit source]

The film was met with mixed reviews to positive reviews.[7][8] It currently holds a 56% approval on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews with an average rating of 5.5/10.

Home media[edit][edit | edit source]

Lethal Weapon 3 has been released on VHS and DVD numerous times. The first DVD was released in 1997 and featured the film's theatrical version. The Director's Cut was released in 2000. Since then, numerous sets have been released that contain all four films in the series (featuring the same DVDs).[9] The film was released on Blu-ray Disc in 2011.

Video games[edit][edit | edit source]

Several versions of a Lethal Weapon video game were released in conjunction with this sequel's release, appearing on the NESSNESGame BoyAmigaAtari ST, and Commodore 64 platforms.

Also released was a Lethal Weapon 3 pinball game.

Soundtrack[edit][edit | edit source]

Lethal Weapon 3
Soundtrack album by Michael KamenEric ClaptonDavid SanbornStingElton John, The Los Angeles Motion Picture All Stars Orchestra
Released June 9, 1992
Genre Orchestral, Jazz, and Blues
Length 39:32
Label Reprise
Michael KamenEric ClaptonDavid SanbornStingElton John, The Los Angeles Motion Picture All Stars Orchestra chronology
Lethal Weapon 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


Lethal Weapon 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


Lethal Weapon 4 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Lethal Weapon 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), was released on June 9, 1992 on audio cassette and CD. The soundtrack was performed and composed by Michael KamenEric Clapton, and David Sanborn. Its title songs, "It's Probably Me", and "Runaway Train" were written and performed by Eric Clapton with the assistance of Sting and Elton Johnrespectively.[10][11]

Track listing[edit][edit | edit source]

  1. "It's Probably Me" – Sting/Eric Clapton
  2. "Runaway Train" – Elton John/Eric Clapton
  3. "Grab The Cat"
  4. "Leo Getz Goes To The Hockey Game"
  5. "Darryl Dies"
  6. "Riggs And Rog"
  7. "Roger's Boat"
  8. "Armour Piercing Bullets"
  9. "God Judges Us By Our Scars"
  10. "Lorna – A Quiet Evening By The Fire"
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