Kevin: Danny Glover celebrated his birthday this past Sunday, which in most cases would have prompted a simple congratulatory tweet from Tough Guy Digest before we went back to important matters like trying to figure out how to mark the 25th anniversary of “Demolition Man” this year. However, I found it hard to concentrate on anything else when I noticed the actor’s age. Thinking he had to be at least in his late-70s or probably early 80s, I was surprised to see that he was only 72. But what really blew my mind is when I did the math and realized that means Glover was barely over 40 years old the first time he uttered the phrase “I’m too old for this shit” as Sgt. Roger Murtaugh in the first “Lethal Weapon”:
It’s hard not to think about “Lethal Weapon” whenever Glover gets another year older, as we are first introduced to his most iconic character as he is celebrating his own birthday as well. Of course we are also introduced to Murtaugh’s entire family, and perhaps it’s a testament to how great the first “Lethal Weapon” is that we never have time to fully register what a weird and disturbing bunch the Murtaughs are in retrospect. Because although we’ve mentioned this scene before in our “Lethal Weapon” Round Table and breakdown of how Roger is the worst neighbor in history, it can never be stressed enough how bizarre it is that the entire family congregates around Murtaugh and wishes him a happy birthday while he is buck naked in the bath tub!:
First let’s note that the Murtaugh family has serious boundary issues. There are numerous ways they could have chosen to surprise Roger with a birthday cake, but they decided the most acceptable option is to barge in on him while he is in the bathroom. What if they walked in while he was in the middle of getting out of the tub? What if they caught him doing, uh, something else during what I assume is his only time to get some privacy away from his family (note that Roger has a very “in my refractory period” look on his face as he tries to adjust to what is going on when they first come in).
Also, I always assume there were a lot more bubbles to cover Roger’s junk in this scene – maybe as part of my memory’s way of making it less weird – but nope as you can see this water is pretty clear, and his lethal weapon is out there for the whole world, as well as his youngest daughter, to see:
Of course then his oldest daughter has to make it even more awkward by leaning over the tub to tell her naked father that he’d basically look more virile and attractive without the greying beard, before kissing him on the lips. Maybe the look Roger gives himself in the mirror has less to do with getting old and more about regret for what he did to raise such a disturbing family. Although if nothing else we should also wonder what type of “Cocoon”-type powers exist in the water at the Murtaugh house, as Roger begins the film looking like a cop in his 50s on the verge of retirement, and by “Lethal Weapon 4” 11 years later he’s running around in his boxer shorts with the body of a man half his age:
So happy birthday again to both Danny Glover and Sgt. Murtaugh, and hopefully if either one of you took a bath that day you remembered to lock the damn door this time, you never know who’s gonna come barging in!