In “Lethal Weapon”, Riggs and Murtaugh are forced to work together after Riggs' constant erratic behavior (he is despondent over his wife's recent death). The two police officers don't get along and have completely different investigative styles, but they seem to get along immediately. It’s not the first “mismatched cop” film, but it codified much of what the genre was capable of. “Lethal Weapon” was a huge success, spawning sequels and a TV series, and leaving a long trail of imitators in its wake. His influence was certainly felt by Wingard, who was five years old when the first “Lethal Weapon” debuted in theaters; He, like many his age, probably grew up watching Donner's film and its sequels on cable TV.

Wingard notes the “uneasy truce” between Godzilla and Kong in his new film as being comparable to police officers who work well together, even if they fight frequently. He said:

“There is a truce of sorts – Godzilla is in control of the surface world and Kong is in the Hollow Earth. […] It wasn't, 'Okay, call me when something goes wrong, Kong. And I, Godzilla, will rush to the rescue!' […] The dynamic of the dysfunctional friend-cop relationship is probably the best at describing Godzilla and Kong. My influences are always embedded in the 80s, and the 80s were essential for [that] plot. […] There are a lot of misunderstandings – the way monsters communicate is not simple.”

In fact, the monsters don't talk in most Godzilla films. Traditionally, only Mothra's fairy helpers can help with translation. Only in 1974's “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla” will the monsters receive on-screen subtitles.