By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Two Beers) –
Buddy Cop movies were all the rage in the 1980’s, the modus operandi of which was to ally a straight laced do-gooder with a reckless crazy person (often but not exclusively played by a stand-up comedian). Eddie Murphy previously helped to establish this trend with 48 Hours. With this film, though, he took a somewhat different approach to what is essentially the same formula. Eddie Murphy is Axel Foley, a cop from Detroit whose best friend was killed right in front of him, and he’s determined to find those responsible. He traces the killers to Beverly hills where he forces himself upon officers John Taggart and Billy Rosewood (played by John Ashton and Judge Reinhold respectively), homicide investigators who play by the rules.
The film benefits greatly from the interplay between the three Detectives as Axel Foley provides temptation for Taggart and Rosewood to skirt the rulebook. Reinhold made an entire career playing nice guys, but Rosewood is perhaps his nicest, and watching Foley break down his inhibitions offers endless laughs. There was a time when Eddie Murphy was a force of nature in the film business, bringing his brand of off-the-wall humor to each new character he played. It is a shame that somewhere in the mid 90’s he decided to sacrifice what made him great in the name of cheap laughs and children’s movies.
Do you see that Eddie? That’s your dignity, and it’s driving away…
The strengths of the performances and dialog mostly overcome the film’s chief weakness; the story. There was very little to distinguish this movie over competing franchises which came before it. Thankfully, the cast manages to have excellent chemistry and is very likable.
If it isn’t exactly original, Beverly Hills Cop boasts one of star Eddie Murphy’s strongest characters, making it essential viewing for genre fans.
Take a Drink: whenever Axel outsmarts Rosewood and Taggart.
Take a Drink: whenever the “Da, Da, Da, Da Da, Da Da” from the main theme kicks in.
Drink a Shot: when Eddie Murphy does an impression and/or bullshits someone