You can see why Mel Gibson and Danny Glover wanted to do one more of these thrillers.
The neatly-constructed screenplay has a decent storyline about Triad killers from Hong Kong that allows room for explosive action scenes, and there's a menacing villain in Jet Li as the smiling assassin-in-chief.
Li, as befits a martial arts star, is plainly invincible in unarmed combat (although Riggs does have a good try) and must be terminated by any means available.
Gibson and Glover, as Riggs (still a maverick) and Murtaugh, enjoy more fast-talking exchanges, especially at the beginning when they take on a suited-up psycho torching everything in sight.
Action set-pieces squarely hit their target in a film that keeps its lightness of tone, despite some serious goings-on.
Laughs come courtesy of Joe Pesci, returning as marmite-y sidekick Leo, and Chris Rock as the rookie cop who's knocked up Murtaugh's daughter.