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  • Beverly Hills Cop
    • Beverly Hills Cop
    • Runtime:105 min
    • Release Date:2014-08-27 22:52:32
    • Director: Martin Brest
    • Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Beverly Hills Cop
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I never know quite what to make out of this movie. Yes, the Beverly
Hills police get skewered — along with Beverly Hills culture in
general — and if Beverly Hills represents the realization of the
American dream it certainly deserves skewering. The materialism
blossoms like a fungus in a vast spiritual void. You ought to see Rodeo
Drive. One millionaire's shop after another and a constant parade of
customers groomed and dressed identically in thousand-dollar jeans.
It's like a Theme Park. I wouldn't want my kid to grow up there.

But to ridicule the locus while exalting the obnoxious figure doing the
ridiculing raises entirely different questions of taste.

Eddie Murphy is Detective Axel Foley from Detroit, at the time the
murder capitol of the nation. He's poor. He's savvy. He's black. He's
everything they're not. Murphy giggles as he drives his beat-up clunker
through the city (if it's a city) and eyes the ritzy hotels and jewelry
stores. He's on a quest for the murderers of his good friend back in
Detroit and has reason to believe the trail starts in Beverly Hills. It
does, and it ends there too.

Meanwhile Murphy teaches the uptight local cops how the cow ate the
cabbage. The local cops are stupid beyond belief. They follow the
rules. They call people "sir" and they say "please" when they tell a
suspect to do something. The Beverly Hills cops act like Boy Scouts,
squealing on each other and on themselves. They're clean. They're well
spoken. They're white. His opposite number is Judge Reinhold, than whom
no one can possibly look and sound wimpier.

Well, that's just about the whole story. Murphy acquires a white girl
friend without quite acquiring a white girl friend (this movie will be
shown in Jackson, Mississippi), he brazens his way out of complicated
situations and exploits his environment. He insults people of his own
color for not behaving as if they were black enough for him. He
violates the law at every turn. When he walks in public he looks back
over his shoulder and chuckles at the two gay guys who just passed him,
although they've done nothing comic.

The musical score, though, is full of an appropriate zest. Reinhold
acts as if his IQ were about as high as his body is in inches. Eddie
Murphy often uses his big grin, wide mouthed persona, familiar from
television, and sometimes it works for him, but when he tries to sound
sincere, he does his best but there isn't a moment when he doesn't
sound like Eddie Murphy trying to act. He was more effective when he
was more subtle, doing the same number on the excessively rich in
"Trading Places." It's mildly amusing but I couldn't really get with it
because I don't find insults in themselves funny. You want to see a
very good movie involving the police of Beverly Hills? See "Straight
Time," if you can find it.

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Beverly Hills Cop' is possibly the best buddy cop action comedy ever
made. There was a time when Eddie Murphy was the biggest movie star on
the planet, and 'Beverly Hills Cop' shows him at the top of his powers.
The balance of action and comedy is perfect, and the film opens with a
spectacular car chase which really sets the tone for what is to follow.
Murphy is wonderful as the wisecracking Detective Axel Foley, a Detroit
police officer who goes to Beverly Hills to solve the murder of his
friend, Mikey Tandino (James Russo). In Beverly Hills Foley tangles
with Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff), a wealthy art dealer and the
villain of the piece.

Excellent support is offered by Judge Reinhold as Detective William
'Billy' Rosewood, John Ashton as Detective Sergeant John Taggart, and
Ronny Cox as Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil. 'Beverly Hills Cop' was a
massive blockbuster; it cost fourteen million dollars to make, and
grossed nearly two hundred and thirty million.

Bronson Pinchot really steals the show as Serge, a flamboyant
salesperson at the Beverly Hills Art Gallery, and look fast for Damon
Wayans as a banquet waiter. Unlike a lot of people, I also like
director Martin Brest's later films 'Meet Joe Black' and 'Gigli'. I
think they were both unnecessarily reviled. Sure, 'Joe Black' is really
long, but it is also very rewarding.

'Beverly Hills Cop' is just one of those films where everything slots
neatly into place. It was an early hit for the incredibly successful
producer team of Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, and the soundtrack
is pure platinum, featuring such artists as Glenn Frey and The Pointer
Sisters. Murphy just oozes charisma from every pore, and he has some
great lines to work with. A real classic.

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