Beverly Hills Cop is the biggest blockbuster film of 1984 and is the movie that turned Eddie Murphy into a star. Murphy stars as Axel Foley, a Detroit cop who goes to Beverly Hills to solve his friend’s murder. This is one of those movies that everyone needs to see at least once. It’s your typical fish-out-of-water comedy/buddy cop flick and parts of it are dated, but it still holds up today for the most part. Some of the gags are decidedly ‘80s, the soundtrack is terrible (except for Axel’s theme), and the action scenes are kind of tame. Nitpicky stuff aside, Eddie Murphy and director Martin Brest created a classic.
Axel Foley is a street-smart cop who plays by his own rules. His best friend is killed, and Axel goes to Beverly Hills to find out why. He discovers that his friend was involved in an elaborate smuggling ring, and its up to Axel to shut it down. Axel Foley is the main character, but he doesn’t really have an arc. He doesn’t learn anything. He’s the same at the end of the movie as he is in the beginning. He doesn’t change. The two characters that change the most are Rosewood and Taggart, the Beverly Hills cops that reluctantly come to respect Axel. Rosewood’s transformation is the film’s most satisfying.
Beverly Hills Cop launched Eddie’s Murphy career and lead to two inferior sequels. It became a franchise. Watch it if you haven’t yet and find out why.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young