Wow. Eddie Murphy really has fallen hard. Believe it or not, the comedian used to be in good movies. He was never in any masterpieces, but at least he wasn't making stuff like A Thousand Words or Meet Dave. Now, the film that I'm about to review, Beverly Hills Cop, is no masterpiece. But it's a decently funny, entertaining, cool as ice action comedy that keeps your attention for 105 minutes. It has flaws, and I honestly didn't think that it was that funny, but I was consistently entertained and that was all that mattered.
Beverly Hills Cop tells the story of Detroit detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) who is a fast-talking, profane, mischief-causing problem for his Chief. After the murder of his ex-con friend Mikey (James Russo), he heads out to Beverly Hills, where Mikey was working. Axel investigates the art dealer (Steven Berkoff) that Mikey was working for and ends up in trouble with the police. But eventually the Beverly Hills Police Department realize that they're all on the same team and send out Axel and detectives Rosewood and Taggart (Judge Reinhold and John Ashton) to take down the crooked art dealer.
This was the film that finally put Eddie Murphy on the map as a star. He had already cemented himself as an A-Lister in Trading Places and 48 Hrs., but Beverly Hills Cop took him to superstar levels of fame. And it's easy to see why. It's a quick, fast paced, comedic thriller with a cool setting and a distinctly awesome vibe. I love movies set in California and I also like 80's movies, so Beverly Hills Cop is a good combination. Plus, Eddie Murphy actually has some comedic wit to him in this movie, unlike in his later films.
However, as much as I liked this movie, I can't really say that I laughed. It's not overly hilarious. There were no jokes that had me bursting out laughing. Actually, I'm not even sure that the movie got a chuckle out of me. That proves that it isn't a great comedy. Heck, I wouldn't even say that it's a good comedy, but the pacing and the action aspect of the film are what carry it to new heights.
You can't talk about Beverly Hills Cop without talking about the iconic score, however. It's pretty awesome and one of the best things about the film. It's the pulsing beat of the film and it drives the whole movie from beginning to end. I really loved it.
The plot is decent for this kind of film. The villain is plausible enough and the reasons that he commits his actions make relative sense. The acting is nothing spectacular. Murphy's funny as the fast-talking Foley but it's not a great performance. I liked Reinhold and Ashton but they weren't spectacular.
All I can say about Beverly Hills Cop is that it's entertaining. It's a nice, two-hour diversion from the world. But it's not a great film. The humor isn't gut-bustingly hilarious and the plot is a bit repetitive at times. Again, comedies are hard to review due to the fact that comedy is subjective, but I'll say that even if you don't find the movie funny, you'll enjoy this one because of the action and the accessibility of the plot and actors. It's a nice slice of the time period it was made.
THE FINAL GRADE: B