Beverly Hills Cop" on its own. It’s a classic, but it’s the only one.">
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Beverly Hills Cop Collection

The complete Axel Foley trilogy

Directed by:

John Landis

Martin Brest

Tony Scott

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 308 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

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.

Read the reviews of Beverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cop II and Beverly Hills Cop III.

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

Summary

As a boxed set “Beverly Hills Cop Collection” isn’t 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 you’re at it and buy “Beverly Hills Cop” on its own. It’s a classic, but it’s the only one.

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