Mark Cunliffe 🌹’s review published on Letterboxd:
I know it was on ITV the other week, but I watched my DVD which is apparently the director's cut. I couldn't tell you what the difference is, to be honest, but what I can tell you is that this is the one with the condom commercial, the toilet bomb, the introduction of Joe Pesci's Leo Getz, the Sarf Efrikaans as villains and Patsy Kensit, a woman who has shagged so many rock stars her vagina has now been inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, as the love interest.
This one really doesn't say much for the deductive powers of Messrs Riggs and Murtaugh and the LAPD though. The film opens with them in hot pursuit of perps who speak with a 'guttural' accent they can't quite place. When they escape, they uncover a shitload of South African gold Krugerrand coins. Despite this find, and two more occasions in which their paths cross with the bad guys, it takes them 40 more minutes to realise that that accent is (and therefore the villains are) actually South African!
I think this holds up pretty well against its more serious minded original, but I do think it all went downhill from this point, with 3 and 4 being pretty disposable. The decision to use Apartheid-supporting South Africans as the villains is a plus point, as is the casting of great British actors like Joss Ackland and Derrick O'Connor in these roles but, despite their undeniable talents, something is ultimately missing. This elusiveness is even more mystifying when you consider they wrap up the death of Riggs' wife, revealing the culprit to be O'Connor. The trouble is, the bad guys are afforded little to do in the script other than appear menacing, goad the heroes and, in turn, be goaded and disgruntled by them. A funny accent alone doesn't make a villain, Hollywood! You have to actually write characters!
Oh, and if you listen very carefully in the scene where Leo is tidying up Riggs' caravan, you can hear Patsy Kensit's Eighth Wonder hit 'I'm Not Scared' from 1988. Speaking of music, George Harrison provides the closing credits song, 'Cheer Down'.