great 80s flick that was the precursor to die hard. joel silver may be the biggest story here. beginning in the 80s silver was a top notch producer. actually, his success started in 79 with the warriors, but he really gained momentum in the 80s with: commando, 48 hours, weird science, lethal weapon, predator, die hard, and sequels to those last three films. lethal weapon is quite similar to die hard: same composer (kamen does a lot of the same stuff here as he does in die hard), same location (LA), same time frame (christmas), same character dynamic (black and white cop working to rid the city of evil in spite of their bosses), same blond-haired henchman, and at least three actors appeared in both films (asian henchman, special agent johnson plays a cop here, and the chick reporter in die hard is the shrink here). both also happen to be great. i hadn’t seen this one in a long time, but i’m glad i revisited it. so much of it informed my movie viewing and outlook on things. gibson (in his second best performance ever – road warrior) plays an on the edge cop who is a vietnam vet and suicidal. the movie shaped my view of vietnam vets to a certain degree (in that it cut to the core about their being forgotten in the mental health department). it also is notable because of the drug angle and the opening scene which features a topless girl committing suicide. the torture scene sticks out in my head and the relationship between glover and gibson is also noteworthy. it’s a fun film with an edge to it and it’s unrelenting. action, issues of suicide and mental illness, drug use, torture, etc. it’s a heavy flick and a great one.