As in Die Hard, it’s hard to tell that Lethal Weapon is set at Christmastime, in part because it’s Los Angeles and there’s no snow, and in part because of the non-stop cops-and-robbers mayhem going on. The opening scene, involving a naked hooker, Drano-laced cocaine, and a fatal swan dive out of a high-rise, is set to “Jingle Bell Rock.”
There’s also a Bugs Bunny holiday special on TV while self-destructive cop Riggs (Mel Gibson) ponders suicide. There’s that coke-bust in the Christmas tree lot. And there’s Riggs’ redemption, celebrated along with Christmas at the home of his new partner, Murtaugh (Danny Glover), a moment of wholesomeness that’s almost enough to erase all the ugliness that’s come before.