“This thing is very personal to me.”
When his visiting buddy (James Russo) is murdered, a Detroit-based detective (Eddie Murphy) travels to Beverly Hills to investigate potentially criminal dealings at the art gallery where Russo worked, managed by their mutual friend (Lisa Eilbacher); but will Murphy’s efforts be foiled by local cops (John Ashton and Judge Reinhold) who resent his involvement?
- Criminal Investigation
- Eddie Murphy Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “phenomenally successful Eddie Murphy comedy-crime drama” contains “some nice moments between Murphy and Beverly Hills cops Judge Reinhold and John Ashton, whom he wins over”, but argues that the “story is terribly written” and that director Martin Brest’s “comic touches are always disruptive”. However, he concedes that “Murphy saves the day, successfully fighting through his bad lines and improvising — hilariously — like crazy” as he “invade[s] ritzy establishments (fancy hotels, restaurants, art galleries, Beverly Hills mansions) or institutions and, using his con act, imitate[s] authority figures”. I think Peary’s a bit too harsh on this cult ’80s favorite: while it may be a “big joke” that Daniel Petrie’s script “received an Oscar nomination” (!), Beverly Hills Cop (the first in a lengthy franchise) remains a serviceable, well-executed, fast-paced thriller with plenty of danger and laughs. Murphy’s loyalty and persistence are charming, and the theme song is catchy enough to deserve its own “must-listen” status.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley
- Harold Faltmeyer’s catchy theme song
Yes, as a cult favorite.
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)