A sequel that stands on its own, LETHAL WEAPON 2 is a well-crafted, rousingly fast-paced action thriller with a first-rate cast. Los Angeles cops Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) are in hot pursuit of a red BMW as the film gets off to a fender-bending start. After much property destruction, the cops capture the red car, but lose the driver. However, they discover a fortune in South African gold Krugerrands in the trunk. Determined to keep the two hyperactive cops out of further high-priced mayhem, their superior puts them in charge of guarding a government witness in a drug-money laundering case. But when the witness (Joe Pesci) reveals he was laundering for South Africans, Murtaugh and Riggs spring back into action. Those stopping to think about such things may find more than a few holes in LETHAL WEAPON 2's plot. But to question is to quibble in this case; LETHAL WEAPON 2's pluses easily outweigh its minuses. If anything, Gibson and Glover are even better here than they were the first time out. Jeffrey Boam's script polishes and improves their characters. Returning director Richard Donner seems to have smoothed over the few stylistic rough edges remaining from the earlier film to deliver here two hours of pure, breathless, high-impact entertainment.