"Lethal Weapon 3"
"Lethal Weapon Collection" Soundtrack Review
Eric Clapton & David Sanborn
Featuring "Probably Me" (Disc 2)
Performed By Sting With Eric Clapton
and "Runaway Train" (Disc 2)
Performed By Elton John and Eric Clapton
Disc 1: 25 Tracks/Disc Time: 72:46
Disc 2: 14 Tracks/Disc Time: 53:49
Total Time: 126:35 Grade: B+
(BEST OF 2013/14)
After the successes of "Lethal Weapon" and "Lethal Weapon 2", the latter becoming one of 1989's highest grossing films and making a killing along side Warner Bros. surprisingly successful franchise starter in "Batman", another sequel was in store for the fledging franchise that was raking in the dough on home video sales of the first two films. "Lethal Weapon 3" was little more lighter in tone this time around after a very dark sequel and a very moody original, but still had a very serious subject in mind: gun control which was a very important subject at the time and currently still is. With a solid script delivered by Jeffrey Boam (who co-wrote Lethal Weapon 2) and Robert Mark Kamen ("The Karate Kid"), LW3 brings Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are back once again as the feuding and fun loving double dose of police mayhem with this time Murtaugh deciding on retiring from the force after a very long run. After a botching a bomb squad assignment and literally blowing up a building in the process, the duo have been demoted back in uniform to L.A. streets where they prevent an armored car robbery which has Internal Affairs interested led by the aullring Lorna Cole (Rene Russo, "Thor") that eventually leads to a rogue dirty ex-LAPD detective named Jack Travis (Stuart Wilson, "The Rock") who is stealing and selling weapons from within the LAPD's armory that have been designated for destruction. As the case gets dirtier and Murtaugh's impending retirement, Riggs finds a surprising connection with Cole who has alot in common with him and soon find a cause along with Murtaugh to stop Travis once and for all.
The film was a blockbuster hit for the studio again paired off with "Batman Returns" sequel and was a wildly popular rental when it was released months later on home video. It has also been a very popular seller on DVD and now Blu-Ray thanks to two collections assembled by Warner Bros. to making the film and the franchise very bankable still which was the perfect time to unleash the massive box set that La-La Land Records has now put together. Now in this third score of the series, in which the music also played a vital and intrigal part of the series, Michael Kamen once again rocks the house with another solid and fun score adding to the diversity of the music for the series. Kamen was really riding high after all the successes of the previous "Lethal Weapon" and "Die Hard" films along with "Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves" and "The Last Boy Scout". This score is a little lighter in tone but does keep its' hard edge action sound when it's appropriate. Kamen really has fun with Murtaugh's retirement gag evidenced in the tracks "Trust Me", "Afterglow", and "Jaywalker", but then takes a more serious tone when tragedy personally affects him "Shooting Daryl Part 1", "Shooting Daryl Part 2", "Roger's Boat", "Shaving" and "Locker Room".
Kamen also displays passionate affection (both action oriented and sexual) for the budding relationship between Riggs and Cole with tracks such as "Scars/Love Scene", "Man's Best Friend/Lorna's First Fight", "Lorna's Second Fight" and "A Quiet Evening By The Fire", and also having fun with Leo Getz again with comedic tracks such as "Leo Getz", "Hockey Game", "Dum Dum Wound" and "Riggs Falls", which features a prominent statement of Leo's goofy trumpet theme. Kamen returns to a more sinister edge for the characters of Jack Travis, which he gives a rather slick and slithery motif for strings and brass with a militaristic edge highlighted by the tracks "Concrete Death", "Jack Kills Billy", "Captain Abducted/Captain And Travis", "Unauthorized Access" and finally culminating in the fierce action of "Gun Battle" and "Fire/Fire Battle". With some rocking action in "Amoured Car Chase" which features some of the trademark action style of the previous films with Clapton's guitar and Sanborn's sax going to work with joy and fun as in the previous films.
The third entry of the series enjoyed a nice soundtrack release (replicated here on disc 6 of this set) on Reprise records featuring two standout songs in "It's Probably Me" featuring great vocals by Sting and Eric Clapton and "Runaway Train" also featuring memorable vocals by Elton John and Eric Clapton in which the former is integrated into the score thematically throughout primarily for Riggs and Murtuagh. The album featured practically a third of the 70 plus minute score and now here it is in its' full powerhouse glory. It's not a perfect score and it's not in the same league with the previous films. However, it really is an enjoyable one and alot of fun to listen to Kamen's musical progression as the series went along which started as really hardcore action for the first two films, to a more lighter tone while retraining that great action material in tact. "Lethal Weapon 3" is not a perfect action score by any means. It is a highly entertaining and energetic score with alot of solid variety of music that is worthy of the series without question!" Strong thumbs up for this one!