9. Lethal Weapon
You’ve seen Lethal Weapon’s cops versus drug ring formula a million times before, but what separates Richard Donner’s movie from the pack is the inspired pairing of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, plus a fine supporting cast of villains (who knew Gary Busey could be so menacing?). The action’s good too, and Shane Black’s script keeps everything moving along at a fair clip.
Beginning with part 2, the sequels added more humour that very quickly became silly (seriously, who tries to kill someone by booby trapping their toilet?)As the plots became smaller and the action more over the top, the filmmakers hit upon a gimmick that couldn’t miss: they introduced Joe Pesci as Leo Getz (“Whatever you need, Leo Getz!”).
Not content with allowing Leo to hog the limelight, they never gave Danny Glover’s character enough to do, finally reducing him to running around in his underwear for a cheap laugh in part 4. Throw in some forgettable villains, sprinkle with toe-curling attempts at repartee (including a Triad villain who says, “It’s fried rice, you plick!”) and once you’ve added Chris Rock as a motor mouth detective, you’ve really sunk the franchise.