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- “I'm too old for this shit!”
- ―Rodger Murtaugh's catchphrase
Roger Murtaugh (born December 21, 1937) is a sergeant of the Los Angeles Police Department. Murtaugh is a straitlaced veteran homicide detective sergeant and family man. He was a lieutenant of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the U.S. Army, and served in the Vietnam War. He joined the LAPD in 1967 and after 20 years, is considering retirement, hence his catchphrase, "I'm too old for this shit".
Murtaugh is an old fashioned cop and has been with the police department for half his life. Due to his old age, he feels he no longer is the cop he once was in his prime and therefore considers retiring. Despite these circumstances though, he knows his limits with his powers and abilities on the force, especially when he has to live with the crazy antics of his partner Martin Riggs.
Murtaugh also uses classic police weapons such as his Smith & Wesson Model 19 when in combat, as pointed out by Riggs. But when things get hairy and additional firepower is needed, he also brings along a pistol for backup.
Roger Murtaugh is in African American descent, is a slender man, with tan skin, short black hair with mustache, and often wears suits while on duty, with certain accessories such as a necktie, or a sweater vest.
At his home in Los Angeles, California, Roger Murtaugh is celebrating his 50th birthday. The family gathers around him while he is in the bathtub. Then, his oldest daughter Rianne points out he is growing some gray hair on his beard, which worries him as he is now an older man than his early years with the department. When he enters the kitchen, a now clean-shaven Murtaugh finds out from his wife Trish a close friend named Michael Hunsaker tried to get a hold of him a few days back; Murtaugh had not seen him in 12 years. His eldest daughter Rianne shows him her New Year's Eve dress, which also gets on Roger's nerves about his age.
At the scene of the suicide, Murtaugh learns the dead victim is Michael's daughter Amanda Hunsaker. One witness, a hooker named Dixie was let go by Murtaugh. He investigates Amanda's apartment and finds drugs as evidence, then calls his wife for Michael's number. The next day, in his office, Detective Boyette tells Murtaugh the suicide has been ruled as a homicide, clarifying her drugs were laced with liquid drain cleaner which ended up in her system in the process, leading him to say she would've died within minutes anyway even if she didn't jump off her balcony. Boyette then was about to tell him he would be partnered with "loose cannon" and fellow Vietnam War veteran Martin Riggs to investigate the suspected suicide of Mr. Hunsaker's daughter. Murtaugh at first thought Riggs was a mugger seeing he had a gun and charged at him, which Riggs prevailed over Murtaugh. At first, the two initially cannot stand each other and resent each other's presence.
In the police garage, Murtaugh then introduces himself to Riggs, hearing about his case with the drug dealers. They even exchange words with each other's guns which ends in offence to Murtaugh; they also talk how they are both fucked that one and the other are forced to work together on the case. He later meets with Michael Hunsaker and discusses with him Amanda's autopsy results. Murtaugh reveals his daughter was murdered, then asks why he wanted to get in touch with him. Hunsaker explains his daughter was making pornographic video tapes as Murtaugh tries to calm him down. In tears, Hunsaker tells Murtaugh to kill the people responsible for his daughter's death, saying he owes him.
While drinking a Pepsi and eating a hot dog, the duo work together on their first minor assignment: to safely prevent Len McCleary from committing suicide. Riggs decides to bring him down himself, but Murtaugh tells him not to try anything deemed dangerous. He succeeds, but Murtaugh gets furious with Riggs in how he handled the situation, and gets in a heated argument with him. He even tells Riggs to tempt suicide if that's what he really wants by pointing his revolver to his mouth.
Murtaugh then has a talk with psychiatrist Dr. Stephanie Woods on his bag phone about Riggs and then drives to a pimp's house in relation to Amanda's homicide. He tells Riggs they are going to question him, not shoot, in order to get answers. When they arrive, it gains the attention of the girls who were dosing on heroin, only for Murtaugh and Riggs to show their police badges. The pimp then appears and fires at Murtaugh, but he is able to disarm him by shooting his leg, while Riggs quickly dealt with the girls. As he was about to be arrested, the pimp nearly shot Murtaugh when Riggs knocked the gun out of the way and shot him three times as he fell into the pool. The detectives tried to save him but were too late. Despite his death, Murtaugh gains respect for Riggs when he saves his life.
