Detroit’s favorite non-robot police officer shines in new Beverly Hills Cop sequel

DETROIT – The long-awaited fourth entry in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise has been released Wednesday, July 3.

Similar to 1984′s Beverly Hills Cop and its two sequels (the last one came out 30 years ago), Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F follows street-smart Detroit police officer Axel Foley who, again, needs to go to California to solve a crime in a jurisdiction that DPD most definitely doesn’t cover.

The entire franchise is Eddie Murphy at his Eddie Murphiest and the new flick is no exception.

The original Beverly Hills Cop made more than 21 times its budget back in ticket sales, bringing in $316 million on a budget of $15 million. It remains one of the highest-grossing R-rated movies of all time to this day.

The fourth entry ditches the Roman numerals used for the prior entries and instead uses Murphy’s character’s name as a subtitle. It brings back Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Paul Reiser and Bronson Pinchot, who had roles in the prior movies, and introduces new characters played by Kevin Bacon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Yes, the classic varsity-style Detroit Lions jacket and the iconic film score return too.

The film is known as a “Legacy sequel,” where a sequel is released many years later and follows the original work’s continuity, but aims to stand on its own while honoring the original. Think Top Gun: Maverick, Creed, Tron: Legacy or Blade Runner 2049.

The first 20-30 minutes take place almost exclusively in Detroit and features a sequence at Little Ceasars Arena that leads into a destructive snow plow car chase through the city that may or may not geographically make sense (but is still enjoyable).

There are several car chases in the film and it’s great to see them done with real cars done with stunt drivers rather than CGI. It’s a much more grounded film than other legacy sequels.

The movie primarily focuses on the relationship Foley has with his estranged daughter, played by Taylour Page. While working as a criminal defense attorney in Beverly Hills, she receives a violent death threat and is urged to drop a case. This is what draws Foley back to California and reunites him with familiar faces (and introduces new ones).

Eddie Murphy was 23 when the first Beverly Hills Cop movie came out. At 63, he hasn’t missed a step and seems to effortlessly return to the role that helped make him huge.

Page is well cast as Foley’s daughter, as there are a few sequences where the father/daughter duo play off each other and improvise their way in and out of trouble.

How you feel about this movie is directly connected to how you feel about the first one or police action-comedy movies in general. The film doesn’t feel phoned in or watered down. It feels respectful toward the original movie without leaning into fanservice.

It’s not the best movie, but it’s the best of the Beverly Hills Cop sequels. The biggest criticisms I have for this movie are that some plot points can be seen coming and that I wish I had seen it in theaters.

In terms of Saturday Night Live alumni, there are a few people that you could consider the GOAT, but no one manages to be so effortlessly and naturally hilarious and entertaining as Eddie Murphy. The new movie is almost a return to form for the comedian, who has not had that many great comedies recently.

You can watch Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F on Netflix.

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