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Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)

Axel’s back – but someone forgot to turn the heat back on

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 99 minutes

UK Certificate: 15


Downtown Beverly Hills, and there's a heist going down. And who's that eight-foot tall Aryan woman pulling it off? It's none other than Brigitte Nielsen who, in keeping with the shoddiness at work in “Beverly Hills Cop II” isn't wearing any sort of disguise – despite being surely one of the most easily-recognisable people on the planet. From that downright daft opening sequence onwards, this sequel is an embarrassment to what was a lively, entertaining and funny original.

Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) returns from Detroit to mingle with the rich and famous and solve a contrived crime or three, but this time he's forgotten to bring any comedy with him. Murphy does plenty of yelling, as usual, but the laughs just don't come. He might as well be banging his somewhat-inflated head off a brick wall. That, at least, would be worth watching.

It's essentially a sub-standard remake of the first film, only this time Foley has moved from likeable to annoying and there's no wit present to offset the continued obsession with weapons and violence. What's worse is that the low-quality plot, centring around a series of “alphabet crimes” and the related shooting of our old pal Chief Bogomil (Ronny Cox), actually appears to take itself seriously. Even good ol' Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) has turned into a gun-infatuated sicky.

John Ashton is back as permanently-disgruntled Detective Sergeant Taggart, and Paul Reiser gets a (slightly) bigger role as Foley's brown-nosing buddy back in Detroit. But Nielsen is unconvincing as the gun club-frequenting crim, and none of her accomplices – including “Quantum Leap”'s Dean Stockwell – offer much to write home about either.

What made “Beverly Hills Cop” good wasn't a particularly great crime story, but the pacy action sequences and quick-fire humour. Bereft of either of those two qualities, what's served up here is a gravely lacklustre sequel.

It's Got: A young Chris Rock in a blink-and-you-miss-him role as a car valet.

It Needs: To return to the snappy humour of the original.

DVD Extras Cast & crew Interviews, deleted scene. "Shakedown" music session special, behind the scenes featurette and the requisite theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 5/10


Axel Foley’s charm bypass results in a follow-up that fails to capture the imagination.