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Movies

June 30, 1989|ALEENE MACMINN | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

South African officials in New York have expressed outrage over the new cops-and-robbers film "Lethal Weapon II," which they perceive as showing Pretorian consular officials as "drug-smuggling, sadistic thugs." Paul Bryant, vice-consul for the Republic of South Africa in New York, charged that the film is part of a Hollywood trend trying to promote "the villainization of South Africa in films. . . . In the film industry, all of a sudden Cuba and the Soviet Union are the good boys. Now they cast around for another country as a villain, and they've picked us," he said. Warner Bros. vice president Rob Friedman responded that the movie was not an all-encompassing denunciation of South African consular activity. "It happens to be fictional. . . . 'Lethal Weapon II' is not a documentary." The film stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as wise-cracking Los Angeles detectives, and the principal villain is a South African diplomat. It opens next Friday.

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