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Headscratchers / Lethal Weapon

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  • What the HECK happened to Delores!? She was in Lethal Weapon 3 at the beginning, showed up again briefly later, and then she was dropped from the story line all together. What happened?
    • She had nothing to do with the story whatsoever, other than the possibility of creating wacky misunderstandings or some sort of comic relief that Leo would be there for anyway. And considering Murtaugh was stuck in a Heroic BSoD, followed by an enraged He's Back, there was absolutely no way she'd fit without being anticlimatic and a tired gag.
  • In the first film, how did Murtaugh know where to find General McAllister at the end? It looked like he just wandered into the right alley.
    • It was the alley outside the club McAllister held them hostage. Murtaugh was looking for him but it was a lucky coincidence that he fled at that point, at that time.
  • At the end of the first film, Mr. Joshua drives up to Murtaugh's house to get revenge. As he does so, he kills two police officers who were sitting outside watching Murtaugh's house. When Mr. Joshua goes inside, he sees a note that reveals Murtaugh and Riggs were expecting him at the house. So....why the hell didn't they warn those two patrolmen sitting in their car??
    • Isn't that the reason the patrolmen were there?
    • Considering Joshua was less direct and more circumspect, they were probably expecting him to sneak into the house. In addition, if he didn't see police out front, he would have realized something was up. No one likely expected him to walk up to two armed police officers and kill them.
  • So Lorna survives getting shot with Hollywood "cop killer" bullets by putting on two ballistic vests, even though they just easily punched through a solid steel bulldozer blade? That makes no sense even if you forgot that earlier in the movie, Riggs demonstrated the ammunition by shooting clean through a free-hanging vest. In case you're not following, that's two layers it went through in that scene, yet the same two layers somehow stopped the bullets cold at the end. Wait, what?
    • On top of that, she has offered evidence (in the form of various scars) that she's just as reckless as Riggs; she isn't the type to wear even one ballistic vest, never mind two. Even if she were, how would she manage to stand up, much less participate in a gunfight? Just one of those would be pretty freakin' heavy.
    • We don't get a good view of the vests she wearing, it's possible she had a trauma plate in one of them, and that's what stopped the bullet. And bulletproof vests are pretty heavy, but the real problem is the bulk: vests are about two inches thick. Putting on two of them would make her look like a blimp.
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    • Bearing in mind the dismaying level of gun-related ignorance on display across the entire series, it's unlikely the writer knew trauma plates were even a thing, let alone made sure a character was using one without calling any attention to it in-story.
      • Likely true, but didn't we also see Riggs pull a trauma plate, with a hole in it, from the vest he demonstrated the bullet on at the shooting range?
    • If I remember correctly from the script, IMDB or somewhere, the idea was that the cop killers penetrated both plates but were sufficiently slowed down by those that by the time they reached her body, they only went superficially (skin deep if you will) into her chest, avoiding vital organ damage but still risking her life through bleedout and she would have died if not for prompt medical attention (which she gets).
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  • In LW 3, if Travis just walked away from a stakeout, like Cpt Murphy said, why would he still have access to suspects in custody (Billy Phelps), except to advance the plot?
  • I'm genuinely curious about the legal aftermath of the second film. While there were oodles and oodles of evidence against Rudd and his cronies (especially when they started killing off police officers) there surely had to be some sort of Internal Affairs or even Department of State investigation at the end to clear Riggs and Murtaugh of any culpability. I'm particularly interested in the kind of defense that could apply: they didn't have any warrants for searching/destroying Rudd's property, much less arresting, let alone killing his staff (not all of their kills were in self-defense.) In fact, much of the property they destroyed wasn't even Rudd's, it was the sovereign domain of the South African government. It gets worse when you remember that they had BOTH left their badges behind in order to indulge in acts of revenge, outside the auspice (and legal procedure) of the LAPD. Would they be reprimanded? Suspended temporarily? Demoted?
    • They would be investigated and likely reprimanded. While they didn't have their badges with them, they were still police officers (a cop is still a cop unless he's put on leave and told to turn in his badge), and they had previously identified themselves to the bad guys as cops, so the argument would be that they were pursuing an investigation into the money case, found Leo was being held in custody and in imminent danger of death (which they already knew but that's beside the point), and improvised because they were unable to wait for backup. Everything that happened on the ship was then in self-defense, since they were captured and in mortal danger. They would likely be reprimanded for going in without backup, but since they were really the only survivors they could spin in however they wanted (though knowing them, they'd probably tell the truth).
    • As for diplomatic fallout, given that the South Africans were clearly abusing their immunity, the South African government would likely try to sweep the whole thing under the carpet.
    • Since any complaints the South African government might raise about Riggs and Murtagh's conduct would be rapidly countered with the plentiful evidence that South African diplomats were engaged in the far more serious acts of smuggling drugs into the United States and kidnapping and murdering local police officers and citizens, and since the United States government is going to be less than thrilled with the South African government over that to begin with, the South African government doesn't exactly have much of a leg to stand on. It's practically guaranteed that the South African government wouldn't kick up that much of a stink in case they make things worse for themselves. Most likely, they offered a lot of profound regrets and apologies, insisted that Rudd and his cronies were rogue elements operating without any official sanction from the South African government, unreservedly condemned their actions, took their lumps and, like the troper above said, just waited for the whole mess to go away as quickly as possible.
