Brovember Day 4 – Riggs and Murtaugh
Oh, hello again. Back for more, are we? Well, then… I wouldn’t dare keep you waiting. Let’s get back into our Brovember groove with today’s honorees from the world of film: Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh!
The year was 1987. Back in those days, Danny Glover needed to artificially gray up his hair in order to appear “too old for this shit.”, Mel Gibson still had the world convinced that he was just very good as acting insane, and Gary Busey was still one motorcycle accident away from being the dangerous, dangerous man he portrayed in this film. And it was the year we saw the truest iteration of the Buddy Cop dynamic.
Like all of the best friendships (at least all of MY best friendships), this one got off to a rocky start. You see, Mel Gibson’s character Martin Riggs was a dangerously reckless cop with nothing to lose and Danny Glover’s Roger Murtaugh was a family man who just wanted to make it to retirement without incident. However. ghosts from their time in Vietnam (isn’t it weird that 80s action movies could realistically featured veterans of that war?) came back to haunt them and they have one fucked up Christmas season. Oh, yeah, I should mention that Lethal Weapon was written by Shane Black and therefore takes place at Christmas time. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, I love the fact that some of my favorite action movies are inexplicably set to a soundtrack of gleeful yuletide rock.
But these two cops don’t let the killings and kidnappings ruin their holiday season, no sir. Their friendship is such that after being tortured in adjoining rooms and once and for all settling the hash of the film’s villains they have a nice Christmas dinner at the Murtaugh house and, despite the fact that Roger’s daughter seems intent on jumping Riggs’ bones, their friendship only strengthens from there.
As time goes by, Martin becomes very close with Roger’s family. Murtaugh’s wife Trish is at one point shown doing Rigg’s laundry. Don’t worry, their relationship is strictly platonic. His wife would handle those chores if she hadn’t been slain at the hands of that movie’s antagonists. Oh, and the friendship between these two police officers grows even stronger when they team up to bully Leo Getz. Nothing brings friends together like a mutual target of abuse.
In the fourth installment of the Lethal Weapon franchise, Riggs goes and impregnates his girlfriend at the same time that Chris Rock puts a baby in Roger’s daughter. So close are these families that the two expectant mothers not only take Lamaze classes together, but also give birth simultaneously. Can any among us claim to have a friend so close? Surely not I…
So, Riggs and Murtaugh are not only the definitive good cop/bad cop combo, they’re also one of the silver screen’s most prolific and unusual friendships, surely worthy of placement in our Brovember Hall of Fame!
The magic is back again and AGAIN tomorrow morning. Tune in, gang.
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