LETHAL WEAPON 4
Reviewed by Mark & Tina Terry
Never cared to see a Lethal Weapon film. The review is kinda fun, though, and I wish NRA spokespeople were, well, just slightly more like the ones in the film than the one in real life who goes around talking about how "nobody needs" an AK-47. I also highly recommend we all adopt the Terrys' rating system for movies!
We probably should have known better than to pay money and waste time to
see this turkey, because in one of the previous "Lethal" series, the
protagonists were repeatedly whining about "cop killer bullets" which
apparently had the mystical capability, when fired from the ubiquitous 9mm
Parabellum, of penetrating a half-inch of steel plate. In that same movie
we also learned that police officers were commonly assassinated with these
dangerous "cop killer" bullets. However, it was a hot day, the theater was
air-conditioned, and we are usually fans of Mel Gibson, a.k.a. "Mr.
Here are the "civics" lessons we learned from "Lethal Weapon 4":
- NRA "spokesmen" routinely dress up in body armor and assault people and
property with automatic weapons and flame-throwers randomly and for no
- NRA spokesmen can be easily identified by their flame-throwers,
automatic weapons and full-body armor.
- It is difficult or impossible for a police officer to shoot someone
wearing body armor and to hit him in the leg or other extremity not covered
by the armor, but it is easy for him to shoot the valve off of a
napalm-filled flame-thrower tank, and that doing so is OK, no matter the
consequences to people and property.
- Police departments routinely display huge anti-NRA posters and slogans.
- Most police departments are rabidly anti-Second Amendment.
- Most or all police officers believe that only the police should have
- "Assault weapons" are routinely and commonly used in crimes against the
public and to attack police officers.
- It is OK, and funny, to throw away someone else's property into the
water against their wishes, as long as it's a gun.
- It is OK, and even amusing, to torture sharks by letting them writhe in
agony inside a boat while you make jokes about it.
- It's OK to shoot at practically anything and everyone except a shark
- Improper and unsafe gun handling is not only OK - it is downright hip
and cool to willfully and repeatedly violate rules one, two, three and four
of safe gun handling: 1. every gun is loaded; 2. Don't let the barrel of
your gun cover something you're not willing to destroy; 3. Be sure of
your target and what lies beyond your target; 4. Keep your finger off the
trigger until the weapon is aimed at the target and you are ready to fire.
- It is hip and cool to joke about shooting a friend, and to point your
gun at him and threaten to shoot him.
- It's OK and hip for police officers who are irritated by peoples'
comments, to point their guns at the source of irritation, even when there
exists no threat whatsoever of violence.
- A badge and a brandished gun are the things that reveal a police
- Police routinely proceed into a known hostile situation with only a
pistol and one magazine, and then, after utilizing "spray and pray"
techniques, are shocked when they run out of ammunition.
- Only the police should have guns, no matter how irresponsible their
- Irresponsible gun-handling is OK for police officers.
- It is OK and funny for police to make false accusations to other
policemen that someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, even when
they know such is not the case.
- Destruction of private property - eg., breaking large glass windows -
by police officers investigating crimes is good and is funny as long as
it's the property of someone suspected of, but not charged with, a crime.
- Deliberately pulling a fire alarm and causing a panic, when there is
no fire, for the sole purpose of destroying private property and harassing
a suspect is hip and funny, and is apparently OK and unpunished as long as
you are a police officer. (Perhaps the makers of the movie learned this
"pulling a false fire alarm" trick from juvenile murderer Andrew Golden of
the Westside Middle School, Jonesboro, Arkansas massacre.)
- It's OK and funny for police to break into a dentist's office, to
forcibly administer nitrous oxide to a suspect, and, at the same time, to
partake in breathing nitrous oxide themselves. (While this may have been
amusing when Inspector Clouseau did it, it doesn't hold up in this
- It's OK (and funny) for the police to destroy millions of dollars in
property and to endanger hundreds of lives while chasing a suspect in a
- It's OK (and funny) for a police officer to Mirandize a suspect by
telling him that, if he can't afford an attorney, he only has the right to
a really lousy lawyer.
- It is noble and good for police officers to belittle customs agents
for doing their job if the police officer disagrees with the laws the
customs agents are enforcing.
- It is noble and good for police officers to aid and abet in illegal
immigration and smuggling of illegal immigrants if the police officer
disagrees with immigration laws as long as the police officer is black, the
immigrants are "minorities," and the police officer can play the
- It is noble and admirable for a police officer to shelter illegal
aliens in his own house because they are both "minorities," and the fact
that some of the sheltered illegal aliens were, as a result of this illegal
action, killed, is not the police officer's fault.
- It is noble and admirable for a police officer to cause his house to
be burned to the ground and his family and friends nearly killed as a
result of his breaking the law by harboring illegal aliens in his house.
- It's OK and hip for police officers to impregnate other police
officers, and for both of them to proceed to live together and plan to bear
the child outside of wedlock, and without any discussion of marriage or of
the future of their child.
- When Mel Gibson, director, producer and star of "Braveheart," condemns
the British practice of "sword control," imposed on Scotsmen, such
condemnation has no bearing on "gun control" imposed on law-abiding
- It is good to glorify violence while trashing the Bill of Rights: the
right to keep and bear arms; the right to be safe from unreasonable search
and seizure; the right to remain silent; the right to competent counsel.
- It is good to make lots of money as an actor depicting as humorous
unsafe, irresponsible and flamboyant gun-handling, and multiple felonies by
police officers, all the while attempting to sell an anti-gun/anti-NRA
message to the public. (After all, rabidly anti-Second Amendment actors
Sly Stallone, Michael Gross, Paul Newman and others have made zillions of
dollars brandishing guns and/or glorifying the killing of hundreds of
people on film with guns.)
Although we laughed at several points in the movie (Mel Gibson is genuinely
funny a couple of times, as is Chris Rock and Joe Pesci) overall, we rate
this film as a .22 short on the scale of BB guns to .577 Nitro Expresses,
and recommend that you boycott it.
© Mark & Tina Terry 1998.
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17 July, 1998