Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
June 30, 2024 10:15 AM - Subscribe

Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) returns to the land of sunshine and palm trees to investigate the near-fatal shooting of police Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox). With the help of Sgt. Taggart (John Ashton) and Det. Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), they soon uncover that the shooting is associated with a series of "alphabet" robberies masterminded by a heartless weapons kingpin, and the chase is on.

Trailer, intro, review, review

On the soundtrack, Bob Seger's 'Shakedown' was nominated for an Oscar (Glenn Frey was set to sing it, but dropped out at the last minute), while George Michael's 'I Want Your Sex' won a Razzie for Worst Song. The movie, and Murphy, won a Kids' Choice Award in 1988.

In a 1989 interview, Murphy said "Beverly Hills Cop II was probably the most successful mediocre picture in history. It made $250 million worldwide, and it was a half-assed movie."

Currently streaming in the US on Netflix and Paramount+
posted by box (6 comments total)
 
The movie, and Murphy, won a Kids' Choice Award in 1988.

it won a what

This movie begins with an attempted murder and ends with a massive gun battle in which multiple people are killed.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:22 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Beverly Hills Cop II was probably the most successful mediocre picture in history.

That line is better than anything the writers came up with for the movie. Not completely laugh free, and still a decent cast, but half-assed is right. It's full of scenes that are just flat and serve no particular purpose, a couple jokes that don't quite work padded out by mundane dialogue.

Murphy's first three starring movies (48 Hrs, Trading Places, and Beverly Hill Cop) are each amazing in their own way and Murphy was on top of the world. This was the same year that Hollywood Shuffle parodied the eagerness of casting director to cast black actors, if they were Eddie Murphy clones.

But from this point on, his filmography is almost purely mediocre, and with a few exceptions it seems like he wasn't trying for anything better. I haven no problems with actors who just want to make some money--it's their career, cash in if you can--but the drop in quality is really phenomenal.
posted by mark k at 10:40 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


This movie suffers from a lot the same problems that a similar contemporary sequel, Die Hard 2, did. They both had different directors who really didn't grasp why the initial movies were such monster successes.

I still find II pretty enjoyable. Aside from the loud violence at the beginning and end (which, to my earlier point, feels like the director trying to make a different movie), Murphy still gets off a lot of funny zingers and the supporting cast do their jobs well. Taggert and Rosewood are both developed in engaging and funny ways. The bit where Bogomil's daughter points a gun at Axel and yells "freeze!" and he strikes a goofy pose has always made me laugh far more than it should.

I recently learned that Murphy was one of the options Tarantino had in mind for Jules in Pulp Fiction, and I personally find it a fascinating counter-factual to think about the direction his career would have taken if he had ended up in the role.
posted by dry white toast at 12:14 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


But from this point on, his filmography is almost purely mediocre, and with a few exceptions it seems like he wasn't trying for anything better.

It is pretty dour, but Coming to America (1988), Bowfinger (1999), and Dolemite Is My Name (2019) are all good. I haven't seen Dreamgirls (2006) but he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:03 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Murphy may have been disappointed in some of the movies that he was in, but I doubt that he ever failed to cash a check from one, and he really loved being a rock star of a comedic actor--IIRC, one of his professed role models was Elvis, even though the King hadn't been in the grave long when Murphy began his own meteoric rise to fame and fortune. And Elvis did some pretty shitty movies. The good ones were almost always because of his collaborators; I'd add Trading Places to kirkaracha's list above. Bowfinger was a great (double) role for him, but that was mostly due to Steve Martin.

This movie was very meh to me; I don't think that Tony Scott really got comedy. It's got a stylish look (lots of sunlight coming through blinds and painting stripes of light across people's faces as cigarette smoke curls upward; basically, what Frank Miller stole for Sin City) and the equally stylish Brigitte Nielsen, but otherwise wasn't memorable--I thought that the main villain was Steven Berkoff and not J├╝rgen Prochnow. A very eighties film in both good and bad ways.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:31 AM on July 2


The first clue that leads Axel straight to the bad guys is custom ammunition from the Beverly Hills gun club, how dumb is Cain - I guess CSI wasn't a thing back then?

The super glue fingerprint trick gets reused in National Treasure (2004) - another Bruckheimer movie.
posted by Molesome at 8:49 AM on July 3


« Older Movie: Janet Planet...   |  Movie: Saw: The Final Chapter ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster