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Danny Glover

Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

DIRECTOR: Richard Donner

CAST:

Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo, Joe Pesci, Chris Rock, Jet Li, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Steve Kahan, Mary Ellen Trainor, Kim Chan

REVIEW:

Lethal Weapon 4 is a classic example of a sequel that was assembled to make money, not because of necessity or because there was even anywhere particularly fresh to take the story. There were rumors of its production since 1992, but development only rushed full-steam ahead once the reluctant Mel Gibson was convinced to return with a massive paycheck. In retrospect, no one should have bothered. Lethal Weapon 3 wasn’t as good as the first or second installment, but it would have been a much better place to end the popular series than this. Lethal Weapon 4 is a mess of a movie, a big, bloated, unwieldy, sputtering, past-its-prime cash grab that has a few entertaining moments scattered around but not enough to justify its existence, and creaks as badly as aging action heroes Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s joints. Continue reading

Switchback (1997)

DIRECTOR:

Jeb Stuart

CAST:

Dennis Quaid, Danny Glover, Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ted Levine, William Fichtner, Leo Burmester

REVIEW:

Unlike most entries in the serial killer/thriller genre, Switchback moves at a leisurely pace, relying more on character development than jolts, but it’s a solid effort that sets itself apart from standards of the genre in some ways yet is a worthy entry among them. Continue reading

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

DIRECTOR: Richard Donner

CAST:

Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo, Joe Pesci, Stuart Wilson, Steve Kahan, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Mary Ellen Trainor, Nick Chinlund

REVIEW:

With the third time around, Lethal Weapon shows beginning signs of age (although it has not yet worn out its welcome as much as it would by the fourth outing ). Lethal Weapon 3 is entertaining, but it lacks the freshness of the first and second installments, settling into a tried-and-true formula. Continue reading

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

DIRECTOR: Richard Donner

CAST:

Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Joss Ackland, Derrick O’Connor, Patsy Kensit, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Steve Kahan, Mary Ellen Trainor

REVIEW:

Stepping off the launching pad of 1987’s Lethal Weapon , 1989’s Lethal Weapon 2 is an entirely worthy sequel that in many ways actually improves on the first installment while keeping all of the same qualities.  The action is bigger and more audacious, the chemistry between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover is as great as ever, and the addition of Joe Pesci adds a third spoke to the wheel that freshens things up instead of simply retreading the Riggs-Murtaugh bickering from the first film. Rare for a sequel, Lethal Weapon 2 feels just as fresh, or maybe even more so, than the original. Continue reading

Lethal Weapon (1987)

DIRECTOR: Richard Donner

CAST:

Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan, Tom Atkins, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Mary Ellen Trainor, Steve Kahan

REVIEW:

The first of the popular Lethal Weapon series has more grittiness and less humor than its successors, but it’s a solid launching pad, only surpassed (arguably) by the second installment. In truth, the core of the movie’s (and the series’) success isn’t its police drama or action sequences, but the electric chemistry between stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. There have been many “odd couples” onscreen, but Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh set a bar to which many have aspired but few reached and almost none surpassed. This is a buddy action movie the way it’s properly done. Continue reading

Witness (1985)

DIRECTOR: Peter Weir

CAST:

Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas, Jan Rubes, Alexander Godunov, Josef Sommer, Danny Glover, Patti LuPone, Brent Jennings, Angus MacInnes

REVIEW:

Witness is billed as a thriller or a crime drama, but that’s just the plot skeleton. What it’s really about at its core is love and longing, and about how the randomness of life can throw two people into contact long enough to fall in love, even if they can never truly be together. Continue reading

Places in the Heart (1984)

DIRECTOR: Robert Benton

CAST: Sally Field, Danny Glover, John Malkovich, Ed Harris, Lindsay Crouse, Amy Madigan

REVIEW:

Places in the Heart is two-thirds of a strong, involving Depression-era drama about a widow finding the wherewithal to do whatever she must to support her family with the help of an assortment of colorful characters. Alas, it’s also saddled with a superfluous third of a soap opera-esque love triangle between characters only tangentially related to the main storyline. What’s onscreen is still worth watching for fans of these kinds of low-key, true-to-life dramas, but a little more focus could have made for a more singularly powerful experience.

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