Beverly Hills Cop: Eddie Murphy’s “Fletch”

Much like the string of Arnold Schwarzenegger films I viewed last year, Eddie Murphy is the current actor that Sileo and I are “enamored” with. As I’ve mentioned previously, there is a real dichotomy between classic Eddie films and those from this millennia. Sure his comedies are good and he still has some high moments but I’m starting to realize that nothing beats classic Eddie Murphy. “Beverly Hills Cop” is a great illustration of the prime of this entertaining actor’s career. 

Although the film starts in Detroit, it moves over to Beverly Hills as the lead, Axel Foley, goes out West to investigate the death of his best friend. Now he does not exactly have permission from his police captain back in Michigan so we learn fairly quickly Axel doesn’t follow the rules. That of course does not mesh well with LA’s finest as they are about as by the books as possible.

In order to find his friend’s murderer, Axel uses every trick in the book to get what he wants which does not bode well for the cops tailing him. Whether it’s distracting them with hotel room service or stuffing bananas into their car, the protagonist knows just how to get away from them. Yet they all start to see his way after a while which leads to some funnier outcomes. One of the best characters is Detective Billy Rosewood as his awkward nerdiness is the ultimate stereotype of the cops in Beverly Hills.

Now if I have to gripe about something, it has to be the ending. While not bad or too off-tone, the overshooting gets old. I know it’s the 80s and that was kind of the style (like in every Arnold movie) but I mean can any of the bad guys hit anything? The film always had a darker edge so I understand the idea but it just dragged on a little too long especially with the constant misfires.

But in the end what stands out is Eddie Murphy. His depiction of Axel Foley is fantastic as he does whatever it takes to get justice for his friend. Nothing ever seems to scare him and he knows just the right time to joke around. One character he reminds me of is Chevy Chase’s Fletch. While that came out after “Beverly Hills Cop,” the way they both lie as well as fool around with perfect timing are just too perfect to ignore. I mean if you want a lesson on lying, look no further than these two great protagonists.

If there is one thing that sticks out to me from this film (other than Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold), it has to be the theme. Sure I‘ve heard it before but never realized it was from “Beverly Hills Cop” plus it is so damn catchy. I mean if I’m ever sneaking around, this theme must play in the background. With all that said, this is another strong installment in Eddie Murphy’s career. And yet another example of how much I missed out when he was at his best.



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