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Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the theme park

Directed by:

John Landis

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 104 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

It's difficult to interpret Eddie Murphy's last run-out as Axel Foley as anything other than sheer desperation. Ten years after the original “Beverly Hills Cop” was a smash hit and seven years after the first lacklustre sequel, this pointless third instalment has been singled out by many as the all-time low point in Murphy's career.

He's Foley, but not as we know him. Murphy's enthusiasm for the part seems to have been completely drained as he makes his way around a Disney-esque theme park hunting down an unconvincing bad guy (Timothy Carhart) with the increasingly tiresome assistance of Judge Reinhold.

He's back in Bev Hills after witnessing the shooting of long-standing boss Inspector Todd (Gilbert R. Hill, with the swearies strangely toned down this time), and being led by some glaringly obvious clues to “Wonder World” (the bad guys left behind a hotel towel with the “Wonder World” logo splattered across it).

Newly-promoted chum Billy Rosewood (Reinhold) provides the back-up as usual, but this time his partner Taggart (John Ashton) is nowhere to be seen. Neither is Chief Bogomil (Ronny Cox) who, despite being portrayed as a sudden bosom buddy of Foley in the first sequel, isn't even mentioned this time around.

The comedy moments, though rare, are better than in the second movie – particularly the return of Serge (Bronson Pinchot) from the first movie (this time running a weapons boutique) and Foley's attempts to utilize the world's most complicated machine gun. But director John Landis drifts through the proceedings at the pace of an injured sloth, rendering bad action scenes even worse and all but wiping out any chance of a snappy comedy to rival Martin Brest's original.

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It's Got: Axel Foley looking uncharacteristically tired and disinterested.

It Needs: To give us the old Axel back – if at all.

DVD Extras Cast & crew interviews and theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Summary

A strangely-timed and ill-conceived addition to a franchise that had already had it’s day. It’s little other than a vehicle for kick-starting Eddie Murphy’s career, but doesn’t work. Thankfully, Murphy recovered to do a bit better with the likes of “The Nutty Professor”, “Bowfinger” and “Shrek”.

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