Movie: Beverly Hills Cop II
Release Date: May 20, 1987
Director: Tony Scott
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Jürgen Prochnow, Ronny Cox, John Ashton, Brigitte Nielsen, Allen Garfield, Dean Stockwell, Paul Reiser.
Tag Lines: “The Heat’s Back On!”
“Axel Foley’s back… where he doesn’t belong!”
Relevance: ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ was a movie that my family watched numerous times both as a VHS rental and when it played on HBO in 1985. They enjoyed it immensely. Me? Not so much. I thought it was okay, but at fourteen I just wasn’t that in tune to the story, action and humor. I did really dig Axel Foley’s laugh though. That always brought a smile to my face. I was also a huge fan of the music. The theme song “Axel F” was huge on the radio and I absolutely loved it. But it didn’t even come close to my love for The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance.” That song was my jam. I danced everywhere to it. I still do.
Three years after the success of ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ the inevitable sequel came along. As my interest in the first movie wasn’t that grand, I didn’t really pay attention to it. That is until I heard George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex.” It was part of the soundtrack to the movie and I was 100% infatuated with the song, the video and of course the artist, Mr. George Michael himself. At sixteen years old, I wanted to be George Michael. I still wish I could sing like him.
I did not go to the theaters to see ‘Beverly Hills Cop II,’ but I did rent it sometime after it became available. I was now well past sixteen years old and my tastes in movies must have shifted a bit, because I totally loved the film. I also totally fell in love with Eddie Murphy. Around the time I saw this movie, he had a live concert movie playing in theaters, ‘Raw,’ which I did go to see and will be showing up later this year as part of this project. I also revisited ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ and finally understood it. I watched both of them as much as I could. And I danced to The Pointer Sisters and George Michael even more.
The first ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ was a huge box office success, received critical praise and had a huge accompanying soundtrack. It was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The sequel, although a box office success, was not well received and in my opinion, despite George Michael’s huge hit, did not have that great of a soundtrack. But I absolutely loved it. I think it was all about timing for me. If I had been sixteen when the first movie was released, maybe that would be here instead. But it was ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ that was on constant rotation the remainder of my high school years as well as my college years. It’s a movie that I have watched numerous times since if only to hear Axel Foley’s infamous laugh. It still makes me smile.
Today’s Thoughts: Eddie Murphy is a great comedic actor and has played many, many different iconic roles both in film and on “Saturday Night Live.” Axel Foley has to be one of my favorites. Watching ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ today was a definite reminder of how good he really is.
I still think this is a solid movie with many laughs and action sequences to appease any fan of those genres. The cast is fantastic, but no one even comes close to the genius of Mr. Murphy. He is charming but most importantly funny. Really, really funny. It was nice to see actors like Paul Reiser and Gilbert Gottfried in smaller roles as well. And hello Chris Rock. Yes, Mr. Rock has a small cameo as a valet at the Playboy mansion.
If you are a fan of Eddie Murphy and loved the first film, be sure to check out ‘Beverly Hills Cop II.’ It is a movie that will make you laugh and forget about pandemics, isolation and quarantines for at least a little bit. I know how some people feel about sequels. I say, get over it. This movie is the first of eleven sequels to show up on my list of most influential movies of all time. If you’ve got the time, and who doesn’t these days, watch I and II back to back. The more you hear Axel Foley’s laugh, the better you will feel. I promise.
Awards: Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, “Shakedown,” Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey, Bob Seger (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Original Song, “Shakedown,” Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey, Bob Seger (nomination).
Ways to Watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, DVD Availability.