Ask anyone what the greatest action movie of all time is and they’ll probably say Die Hard – and they’re not wrong. But a year before Die Hard was released, the movie that would eventually become a close second in the debate over the greatest action movie ever made mixed high-octane thrills and a holiday setting long before John McClane arrived at Nakatomi Plaza.
That movie was Lethal Weapon, a modern, action-packed take on the film noir genre. It set the template for the buddy cop movie and was followed by three sequels. Here are the 10 Craziest Quotes From The Lethal Weapon Movies.
10 “You have the right to remain unconscious. Anything you say ain’t gonna be much.”
Action movies are famous for their one-liners. The heroes will kill a guy or arrest the villain or load their gun and then fire off a cool line. It’s been homaged and parodied in countless spoofs of the genre.
There are plenty of examples of these one-liners in the Lethal Weapon movies. At one point during Lethal Weapon 3, Riggs knocks out a bad guy and recites him his own personal version of the Miranda rights: “You have the right to remain unconscious. Anything you say ain’t gonna be much.” Obviously, he had to tweak it to reflect the fact that the guy was out cold.
9 “It’s just been revoked.”
This kick-ass one-liner comes at the end of Lethal Weapon 2. It looks as though Riggs isn’t going to make it and Murtaugh has Rudd, the bad guy, in his sights. Rudd has just shot Riggs and as Murtaugh aims his weapon at him, he holds up his ID and reminds Murtaugh that he has diplomatic immunity.
Then Murtaugh sends a bullet through Rudd’s ID and into his head and says, “It’s just been revoked.” In the years since, this line has become one of the best-known quotes in the history of action cinema, and it’s easy to see why.
8 “I’d like to see your driver’s license and proof of insurance!”
This quote in and of itself is not all that crazy or memorable, but it’s the context in which it’s used that makes it one of the best quotes from the franchise. It’s from the opening scene of Lethal Weapon 2 – one of the scenes that set the rule for action movies that they have to open with an awesome action sequence – in which Riggs and Murtaugh are in a high-speed pursuit of some bad guys.
Riggs finds himself clinging to the hood of the criminals’ moving car and tells them, “I’d like to see your driver’s license and proof of insurance!”
7 “You’re not trying to draw a psycho pension! You really are crazy!”
When Roger Murtaugh hears that his new partner Martin Riggs is crazy, he assumes that he’s just trying to get out of extra work or scam his way into early retirement. However, shortly after meeting him, he watches Riggs go up on a rooftop to (supposedly) talk down a jumper.
He ends up jumping off the building with the guy and into the firefighters’ stretched-out parachute. Later, he has to stop Riggs from shooting himself and he realizes something: “You’re not trying to draw a psycho pension! You really are crazy!” The stage is then set for their four-movie partnership.
6 “I’m Leo Getz, and whatever you want, Leo gets. Get it?”
Lethal Weapon 2 shook up the first movie’s formula by adding a third character into the fold. The first one had introduced us to the partnership of Riggs and Murtaugh, so the second one brought in a third guy – comic relief in the form of a fast-talking Joe Pesci – to keep things fresh.
At the time, Pesci was just a year away from the career-defining double whammy of his star-making turn in Home Alone and his Oscar-winning performance in Goodfellas. His character’s name is Leo Getz and that’s also the source of his catchphrase: “I’m Leo Getz, and whatever you want, Leo gets. Get it?”
5 “What do I look like, a f**kin’ Crip’s accountant?!”
In Lethal Weapon 4, Chris Rock joined the cast playing a young new cop named Butters. Despite the late arrival, his pitch-perfect comic timing and likable characterization meant that fans quickly accepted him as a part of the team.
When Leo sees Butters in the car, he asks, “Who’s the perp?” and Butters defensively says, “Oh, I’m a perp? Oh, you see a young brother in the back of a police car, automatically I’m a perp?! Look at my suit! Look at my tie! What do I look like, a f**kin’ Crip’s accountant?! Look at this badge, b***h! Check out the gun!”
4 “I’m not a cop tonight, Roger, it’s personal.”
When Riggs begins to build a case against the bad guy in Lethal Weapon 2, he’s just doing his job. But as the bad guy turns out to be a South African diplomat who has immunity in the eyes of the law and he begins targeting all of Riggs and Murtaugh’s co-workers, it becomes personal.
It’s sort of a cliché in action movies when the case becomes personal, but in this instance, it works. We feel Riggs’ emotions. Going after the people he cares about isn’t cool, and we want to see him get revenge. That’s why it’s so awesome when he says, “I’m not a cop tonight, Roger, it’s personal.”
3 “I was driving before you were an itch in your daddy’s pants!”
The buddy cop genre is defined by the banter that comes out of the differences between the movies’ leads. Lethal Weapon was the template for a lot of these tropes. The pairing of two cops of different races and age groups has been copied by countless buddy cop movies ever since.
In fact, it had already been done in 48 Hrs., but that was a white cop paired with a black crook as opposed to a white cop and a black cop. In Lethal Weapon, there are plenty of jokes about Riggs and Murtaugh’s racial divide, but there are just as many about their age difference, like Murtaugh’s line, “I was driving before you were an itch in your daddy’s pants!”
2 “Grab the cat!”
The production team behind Lethal Weapon 3 were lucky that a skyscraper was already being demolished in their area, allowing them to shoot the threequel’s opening sequence in which Riggs and Murtaugh fail to defuse a bomb and have to flee an exploding building with a cat they found.
As Riggs attempts to disarm the bomb, he snips the wrong wire and the countdown to the explosion, rather than being stopped, is actually sped up. Riggs, realizing they only have a few seconds to get out of there before the whole building comes down, says to Murtaugh, “Grab the cat!”
1 “I’m too old for this s**t.”
This is the catchphrase of Roger Murtaugh, who was the first of many, many, many movie cops who are just a few days away from retirement at the time of the movie’s events. Every time something intense or exciting happens in a Lethal Weapon movie, Murtaugh sighs and says, “I’m too old for this s**t.”
But as Ted Mosby would later point out in How I Met Your Mother, the awesome thing about Murtaugh is that although he constantly goes on about being “too old for this s**t,” he never actually retires and keeps doing “this s**t” in sequel after sequel.