Lethal Weapon (1987)

As a script writer for hire  and UK script consultant you have to have a certain respect for craft. And Lethal Weapon is a film that is all about craft, particularly when it comes to the screenplay.

Sure the film is full of clichés, or it has created the clichés of what a good cop movies (especially in the 1980s) should contain, or be.

It’s a buddy movie; it’s an action movie, its fun for all the family – hell, there’s even a dog in there.

But you have to respect Shane Black for writing a script that’s almost as bullet proof as its main character. Shane Black is one of my favourite script writers, I don’t always like his films, but he never fails to entertain in a Hollywood way.

Looking back at the film now, there’s also a huge amount of humour. The script almost sends itself up. Twenty years on, the film remains massively entertaining, a classic of its type and a testament to screenwriting craft.

Simple, straightforward plotting, great characters, a few reverses, humour, crisp dialogue, suspense and action and a breakneck pace.

The film works, and nobody can argue with that…

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on matcoop23@yahoo.co.uk or hire him on Peopleperhour