As a present for Riggs, Murtaugh invites him over to his house for dinner, introducing his family in the process. This causes conflict for Roger when his daughter hits on Riggs. While fixing his boat, he talks to Riggs about his style of crime fighting in comparison to the latter's when he is surprised about his boat's engine running fine. Rianne then asks her father if she can hang out with her boyfriend, but he tells her no because she is grounded, due to smoking pot in his house. But with some convincing from Riggs, he allows Rianne to go on her date. Murtaugh then bids goodbye to his partner as he heads home. Back in his home, he receives a package containing an old yearbook from Amanda Hunsaker's senior year with a porn tape.
The next day, Roger is woken up by Riggs, who tells him he believes he knows who is responsible for Amanda's death. At the police station shooting range, they continue to talk that perhaps Dixie (who Murtaugh let go from the crime scene earlier) was the one who poisoned Amanda when she was overdosed on other drugs. The detectives taunt each other in each other's shooting skills, with Murtaugh being annoyed by Riggs' skills used in his target poster (which shows a smiley face). Murtaugh and Riggs proceed to Dixie's house to question her when a surprise explosion nearly takes their lives with it. After the fire department put out the fire, Riggs finds out whoever blew up the house used a mercury switch next to the heater. The only witness to the crime was a six year old African-American boy named Alfred. Murtaugh is able to get information on the suspect to the point he was a former Special Forces soldier.
On the day of Amanda's funeral, Murtaugh confronts Mr. Hunsaker, who has been laundering the profits from a heroin-trafficking cartel, and learns the details of the organization before Mr. Joshua, the cartel's primary henchman, murders Hunsaker. Later that night, Murtaugh's partner Riggs goes out to ask a woman questions in regards to Mr. Joshua, but he is attacked by Joshua who quickly speeds away in a car after shooting him. Luckily, he wore a bullet proof vest and survived. On a dispatch radio, Murtaugh tells dispatch about the suspect that tried to kill Riggs, but learns the department is already familiar with a person with such characteristics. The same night, the cartel kidnaps Murtaugh's daughter Rianne and kills her boyfriend Mark, in an attempt to make Murtaugh divulge what Hunsaker told him.
Murtaugh races the car back to his home. The duo break into the home, fearing suspects may be in the house. He sees that his wife is shocked knowing Rianne has been kidnapped, and Murtaugh tells her he's got it under control. Running out of time Riggs plans an ambush at El Mirage Lake, saying he will have to do it his way if he wants to save his daughter. Murtaugh agrees with him and they prepare for the confrontation at El Mirage Lake the next day.
Since the cartel thinks Riggs is dead, he goes into hiding while Murtaugh stands there waiting for the right moment to save Rianne. He is armed with a hand grenade that he is forced to drop when he is shot by Joshua, revealed to be a smoker. A shootout ensues, but it ends in failure when Riggs surrenders to General Peter McAllister, the head of the cartel, and Murtaugh is unable to escape the gunfire. At a secret underground hideout, the cartel tortures Murtaugh, putting salt in his bullet wound, trying to ask him about the next shipment of heroin and threatens to torture Rianne as well, until Riggs rescues them. The duo and Rianne escape the hideout while taking out the remainder of Shadow Company's henchmen.
Outside, Murtaugh tells a police officer to get him some back up and to look after his daughter while he heads to the alley of the building. He manages to kill McAllister's driver first, leaving McAllister to take the wheel, but is unable to take full control, causing a bus-versus-car crash, and a gigantic explosion from the grenade close to the fire. When Riggs fails to capture Mr. Joshua, Murtaugh figures the only place he could be heading is his home. Even though he was hurting, and the paramedics insisted he need attention, Murtaugh said he didn't need it now and he borrowed a detective's car with Riggs joining him.
As they arrive, one of them puts a note on the Christmas Tree while the other sends the dead police officers' car crashing through the house in the living room hoping to lure Joshua to them. It succeeds and Joshua is taken outside Murtaugh's house. As Joshua is patted down by Murtaugh, Riggs challenges Joshua to "a shot at the title". In charge of the fight, he backs up Riggs as he fights and subdues Mr. Joshua, and then shoots Joshua when he attempts to shoot both him and Riggs. He helps his ailing partner after his defeat.
On Christmas Eve, he has forgone retirement and accepts Riggs into his family. However, he warns Riggs to not deliver romance to Rianne or else he will "kill him" and it is only a matter of time if Sam (Riggs' dog) will get along with the family pet cat Burbank.
Two years later, Murtaugh and Riggs are chasing two suspects in a car that is exceeding the speed limit. The chase resulted in some mishaps, such as Riggs chasing the car on foot crossing the bridge, and one of the suspects getting on to the getaway helicopter. The suspect was cornered at a department store and crashed the car as it landed upside down. Murtaugh and Riggs exited their vehicle to arrest him, but he was nowhere to be found. However, they did find a clue he left behind, and in the trunk were millions in gold krugerrand. Murtaugh knew it was krugerrand, having learned about it due to apartheid.
