April 29, 2016

50 Greatest Action Sequences: #44

44. Lethal Weapon 2 – The Bathroom All to Himself


“Guys like you don’t die on toilets.”

Can an action sequence have no motion? This is the question posed by one of the most memorable scenes in the arguably-better-than-the-original 1989 sequel. With nothing more than two men sitting in a bathroom, director Richard Donner and dear departed screenwriter Jeffrey Boam set up a scenario that elicits all the emotions of a traditional action set piece, in which things actually move and stuff.

There is, however, an explosion. You gotta give it that.

Bomb defusing scenes are actually an action film staple, but none have the originality or wit of this variation. And though they’ve since migrated to opposite sides of the political spectrum, to put it lightly, Gibson and Glover give hella-performances here, their eyes communicating more hetero-man-love than most Republican candidates appear comfortable with.

By the way, my favorite bit of trivia about this movie is that it was a hit in South Africa.

See also: Robert Redford must move veeeery slowly in Sneakers, pretty much every bomb defusing scene in Blown Away, Michelle Monaghan zaps the shit out of Tom Cruise to keep his head from blowing up in Mission: Impossible III.

Next: One of only two movies on this list to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.


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