Bruce Willis “does a Clooney” in Richard “Lethal Weapon” Donner’s latest action thriller, piling on 40lbs and growing some dubious facial hair for his role as burnt out New York detective Jack Mosley.
At the end of a hard night shift, spent boozing and kipping mainly, Jack is given one last task before he can head home to his well-stocked drinking cabinet: drive fast-talking criminal Eddie Bunker (Def) from the lock-up to the court house 16 blocks away where he is due to testify before the grand jury in a corruption trial.
What he isn’t told, however, is that Eddie will be testifying against Jack's colleagues, and the entire NYPD wants him dead.
After seeing Harrison Ford thumping bad guys half his age in last month’s “Firewall” and watching preview clips for Sly Stallone’s upcoming “Rocky 6” it’s refreshing to see an action hero finally accepting old age.
Wheezing and hobbling around like he would struggle to walk two blocks, never mind 16, without falling over, Willis is about as far removed from the other famous hard-drinking NYPD cop role of his career - John McCLane – as you could imagine.
As such, the wise-cracking duties fall to Mos Def who puts in a thoroughly entertaining turn as the other half of the movie’s traditional odd couple set-up – even if his mumbling drawl begins to irritate at times.
Richard Donner and screenwriter Richard Wenk talk us through 20 minutes of deleted scenes which, as is normally the case, weren’t included in the final cut because they didn’t add anything to the finished product.
So why anyone would want to bother sitting through them now is a mystery.
Also, you can’t watch these scenes without the pair of them blathering over the top of them, which makes their decision not to feature a commentary on the feature itself even more bizarre.
The only other extra is a “shocking” alternative ending which can be watched on its own or as part of the main feature. This new twist is inferior to the original finale - which was the worst part of the film in the first place.
Ergo, you won’t be missing much if you give this disappointing extra package a miss all-round.
Donner shows some classy touches in the director’s chair, particularly during the “Matrix”-style opening shoot-out and a heart-thumping hijack scene on a city bus.
The film falls down in the final third though as the plot holes slowly mount up and the sugary (literally) finish will disappoint even the most die hard Willis fans.
Staring: Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse, Jenna Stern, Casey Sander, Cylk Cozart
Directed by: Richard Donner
Extras: New alternative ending not seen in cinemas, Deleted scenes with audio commentary from Richard Donner and Richard Wenk