The next day in his office, he saw the detectives assigned on the krugerrand case witnessing Martin Riggs break free out of a straight jacket. He told everybody to break it up and get back to work on their assignment. Then Riggs told everybody Murtaugh's daughter Rianne, was going to appear on a commercial later in the day. Murtaugh refused to give out any details about the commercial but did so anyway at Riggs' expense.
He is targeted by a South African drug cartel fronted by ruthless diplomat Arjen Rudd, by his henchman Pieter Vorstedt who has Roger and Trish tied up and gagged in their own home. To assist Riggs' investigation of the South African consulate, Murtaugh portrays a man named Alphonse who wants to emigrate to South Africa to help overthrow apartheid.
Following this, Murtaugh fights off two attackers in his home with a nail gun and rescues Federal witness Leo from the cartel. He helps Riggs track down and kill the other members of the cartel when it is revealed that the cartel who murdered their fellow detectives on the krugerrand case, are, in fact, the same ones who murdered Riggs' wife.
This includes an assault on a cargo ship which ends in the death of the remaining members of the cartel, including Rudd, whom Murtaugh kills after Rudd shoots Riggs, shortly saying "It's just been revoked".
Facing retirement in 8 days, Murtaugh and Riggs accidentally cause a bomb in the building to explode after Riggs ignored Murtaugh's protests. However, he rescued a cat just before the bomb squad arrive. However, they are both demoted to patrolmen for their punishment.
7 days until retirement, While arguing with Riggs, the latter sees a jaywalker who he calls over to give him a ticket. But it comically ends in turmoil as the duo both give him a ticket, then scare him by tempting to shoot him, hence by making him run far away as they both laugh. Then Murtaugh and Riggs both see a carjacker wounding a truck driver when they suspiciously see two armored trucks. Riggs gives chase by jumping into the cargo area of the truck while Murtaugh hops in the front seat of another truck driven by Dolores, who flirts with Murtaugh during the chase.
As she is driving, he cannot stand her personality even when she is singing. They nearly run over one of the bank robbers, Smitty, who Riggs punched out of the moving vehicle and onto the busy highway. After the chase ends, Murtaugh runs to Riggs and tells him they have to go back to the police station.
Murtaugh and Riggs both go to Fast Eddie's Hamburger Stand to enjoy some delicious hamburgers. Murtaugh has a talk with Fast Eddie himself telling him about a family recipe he knows about as he heads to the grill to make some burgers. But it is quickly interrupted when he hears the sound of gunshots from across the fence as Riggs is under gunfire from African-American gangsters, possibly those of Tyrone.
With most of the gang nearly gone, only one remained and Murtaugh arrived to help Riggs. At first he told the gang member to surrender, but he responded with gunfire providing cover from a shed. Murtaugh then fired shots from his pistol until he ran out of bullets; they all hit the suspect. Murtaugh slowly approached him and kicked his weapon out of the way and, upon turning him over his front side and removing his sunglasses, was shocked to see he had just killed Darryl, Nick's friend.
Although it was hopeless, Murtaugh attempted CPR on Darryl, but Riggs knew he was gone, saying "it was a clean shoot." After the shooting, he entered depression and became drunk and refuses to cope with anyone, including his family. Riggs on the other hand would partner up with Lorna Cole until Murtaugh got better.
A few days later on his boat, he receives a visit from Riggs who, after having a talk with his daughter Rianne, tells Roger he needs to get his act together.
At Darryl's funeral, he tries to apologize to Mr. and Mrs. Smithers for what happened, only to have Mrs. Smithers slap him in the face without hearing what he had to say. However, Mr. Smithers advised Roger to find the man who sold the gun to Darryl.
Murtaugh, Riggs, and Lorna all go after the sources of where all the guns come from and are being sold to. Eventually, they learn from Tyrone that it's none other than Jack Travis, who is the mastermind behind it all. At the station, they're partnered up with Officer Edwards. They all try to stop Travis and his henchmen from stealing the rest of the stuff, but were too late, but ended up rescuing Captain Murphy. Edwards was shot and killed with the armor piercing bullet by Travis, which saddened Murtaugh, who thought of it like "another kid," much like Darryl, which it reminded him of.
Eventually, after Riggs fails to capture Travis, Murtuagh catches up with Riggs. Leo shows up and tells them where Travis may be at. Murtaugh and Riggs, not wanting to be accompanied by Leo, shoot out two of Leo's tires.
