Chris Rock makes an appearance as the valet at the Playboy Mansion who complains about Axel bringing in a cement truck. This is his first role on the big screen; Rock was featured in an HBO comedy special (which featured aspiring comedians e.g. Robert Townsend, Marsha Warfield) which was produced by Eddie Murphy and his childhood friend Clint Smith.
Just before the final gun battle, Rosewood is seen pulling out guns from an arsenal in his trunk. This is a nod to co-producer Don Simpson. According to Judge Reinhold in the 'making of' documentary for the first film, he recalls that the first time he met Simpson, the producer showed off his collection of guns in the trunk of his car.
Billy Rosewood has posters in his apartment of Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Cobra (1986), both starring Sylvester Stallone. Stallone's then-wife Brigitte Nielsen appears in the film as Karla Fry and Stallone was the original choice to play the lead in the original Beverly Hills Cop (1984). In fact, when Stallone was signed to star in Beverly Hills Cop (1984), he did a polish on the script that focused more on action and took away the comedic element. He changed the main character's name from 'Axel Foley' to 'Axel Cobretti'. When he eventually dropped out of Beverly Hills Cop (1984), he used the character's name and certain elements from his polish of the script for Cobra (1986).
According to the DVD Documentary, Paramount originally wanted to produce a TV series of Beverly Hills Cop after the success of the first film but Eddie Murphy didn't want to go back to TV so a movie was made instead.
In the scene where Taggart and Rosewood enter Axel's "house" in Beverly Hills, Rosewood remarks to Taggart that maybe The Pointer Sisters live in the house. The Pointer Sisters performed the song "Neutron Dance" in the first Beverly Hills Cop film and they also perform "Be There" in the second.
Jurgen Prochnow (Duke Leto Atreides) and Dean Stockwell (Dr. Wellington Yueh )also appeared together three years earlier in David Lynch's Dune. They also appeared together ten years later in Air Force One, with Prochnow (General Ivan Radek) and Stockwell (Secretary of Defense Walter Dean) on opposite sides. Also Paul Guilfoyle (Nik Thomopolis) also starred in Air Force One as White House Chief of Staff Lloyd Shepherd.
The name of the villain, Maxwell Dent, is a combination of two names that were used as "house pseudonyms" by Street & Smith Publishing for its 1930s pulp fiction magazines: Maxwell Grant (aka Walter Gibson), author of "The Shadow", and Lester Dent (aka Kenneth Robeson), author of "Doc Savage".
When Axel, Rosewood and Taggart run the map coordinates they got from their late-night snoop at the Beverly Hills Shooting Club into the computer, it displays a map pointing the location of the City Deposit at 9752 Gregory Way. The map that appears is indeed an accurate map and there really is a 9752 Gregory Way, however in real-life there is no City Deposit or similar building. That particular area is an upper-to-high-class residential area and the real 9752 Gregory Way is a mansion.
When Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) meets with Vinnie (Robert Pastorelli) for the exchange of 2000 credit cards towards the beginning of the movie, he tells him that he used to be a Muslim. At the end of their conversation, to prove that he was, he says "Allahu Akbar" which means "God is the Greatest" in Arabic.
An early draft written by Bud Shrake and Dan Jenkins involved Axel going undercover as a Beverly Hills rent-a-cop who helps Rosewood, Taggart, and Bogamil stop a corrupt security service operated by a Detroit hoodlum turned businessman. The script also called Chief Hubbard from Cop 1 to return and for Axel to have a 20 something female partner/love interest named "Lucy".
Pay attention to Axel as he is leaving his apartment during the opening credits. As he closes the door, you can see the initials "AF" scratched into the door. They're (obviously) the initials for "Axel Foley".
There was a deleted scene from the Shooting Club where Axel, Rosewood, and Taggart must carefully sneak past a hallway with several lasers covering it. Axel tells Taggart to blow cigar smoke across the floor to expose the lasers and the trio have to carefully straddle the lasers and sneak across the hallway to Dent's office. According to director Tony Scott, this scene was deleted because it slowed the pacing of the movie too much and because it was "too far removed from reality" and it clashed with the overall tone of the movie. The deleted scene can be viewed in the DVD extras.
Axel gives his name as "Richard James" in the gun club. As in Rick James. Eddie Murphy's brother Charlie would later become infamous on The Chappelle Show for his story in which the infamous line "I'm Rick James, bitch!" was uttered.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The central plot lines in all of the Beverly Hills Cop movies revolve around Axel Foley visiting Beverly Hills in order to investigate a shooting of a person that Axel is close to. In this movie's case, the plot line involves Axel investigating the shooting of his friend Captain Bogomil. Unlike Mikey Tandino in the original and Inspector Todd in the 3rd movie, Bogomil survives being shot, and in fact is promoted to Chief of the Beverly Hills PD near the end of this film.