Eye For Film >> Movies >> Beverly Hills Cop (1984) Film Review
Beverly Hills Cop
Reviewed by: Stephen Carty
Ever dug out an old games console and been a little disappointed at how it wasn't quite as good as you remember? Well, that's what re-visiting Beverly Hills Cop feels like. Sure, it's a fun enough ride and arguably set the template for a decade of action-comedies. But looking back, Martin Brest's Eighties staple feels more broad and predictable than nostalgic memory dictates. Of course, if breezy comedy-based action movies are your thing and you don't mind the very dated feel, then you might be in for a treat.
When his friend is killed suddenly, rule-breaking Detroit cop Axel Foley (Murphy) follows the case's leads and heads to Beverly Hills to investigate. Running into trouble with the local police force, Foley must evade a pair of sceptical officers (Ashton, Reinhold) while his clues lead him to a wealthy businessman (Berkoff) who is dealing drugs.
As an obvious vehicle for former stand-up Eddie Murphy, there are one-liners galore and the scenario - rough-edged Detroit cop as fish-out-of-water in pristine Beverly Hills – offers plenty of comic potential. Murphy is unquestionably charming here (even if his shtick usually isn't your bag), using that motormouth gob and patented laugh to launch himself into superstardom with the character he’d forever be associated with.
However, for all the charm on show, there’s still too much cheese. As much as you might like Harold Faltermeyer's iconic synth riff Axel F (one of two persistent themes we hear) it's undoubtedly over-played. As much as you might enjoy the retro tunes, it’s all a little too upbeat (our hero’s buddy has just been killed!). There are a few memorable moments for sure (banana in the tailpipe, anyone?), but more often that not it's cliché central. Still, the cast is pretty good; John Ashton and Judge Reinhold as the ‘married couple’ cop-partners, Ronny Cox as the stiff Lieutenant and Steven Berkoff as the standard rich villain.
One of those Eighties movies that is a reasonably entertaining way of killing time, but not nearly the belter you remember.Reviewed on: 09 May 2010