The complete Axel Foley trilogy
Running Time: 308 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
Eddie Murphy’s no stranger to making a sequel or three, but the hit-and-miss Beverly Hills Cop” trilogy remains by far his best-known franchise. He’s Axel Foley, the street-smart wise-cracking toothy-grinned Detroit detective who, not once, not twice, but THREE times, heads for the Hills for to do some crime-fighting above and beyond the call of duty.
The original “Beverly Hills Cop” remains one of Murphy’s most polished pieces of work. Investigating the murder of a close pal, Foley teams up with local Bev Hills ‘tecs Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) to bring down a smuggling ring led by art-dealing crook Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff). Director Martin Brest keeps the pace fast and the action sharp, whilst Murphy is on top form as the cocky but likable Foley. There’s also a cracking Harold Faltermeyer-powered soundtrack to keep things moving along nicely.
Unfortunately, the magic isn’t quite there in the 1987 sequel. The gigantic Brigitte Nielsen is a less than convincing baddie, there’s an OTT fascination with violence and, worst of all, the laughs just don’t come. Foley’s charm is replaced with an air of smug self-importance and the story falls into the Nielsen-sized trap of taking itself seriously.
“Beverly Hills Cop III” – arriving seven years later, at a time when there was little public enthusiasm for either the Axel Foley character or Murphy himself – also struggles to make the grade. Thankfully there’s a return to placing a greater emphasis on comedy, but the theme part-set storyline doesn’t cut the mustard.
It's Got: The rise and fall of Eddie Murphy in one neat collectable package.
It Needs: To dump the sequels and give us "Coming to America" and "The Golden Child" instead. Now THAT would be an Eddie Murphy box set worth buying.
DVD Extras Disc 1: Cast and crew interviews, location map, music featurette, casting documentary, photo gallery and theatrical trailer. Disc 2: Cast & crew Interviews, deleted scene. "Shakedown" music session special, behind the scenes featurette and the requisite theatrical trailer. Disc 3: Cast & crew interviews and theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10
As a boxed set “Beverly Hills Cop Collection” isnt up to much the sequels are poor and only the original movie gets the adrenalin pumping. The only way to escape being left with a tainted memory of Axel Foley is to watch the first one and give the other two a wide berth so save yourself a bit of money while youre at it and buy “Beverly Hills Cop” on its own. Its a classic, but its the only one.