Movie of the Day – Beverly Hills Cop
May 31, 2012 Leave a comment
Oh Eddie Murphy…what happened? I mean, honestly, what happened? I realize that the family friendly movie genre is keeping you well off financially, but man, your films used to be amazing. You were the edgy comedian that was charismatic on screen, able to chuckle and kick ass in some dynamite films. I try and remember those halcyon days of the 80s where you were the man and I looked forwarded to your “R” rated films cause my parents didn’t really care what we watched. Thanks mom and dad! Today, I try and remember the good old days, so today is a day for Beverly Hills Cop.
What’s that wisecracking young black guy (Eddie Murphy) in that beat-up Chevy Nova doing in lily-white Beverly Hills? He’s Axel Foley, a Detroit detective who’s been sent on involuntary vacation because he refuses to drop his intention of avenging his friend’s murder. Warned by Beverly Hills police chief Ronny Cox to stay out of trouble, Foley nonetheless dogs the trail of above-the-law Steven Berkoff, the British crime czar who was responsible for the murder of Foley’s friend. With the help of sympathetic local cops Judge Reinhold and John Ashton and lady friend Lisa Eilbacher, Foley attempts to corner Berkoff in his mansion, which leads to a wild slapsticky shootout. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Next to his performance in “Coming to America”, Axel Foley and Beverly Hills Cop is one of the best roles that Eddie Murphy has done. Hands down, no question or arguing about this movie. He brings the heat with his fast talking, shrewd sensibilities and filthy humor to the big screen and does a bang up job in a serious, comedic detective film. It combined his strengths in the comedy world with a smart script that played to his wheelhouse and he just takes the role and owns. I mean you tell me who is a better detective from the mean streets of Detroit than Axel Foley.
Beverly Hills Cop managed to combine a lot of action, comedy, and all the essence of the 80s into one film. A funny film that delivered the action when it needed, especially in the era of mindless, violent films. I have yet to meet a person that thinks bad of this movie, only remember the fun that came with watching Foley navigate the streets of Beverly Hills as an out of place black guy from Detroit. But the straight laced world of Beverly Hills is ripe for mocking when it comes to situational comedy, satirical observations as an outsiders and general jackassery that happens. In some instances, the film is a good buddy cop film, pitting the foul mouthed Foley with Judge Reinhold and John Ashton. The team mixes well with the “by the books” rookie Reinhold and the hard boiled Ashton, which is funny since there doesn’t seem to be much crime in Beverly Hills for him to be a grizzled cop. Adding Foley to the group shakes up the dynamic with Murphy injecting some of that crass humor. It all goes so well together and makes for a memorable film.
This is an iconic role, I mean Empire Magazine ranked him at number 78 in their “The 100 Greatest Movie Characters” and for good reason. You would be hard pressed to find an actor that could take a character like this, one who in the wrong hands would just go through the motions acting out the character, and giving him much needed life and energy. The story itself is typical 80s fare, but what makes it memorable is the comedy and Eddie Murphy. Looking back at this film, you just have to wonder where that Eddie Murphy is at now. He can bring both the seriousness and humor to a film that is both fun and action packed. He made this movie memorable with his cocky attitude and quick wit, which in turned made it one of the best movies of the 80s. If you have never seen this movie, I feel sorry for you.