Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fight of the Week: Busey vs. Gibson in Lethal Weapon

In light of this week's poll winner, I have chosen to highlight the front yard brawl from Lethal Weapon (1987) as this week's 'Fight of the Week'. This killer end scene pits the suicidal Sargeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) against a psychotic mercenary known as Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey).

First of all, can I just point out how absolutely awesome it is that it turns out that not one, but both of these actors are totally fucking nuts in real life! The public didn't know it at the time, but it turns out that these two didn't have to do a whole lot of 'acting' to achieve the crazy personas they were portraying. Here's a little sample:

And this:

So yeah, two whack jobs on a lawn duking it out with the ranking police officer on scene allowing it? I'd say that's a recipe for success in anybody's book. This scene (and the movie in general) also really helped boost Mel Gibson to that next level in action film greatness. There is no denying that he was already a well established actor prior to Lethal Weapon with his success in the Mad Max series, but this really shoved him into the pop spotlight and set him up for a series of humorous, slightly unstable ex-military characters down the line (Bird on a Wire, Air America, Conspiracy Theory, etc.). Granted, the aforementioned string of movies were not his best. In fact, some may even argue that they sucked big, fat donkey dicks. But the characters Mel plays in all of them certainly borrowed many of their better attributes from Martin Riggs.

All in all, it's a great fight scene with a fantastic set, colorful characters, and a fitting end to one of the 80s greatest contributions to action films. So say a prayer for Gary Busey and take a look at this fantastic scene.

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