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Henchman of the Week (5/30/01):  Mr. Joshua

Featured in:  Lethal Weapon (1987)

Previous Experience:  Government Worker

MO:   Killing people from moving vehicle

Described by Friends As:  Outgoing, capable, psychopathic

Hates:  Paper jams

Termination:  Shot by unlikely buddy-cop duo

Temporary Assignment:  It's important for temporary employees to have a reliable source of transportation.  In this hectic day and age, temps never know where their assignments may lead them, and a good example of this is Mr. Joshua, henchman for General Peter McAllister, head of Shadow Company (corporate slogan:  Uniting Heroin and Junkies Since the Vietnam War).  Joshua is an ex-Special Services mercenary, yet is freakishly loyal to his current boss, even holding his forearm to a cigarette lighter so his boss can show off to a potential client.  Hey, beats fetching coffee.

His first little bit of business is to put the kibosh on a whistle-blower.  Big Heroin is a bit more proactive than Big Tobacco is: rather then put a bullet in the squealer's mailbox as a warning, they instead put it through his chest.  Joshua does the job with a sniper rifle from a hovering helicopter, while his target is nice enough to stand in front of a window and be killed.  Sure, not every temp has access to a chopper, but it comes in handy for Joshua here.

He later tries to take out Martin Riggs (a scruffy cop who sounds vaguely Australian) with a shotgun from the back of a Buick, again showing us the need for reliable transportation.  Even the most tolerant of car-pool partners might raise an objection to capping a cop during the ride home from work.

Riggs survives, due to his wearing a bullet-proof vest, but other affiliates of Shadow Company have captured the daughter of Roger Murtaugh (a grouchy older cop) who is, frankly, too old for this shit.

Joshua is put in charge of exchanging Murtaugh for his daughter, but Murtaugh lobs a smoke grenade at him while Riggs picks of goons from a distance with a sniper rifle.  Joshua's boss has somehow anticipated this, however, and he sneaks up on Riggs just before Riggs is about to dispatch Joshua (Joshua does, in fact, leave his limousine long enough to shoot Murtaugh in the arm, but quickly retreats to another vehicle when things get dicey).

At the Shadow Company corporate office, Joshua facilitates some connectivity with a trussed-up Riggs.

"Now if you would kindly tell me everything you know, I promise you I'll kill you quick."

Tempting, to be sure, but Riggs doesn't know anything (except maybe what women know).  Joshua helps out while a familiar-looking goon named Endo tortures Riggs with a car battery.

Riggs later escapes, rescuing Murtaugh and chasing Joshua down the street while they both fire machine guns in heavy traffic.  Joshua gets away, hijacking not one but two cars, the second of which he drives to Murtaugh's house.  Once there, he shoots two police officers to death from the driver's seat.  Man, this guy is battin' a thousand as long as he's in some sort of motorized conveyance, huh?  Sadly, his fascination with the automobiles becomes his undoing, for while he stands in Murtaugh's house, a driverless police car plows through the wall.

Now, obviously, someone has sent this car crashing into the house, and that someone is most likely still in the vicinity.  Joshua doesn't seem to realize this, for he opens the car door, peers inside to check out the interior, then turns off the engine.  This distraction allows Riggs gets the drop on him, but rather than slapping the cuffs on Joshua, he challenges him to a fight on the front lawn.

Riggs proceeds to beat the crap out of Joshua, although Riggs is clearly the least convincing martial-artist since John Saxon in Enter the Dragon.  Joshua winds up with his head pinned between Riggs's legs, and Riggs makes some disgusting pelvic thrusts, causing Joshua to give up.  As a couple officers pick Joshua up off the ground, he grabs a gun, inviting Riggs and Murtaugh to shoot him, which they do.

Performance Review:  Joshua is obviously a car guy.  He works well in them, rarely leaves them, and hey, there's nothing wrong with that.  Chicks dig cars.  Joshua's real problem is his devotion to his boss.  I mean, when the jig is clearly up, Joshua heads to Murtaugh's house instead of fleeing the country, and this gets him killed.  Some temps never stop trying to prove their worth, I guess.  They arrive early, they stay late, they tidy up after everyone has gone, they gun down police officers and go they extra mile to ensure the safety of heroin shipments.  Admirable, but in the end, not worth the effort.

Mr. Joshua was played by Gary Busey.  In addition to being an actor, he's been addicted to drugs, found Jesus, nearly died from head injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash, and had a plum-sized tumor removed from his nasal cavity.  Busy busy!