Beverly Hills Cop is a movie I remember fondly from childhood. I thought it had a cool main character, some great, funny moments and a killer soundtrack that would be stuck in my head for days afterwards. That is why I was quite excited to watch Beverly Hills Cop again for the first time in ages, hoping to rekindle my love for the movie and what made it so memorable.
I was quite disappointed. Some aspects had stayed the same as I remember. The movie is well-known for launching Eddie Murphy into the movie star he is (or was). He is great in the role as Axel Foley, being cocky but not annoying, smart but not arrogant and handling some of the quite minor action scenes with ease.
I also remembered the characters of Rosewood and Taggart well, being very funny and very well-used. They add a lot to this movie and the way that they go from annoyance to allies is done brilliantly, especially the sequences where Foley outwits them.
The story itself is quite straight-forward and if anything, slightly ordinary. This isn’t a story driven movie though and it’s quite clear from the outset that it is designed to showcase the talents of Murphy, who makes the role iconic all on his own.
This is the aspect I struggled with though because I can’t see how he managed to make the role so iconic considering the film just isn’t that good. It isn’t as funny as I remember it being, it’s certainly not as action packed as I thought it was and the story is pretty generic.
My guess is that time hasn’t been kind to Beverly Hills Cop. Back when it was released, I’m sure it was a righteous, laugh-out-loud, push the envelope kind of movie but today it is standard, cop-out-of-water fare that has been done many times before (probably inspired by this movie). What Murphy delivers isn’t that extreme but may have been for the eighties. He is funny, but not as I remembered.
It could also by my memory deceiving me. I remember watching any of the Beverly Hills Cop movies whenever they were on TV and I’ve probably mixed up sequences from the films. There are moments I remember being very good, like an incident with a paper bag being “delivered.” This is from another Hills Cop movie, probably the second one, which I think (and hope) is better.
Overall, Beverly Hills Cop is not the movie I remember it being. Eddie Murphy is great, his support in the form of Judge Reinhold and John Ashton is also fantastic but other elements fail. The story is generic, the bad guy forgettable and the film just isn’t that funny. The soundtrack is still great though and that theme is as infectious as ever.
Rating – 2.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)