    • Diplomatic Impunity isn't. The theory behind immunity is based on the fact that sovereigns don't subject each other to the laws of their own countries, and this extends to the body of the ambassadors that each country may send while that ambassador is doing that country's diplomatic or policy work. This is why UN diplomats should technically pay their New York Parking tickets - infringing New York Traffic laws are almost never the goals or work of an outside sovereign nation. Cop killing and drug smuggling is *not* the Republic of South Africa's international diplomatic policy - Rudd wouldn't be covered, even if he was the ambassador (and if he's just a random functionary within the embassy, that's even worse- they're not covered at all). Further, nations may declare any of their ambassadors persona non grata which means that they're withdrawing their immunity. The Republic of FW De Klerk would have probably signed that order in a heartbeat in the face of evidence of Rudd's atrocities.
    • There almost certainly was an Internal Affairs investigation or three; in the very next movie, Internal Affairs Officer Lorna Cole tells Riggs and Murtaugh that they are 'required reading' and references Mad Magazines when describing their files.
      • However, given that forensic evidence could prove that Rudd was the one who shot Riggs, Murtaugh could tell IA "Someone shot my partner, so I returned fire", which is even true, and the South African government can't really dispute it without needing to explain why bullets from their Consular Officer's gun are in a police officer's back.
  • What happened to the big shipment of heroin that McAllister was expecting during the first movie? The people who were going to pick it up are all dead, but depending on how it was coming in, it might not have been possible for the delivery men to turn around and take it back to Asia.
    • They probably would have notified Customs or had other LAPD officers do a search and seizure. It's safe to assume that heroin didn't make it to the streets, given the fact that they took out the entire distribution network.
      • But they don't know anything about the shipment that was coming in other than the fact that it's due in the next few days. They don't know who's delivering it, how it's being delivered, or where it's coming in.
    • McAllister is dead, but his files and records aren't; for a drug operation that large there has to be some kind of paper trail, and doubtlessly the police will be going through them with a fine-toothed comb. The police are also presumably going to watch the docks closely for any suspicious cargos or persons coming in around about the time that the shipment was expected. The smugglers on the boat (who are presumably unaware that the network they're relying on to pick up the drugs has completely fallen apart underneath them) are now going to be holding onto a large quantity of drugs that are now not going to be picked up by anyone and are going to have to get rid of them somehow without having any replacement networks in place. This will most likely make them stand out a lot more as they put out feelers to get new contacts, act more suspiciously than they otherwise would have had the network been running smoothly, and so on.
  • A question regarding a scene from the 4th film: Why in heck does a dental office have laughing gas?!
    • Nitrous Oxide - in supervised, controlled doses - acts as a tranquilizer for anyone who is having a tooth pulled. Dentists, or orthodontists who need to do such procedures, will require that the patient have someone to drive them home afterward, as the effects of the gas - which vary from patient to patient - take a while to wear off.
      • It's practically the default in most offices that treat children, as it calms them before the needles go in. And it is used for adults who may require it as well. If you hear of a dentist that practices "sedation dentistry", that's usually what they are talking about. As a person with phobia level panic attacks when going to dentists (it requires valium for me to even walk in the door), they use this on me for anything more than a cleaning.
  • What was the point of all the torturing and hostage-taking in the first movie? Those sorts of things are for when someone has something you want but don't have. Not for finding out how much they know. They clearly weren't going to believe Murtaugh and Riggs if they said anything less than explaining the entire plan in full detail, so why don't they just assume they know everything and move on? It's the only answer they're prepared to accept anyway, and it's pretty commmon-sense.
    • Joshua's a sadist, so the interrogation and kidnapping is mostly just a pretext for some Cold-Blooded Torture and revenge against the heroes.
    • Remember also that the bad guys are all Special Forces veterans of The Vietnam War. They quite likely learned their torture methodology during that time frame.
    • They also don't just want to know what they know; they also want to know what, if anything, they may have told others. If it's just two cops who bumbled into their operation, fine, they can just be killed, no harm done. If it's two cops who've bumbled into their operation who have then gone on to tell other cops, then that's the entire operation potentially at risk.
  • Was it ever explain why the guy with the body armor and assault weapons in Lethal Weapon 4 was shooting and burning things up? Does anyone know what his deal was?
    • It wasn't explained (at least not in the film itself), so it's up to you as to how to interpret it. He doesn't look like a "meet my ransom terms or I'll destroy this city block" terrorist to me. I think somewhere in that area was his former place of work and he's just trying to torch it because he's disgruntled about being fired. Of course, because he's so up-armed and up-armoured, he may have had the intention of trying to escape after carrying out the rampage.
  • Look closely at the shot after Hunsacker's daughter crashed onto the car below her apartment, at the start of the first movie. There are shadows of passersby being cast on the car, but they aren't rushing over in concern to see what the hell happened to this poor girl. They appear to be merely strolling by without a care in the world. Why? Don't tell me that 1987 LA is that apathetic.

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