Read more about Martin Riggs at: Wikipedia
Official Site: Warner Bros.
Riggs joined the United States Army at age 19, eventually becoming a member of Special Forces, receiving specialized training in weaponry and hand-to-hand combat. These skills would later serve him well when he became a police officer. Most of Riggs' time in special forces was in Vietnam, where he served as an assassin under the CIA's "Phoenix Project" directive; while his ability as a trained killer would later plague his conscience, he thought of it as "...the only thing I was ever really good at."
In 1984, Riggs' wife of 11 years, Victoria Lynn, dies in a car accident, sending him into a deep depression. Driven to the brink with grief and anger, he regularly puts himself (and anyone else near him) in harm's way, secretly hoping someone will put him out of his misery by killing him, while unable to do that himself with suicide. The factor which initially gave Riggs the edge is that because of his wife's death, he was so suicidal that he didn't care whether he lived or died, and this gave him a definite advantage in showdown situations. By the end of the first movie, he has resolved these suicidal tendencies. In the second film, we learn that his wife's death was actually a murder attempt on Martin himself, gone wrong.
In Lethal Weapon, Riggs is transferred from the narcotics division to the homicide division after a shooting incident. He is partnered with fellow detective sergeant Roger Murtaugh in hopes that the older, more conservative veteran will keep him in line. After a rough start, the two become good friends, even though Riggs always gets on Murtaugh's nerves. By the end of this film, the two have worked together to rescue Murtaugh's daughter, who had been kidnapped by drug-lords and military mercenaries.
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