Later that night, Riggs and Murtaugh go to Rancho Oroya, where Jack Travis and his henchmen are at. There, they're joined along by Lorna. They start up a gunfight taking on Travis' henchmen, and they set the entire illegal development on fire. Right after Lorna shoots a henchman, backing up Riggs and Murtaugh, Travis comes out of nowhere and shoots her with his armor piercing bullets, thinking he killed her. As Riggs is going after Travis, Murtaugh takes out a few more henchmen in the blaze before Riggs suffers an impending fate. After shooting down one last henchman, Murtaugh tosses Riggs Darryl's SMG filled with armor piercing "cop killer" bullets, and Riggs shoots Travis through the plow of the digger.
After the battle, Riggs tends to Lorna and sees she had on two bulletproof vests, to prevent any further damage, though still a couple of bad ones. Riggs tells her he loves her, just before she is taken to the hospital.
The next morning, after Murtaugh was going to retire, he tells his family he is not to after all and continues on the force for another 10 years before retirement, even though they brought cake to celebrate it. He's proud to hear from them that they'll support his decision he made. Then, much to his dismay, Leo pays a visit and tells Roger he should sell his house and is considering a new place for him.
As he and Riggs are leaving for work, Murtaugh warns Riggs to stay away from Rianne after seeing they kissed, but Riggs lets him know he's already spoken for by Lorna and going her up from the hospital in the afternoon, to which Murtaugh says "You're serious?" It indicates that Riggs and Lorna have decided to be in a committed relationship together after all they've been through together.
One rainy night in Los Angeles, Murtaugh and Riggs drive their squad car to the area where an armored criminal vandalizes and burns city property. When their attempt at running him over to stop him failed, both cops exit the car through the driver's side and hide for cover. As the shooting and burning continues, Murtaugh tells Riggs he will put his life on the edge to stop the armored criminal, but Riggs says to Murtaugh he will have a lot to lose (a wife and three kids) if he does.
Then, this makes Riggs bring up the fact that his eldest daughter Rianne is pregnant and Roger is going to be a grandfather. After the police are unable to take out the criminal off his feet and stop his shooting, Riggs tells Murtaugh to distract him and flap his arms like a bird in his underpants, as he will shoot the criminal's valves from the rear. Murtaugh does and removes his clothes, leaving only his boxers, then gets the armored criminal's attention. Just when it looks like Murtaugh would meets his demise in the fire, Riggs shoots the criminal's flamethrower valve and sends him flying into a gas station, causing an explosion that sends a semi-trailer high into the sky and landing on top of the duo's car.
After the explosion, Murtaugh tells Riggs his advice helped. But Riggs simply told him that the whole reason he told him to undress himself was because he wanted to see him do it, which angers Murtaugh and tells him to "go spit."
Nine months later, the duo and Leo Getz are on a boat belonging to Murtaugh, fishing in the open ocean. They receive an unexpected surprise from a large ship that happens to pass by them, and Murtaugh suspects it may be something fishy. While Riggs investigates, Murtaugh and Leo stay behind and shoot any trespassers that may harm them. A flaming oil drum is shot up into the sky and is about to land on Murtaugh's boat. With no choice but to jump, Murtaugh and Leo escape just in time, thought Murtaugh is upset that his boat got destroyed.
Later, the police arrive and impound the boat. From there, Murtaugh finds another boat of people who were brought from China and decides to watch over the family, having them over at his house, until they can be granted asylum.
The next day, when Riggs and Lorna come over, Riggs notices one of the Hongs, Ping, going into the kitchen, and sees the rest of them there. Murtaugh tells Riggs he's watching over them until asylum can be granted for them. There they all have a Chinese, and like the others, Murtaugh found it very good. There, he and Riggs leave for work.
Murtaugh and Riggs are informed by their supervisor, Captain Murphy, that the damage they've done over the time, the department lost it's insurance carrier. Since the department can't get a new one and firing them isn't really an option, they're being promoted to Captain, in order to stay our trouble. While working on the Chinese smuggling case, they're partnered up with Sgt. Lee Butters, who, unknown to Roger, is really his son-in-law and the father of Rianne's baby she's expecting.
