Deliberate mistake: During the big gun battle right before the last fight scene, Riggs is shown driving a forklift, and knocking over some barrels on top of Wah Sing Ku, leader of the Triads. When the forklift does the 180° turn, you can CLEARLY see that it is not Mel Gibson, but an Asian stunt man.
Continuity mistake: During the car chase involving the car driven by the Chinese guy, Murtaugh, and the mobile home, the two cars slide against each other and the right wing mirror on Murtaugh's car is completely wrecked. Once the two cars are separated the wing mirror has miraculously repaired itself. The left wing mirror also does a disappearing / reappearing trick.
Continuity mistake: In the scene near the end of the film when Murtaugh shoots at Wah Sing Ku and mistakenly kills the last of the four fathers, you can clearly hear an empty shell casing hit the floor, although he is using a revolver, which do not spit out the empty shells as they are fired.
Continuity mistake: At the end of the movie when Riggs, Murtaugh and the other two cops enter the garage where the Triad chief is buying the four fathers' freedom whe can clearly hear the hard rain outside, but the car that they're driving is completely dry - maybe they had a very big umbrella!
Factual error: Riggs is shown using a laser-sight on his handgun throughout the entire movie. However, almost every single time he turns it on, the entire "beam" of the laser is visible, which doesn't happen in real life unless there is smoke/vapor/debris in the air. Obviously done for the sake of the audience seeing where the laser is pointed, but still a mistake.
Continuity mistake: During the gunfight with the armored man, more and more bullet holes continue to appear on Riggs and Murtaugh's side of the car which is facing away from the armored man with the gun. And in one brief scene from the armored mans view, there are no bullet holes on the side of the car which he had fired at and hit several times.
Continuity mistake: When Riggs is hanging off the roof and the others are trying to move a dumpster for him to drop into, the handcuffed Chinese waiter is trying to help. A shot from the top shows the waiter pushing the dumpster with his (outstretched) leg, but a split second later, a shot from the side, he has his back to the dumpster.
Plot hole: When the armored guy is propelled under the tanker trailer, his backpack explodes. That blast can not have been large enough to lift the entire trailer through the air. The trailer never explodes itself, and if it did, the tank itself would have torn apart and the frame beneath would have stayed on the ground, pushed down by that blast above. (Oh, and there's no such "safety feature" that is intended to launch a trailer in the air in case of an accident.)
Factual error: When the sedan is struck by the train, it launches into the air and explodes, but doesn't sustain severe impact damage. The car rolls over in midair and it is nearly straight - not heavily bent or crushed as the entire left side should have been. Even a slow moving train heavily batters the passenger vehicle it hits.
Factual error: Early in the film, while Riggs, Roger and Leo are on the Code 7, Riggs has to place his Beretta in his mouth so he can board the larger ship. The Beretta 92FS is a heavy handgun, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for it to be held in the mouth, let alone to wave your head about like in the film. I own a Beretta 92 and I've tried it, so I'm speaking from experience.
Other mistake: When Riggs and Murtaugh are assigned as new captains, they throw their old badges to the Chief and he catches them in his left hand as he grabs the new badges out of the desk draw with his right. In the next shot where he passes them the new badges, he is not shown to have swapped the badges over, so essentially he passed the old ones back to them.
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