Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Heat is On

Beverly Hills Cop, starring Eddie Murphy in one of his earlier roles, falls into the 'fish out of water,' buddy cop, and renegade cop subgenres. After his friend is killed, Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) leaves his hometown of Detroit and goes to Beverly Hills to track down the killer. Since he's a loose canon, Axel's tactics bring him into conflict with the local police, who consider him a problem since they're all entirely by-the-book.

The plot of this movie is certianly nothing new--movies like this came before and after it, but Murphy, and to a lesser extent Judge Reinhold as Detective Billy Rosewood (his 'Butch Cassidy' speech was hilarious), do manage to make it pretty damn funny at times. I read that the Axel Foley role was originally intended for Sylvester Stallone, but after seeing the movie I don't think that would've worked well at all. The movie is also definitely a Jerry Bruckheimer work, with the prerequisite action, sarcasm, and multiple shootouts. In fact, the Rosewood/Foley pairing closely mirrors the Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence)/Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) pairing in 1995's Bad Boys, also produced by Bruckheimer.

Beverly Hills Cop is definitely an 80's movie, especially when looking at the clothes and the music. However, it does stand up to other movies of the genre, since the rest of the movie is fairly solid as an action/comedy film. It did well enough to warrant two sequels, though I haven't seen them so I can't comment there.

Although it's definitely aged a little, I'd still recommend Beverly Hills Cop to anyone looking for a funny, action packed movie that also happens to be one of Eddie Murphy's best performances.

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