While working on smuggling case, they deduct in that the slave ship being brought in had something to with Uncle Benny Chan, the crime boss of the Triad gang, and a owner of a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles' Chinatown. They go to Uncle Benny's restaurant and ask him what he knows about it so far, and he says nothing. While questioning Uncle Benny, Riggs starts noticing Wah Sing Ku, Chan's top enforcer for the Triads. They are forced to leave while having no probable cause, Riggs pulls the fire sprinkler soaking the whole room while covering with an umbrella and shoots through the glass. The next day, Wah Sing Ku and his henchmen kidnap the Hongs and hold Trish, Rianne, and Lorna hostage. Murtaugh and Riggs, along with Lorna, try fighting off as much of them as possible. But after Lorna gets knocked out cold, Murtaugh and Riggs get overpowered by Ku, with Ku taking apart Riggs' gun in one deft move and knocking them both out cold. There, they're all tied up with duct tape and left in the house to die with it set on fire. Ping, who hid to avoid capture, however, came out from hiding and cut them free, and they all got out of the house safe and sound. Murtaugh and Riggs take Rianne's car and go after the Triads with the assistance of police helicopter units tracking them down.
Leo informs Murtaugh, Riggs and Butters he tracked Uncle Benny at dental office having an appointment. Leo goes in for distraction while, Roger, Riggs, and Butters interrogate Uncle Benny on where the Hongs are at. Uncle Benny not giving in on information, while denying any of it, tries covering himself from telling them anything about it. Murtaugh threatens to use a dental tool on Uncle Benny, but Riggs makes him breathe in nitrous oxide to extract the truth from him. Breathing in so much of it, Uncle Benny goes ballistic and hysterically insane, and was forced to give in about where Hongs are at while telling them about the Four Fathers and buying them back. While having breathed in some nitrous oxide, Riggs accidentally told Murtaugh that Butters was and is his son-in-law. Murtaugh was surprised about it and goes insanely funny while inhaled some nitrous oxide in the process as well. He and Riggs threatened Benny if anything happened to the Hongs. Once they left the dental office, Murtaugh punches Riggs out because he was "keeping it from him". There, he tells Butters after they find the Hongs, them two and Rianne will be getting into the discussion about them both and the baby. Afterwards, Murtaugh, Riggs, Butters, Ng, Ng's partner, and some other detectives investigate the scene of where Chung Hong was being forced to make counterfeit money for the Triads for the exchange of the Four Fathers. There, they found the dead bodies of Chung, and his nephew Grandpa Hong, and Uncle Benny. Murtaugh, deeply saddened by Hong and his uncle's deaths, promises them both that he will avenge them both and the family will be granted asylum. Then they all go to the harbor where the Triads would be meeting the general to make the exchange. There, both Murtaugh and Riggs and the other detectives reveal to the general that the money being given to them from the Triads for the exchange of the release of the Four Fathers was counterfeit money.
A firefight breaks out between the Triads, the general's private army and the police, and most of the Triads and army are killed. Three of the Four Fathers were shot and killed by the general, but one, Wah Sing Ku's brother, escapes with Ku. Just as Murtaugh almost got shot, Butters jumps in the way taking the bullet for him. Murtaugh, finally willing to accept Butters as his son-in-law, asks Ng to watch over and take care of him and to get him a medical unit. Ku attempts to escape with his brother, but just as Murtaugh was aiming for Ku, he shoots and kills his brother. Enraged by his brother's death, Ku challenges both Murtaugh and Riggs. Riggs engages in a fistfight with Ku at the pier, Murtuagh impales Ku through the torso with a metal stick before being knocked out cold and unconscious. The pier collapses and sends Riggs and Ku underwater. There, Riggs finds a submerged AK-47 and kills Ku. Riggs makes it up to the harbor, but more of the pier falls off with him under it and traps him. There, Murtaugh regains consciousness and realizes Riggs is in the harbor. He dives in and rescues Riggs pulling the broken piece of the pier off him, and he says, "I heard you, Riggs. You willed me to it, man." There, they make it out of the harbor.
The next day or so, while Murtaugh is waiting at the hospital for Rianne's baby to be born, Riggs is visiting his late wife Victoria's grave, having guilt of not being down there enough. There, Riggs is telling her he's going to marry Lorna, and is then paged by Lorna that the baby is on the way. After Lorna insists on "getting married first" before the baby, they're unofficially ceremonially married by a rabbi, Rabbi Gelb. Soon after, both the babies are born, and Captain Murphy gives both Murtaugh and Riggs their old positions as sergeants once again, after the city has been self-insured, and the Hongs have been granted asylum. There, Murtaugh poses for a photo with his family, Trish, Carrie, Nick, and Rianne and Butters and the baby, along with Riggs and Lorna and their baby, and Leo and Captain Murphy for a family photo.