Beverly Hills Cop

Started by Silver Nemesis, Thu, 14 Dec 2023, 20:44

Previous topic - Next topic
After years of development hell, Eddie Murphy is finally back as Axel Foley for Beverly Hills Cop 4. It looks like they've reassembled all of the old crew.

This is one of those sequels I'd given up waiting for, along with Beetlejuice 2. Let's hope it's more Top Gun: Maverick and less Terminator: Dark Fate.

I checked out Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F last night. It's ok. Pretty much exactly what you'd expect.

I was an Eddie Murphy fan when I was a kid and the first Beverly Hills Cop was my favourite film of his. I was never mad on the sequels though. As a child I found them mildly enjoyable, but to my adult self they fall far short of the original. Axel F is more or less on a par with those earlier sequels, except it lacks the youthful energy that Murphy brought to the action/comedy back then. Which is to be expected, given that he's now in his sixties. Murphy's still on good form, but inevitably he's at a different stage in his life and that maturation is reflected in his character.

Axel F is a typical legacy sequel insofar as it's something of a hollow retread that relies heavily on nostalgia for the old films. It features plenty of familiar faces and Easter egg references to the original trilogy. Where it deviates from the usual legacy sequel formula is that it doesn't emasculate or deconstruct its male lead, nor seek to replace him with a younger substitute. Axel is still the central character, and he's still portrayed as the likeable quick-witted action hero we know from the earlier films. He's just a bit older now; which, again, is to be expected.

The action scenes are pleasantly old school, and there are some good vehicular stunts and shoot-out sequences. As far as the comedy aspect goes, the humour is less successful than the 1984 original and more on a par with BHC 2 and 3 (but not as silly as BHC 3). Consequently it works better as an action movie than it does as a comedy. But there are still several funny moments that got a chuckle out of me. The storyline itself is formulaic and recycles numerous plot beats from the previous films, and the new characters aren't particularly funny or interesting. But if you're watching Axel F, then you're likely doing so for the nostalgia. And on that score the movie delivers.

Does Axel F reinvigorate the franchise and breathe fresh life into it? No. It works as a one-off nostalgic reunion, especially for those who were dissatisfied with the way BHC 3 ended things. But I don't see it winning over new fans who aren't already familiar with the series. However, if you are a fan of the earlier films, and you enjoyed BHC 2 and 3, then Axel F is worth a watch. Just don't expect it to be anywhere near as good as the original 1984 film.