Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1992|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Richard Donner|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, mildly|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, a quick joke at the end of the credits|
Nonetheless, the film begins with homicide detectives Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) arriving at a building that has been cleaned out by the emergency services because there is a bomb in the parking lot. Martin figures that it's either a threat or a scare, but one of the firemen present declares it to be the real thing and introduces a man who actually saw the explosive device in the back seat of a car. Martin, figuring the witness simply saw some kind of electronic device in the back seat and mistook it for a bomb, drags Roger into the parking lot with him to check it out. Roger is meant to retire in a matter of days, so he simply wants to lay low and let the time go quietly, but Martin won't have a bar of it. Naturally, the device on the back seat of the car turns out to be a real bomb, and Martin sets to work on defusing it. Unfortunately, his attempt doesn't work as planned, and our two heroes just barely make it out of the building before it goes up in a blazing pillar of fire, just in time for the bomb squad to show up. Well, at least they managed to save the cat they found in the parking lot.
This, of course, is one of the first disappointments of Lethal Weapon 3 - an opening stunt sequence that has nothing at all to do with the rest of the film. After the bomb sequence, we find our two heroes busted down to lowly patrolmen, presumably to give a lead-in for the next sequence that moves the story along. Why this demotion is in the slightest bit necessary for the plot, I have no idea, but the end result is a uniformed Martin and Roger chasing a pair of armoured car robbers along a highway. When they succeed in apprehending one of them, Captain Ed Murphy (Steve Kahan) reinstates them as detectives, much to the ire of Internal Affairs and their newly-introduced representative, Lorna Cole (Rene Russo). Together, they wander down to the interrogation room and discover the suspect they arrested from the armoured car robbery, Billy Phelps (Mark Pellegrino), has been shot.
When the detectives try to determine who shot Billy and why, we see the first use of a convenient, however mildly so, plot device in this series: it seems that Internal Affairs installed cameras in the interrogation rooms of every station without their knowledge, and the one in this interrogation room reveals that Billy was shot by former police Lieutenant Jack Travis (Stuart Wilson). In case I didn't make it clear the first time, this is the first time the Lethal Weapon series has had an antagonist that I honestly expected Martin Riggs to chew up and spit out. In any case, Travis' criminal enterprise is relatively simple: every now and again, he breaks into the police vaults to steal weapons that were scheduled for destruction. Combining these weapons with armour-piercing ammunition, he sells them to various street-level distributors for a tidy profit, which he then invests back in the construction of a village full of townhouses. It certainly gives you food for thought when you pass by the latest urban sprawls and wonder exactly where the budget for construction is coming from.
Anyway, in spite of having a less-than-threatening bad guy and an even more annoying Leo Getz (Joe Pesci), who gets taken care of in a highly amusing manner after being shot by Travis, the banter between the heroes keeps this episode entertaining. One exchange after Nick Murtaugh's (Damon Hines) conversation with his friend, Darryl (Bobby Wynn) is interrupted by Roger is hilarious enough to save the entire film by itself. "Word, Martin..." "Word, Roger..." "What the hell are we talking about, anyway?" Word, indeed!
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and it is 16x9 Enhanced. The transfer is the sharpest of the Lethal Weapon series, with more definition and clarity than even the original episode, which was transferred at a significantly later date. The shadow detail is also excellent, with plenty of subtle gradations between light and dark on offer, as opposed to the large expanses of black that dominated the previous two films to a small extent. There was no low-level noise or film grain evident in the image at any given time.
The colour saturation in this transfer is warm and vibrant, which clashes quite severely with the dark and understated style that was a deliberate artistic choice in the previous two films. Indeed, friends of mine have referred to Lethal Weapon 3 as the episode where everything begins to look pretty at the expense of the story. Still, the colour saturation is consistent from start to finish, and there are no problems with undersaturation or bleeding.
MPEG artefacts are not a serious problem for this transfer, save for the occasional moment such as at 37:33, where the background threatens to break out in a series of macro-blocks. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor telecine wobble in the opening credits, and an occasional display of aliasing in car grilles and the edges of windows. Film artefacts are mildly problematic in this transfer, but there is only one instance of a seriously distracting artefact at 31:44, which is positioned and shaped in just such a manner that it could be confused with a reel change marking. It isn't actually a reel change marking, but I have no real idea of what it is, as it looks more like a pink oval with a black outline, which would be consistent with the interpositive being slightly overheated at this time and location in the film.
The dialogue is mostly clear and easy to make out, although there are still one or two lines that are a little difficult to make out because of the actors' occasional mumbling, or some imperfect recording techniques. There were no perceptible problems with audio sync.
The score music by Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton, and David Sanborn is starting to become a little weary and repetitious, mainly because there seems to be little distinction between the musical cues used in tense situations or lighter moments. I am extremely certain that if you blindfolded a viewer and played the musical cues from all four Lethal Weapon films at them, they would not be able to discern which film each of the scenes where the score is present are actually from. This is not necessarily bad, as the score music is still quite enjoyable, it just needs a little more variety.
The surround channels are used aggressively to support the music and action sequences, and they create a reasonably immersive sound field in doing so. The surround channels seemed to be more actively involved in this film, with more directional effects and volume present in those channels. There were also less instances of the soundtrack collapsing into straight stereo or mono, with only one or two sequences being biased towards the front of the soundstage. The subwoofer was used frequently to support explosions, gunshots, and other action sequence effects, and it seemed to truly have a fun time with this film without calling any specific attention to itself.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 and Region 1 standard versions of this disc misses out on;
The video quality is very good, let down only by a little too much aliasing.
The audio quality is also very good.
The extras are limited.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-835|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|