Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – Martin Brest

Man, do I remember the first time I saw this movie. I was twelve going on thirteen, and not only was this one of the first soundtracks (on cassette) I bought with my own cash once our family had moved to Bermuda, it was also the movie that really taught me how to swear.

Quite the distinction I know.

Before that, I had gotten in trouble for saying dang, harvested from The Dukes of Hazzard to my parents, and since that time I’d learned a couple more curse words, but I was stunned at the use, conjugation, and the damned versatility of the word ‘fuck.’

I saw this the summer it was released on one of the American bases that were located on the island. There was a theatre there that charged a flat $2 per double feature (or free if they were screening outside), and they weren’t too worried about age restrictions.

And there, immersed in a decade defining soundtrack, was Eddie Murphy as Detroit cop Axel Foley, who heads to Beverly Hills on the trail of the people who killed his best friend. He finds trouble with iconic 80s baddies, Steven Berkhoff and Jonathan Banks, but finds allies in Lisa Eilbacher, as well as Judge Reinhold and John Ashton as cops Billy and Taggart, who in turn are supervised by Bogomil (Ronny Cox).

Featuring a career making appearance by Bronson Pinchot, the film remains a snapshot of the 80s, with Murphy at the height of his comedic game, and he’s able to balance it with the action beats as well.

Filled with great tunes, incredibly quotable dialogue, and a film that hits both the action and comedic beats, Beverly Hills Cop defined the summer of 1984 for me, and Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer was everywhere, seemingly in competition with Footloose’s Let’s Hear It For the Boy!

Amazingly my parents were never too upset about me seeing this movie, for the most part they allowed me to watch and explore any genre I wanted to. Then again, I’m not even sure either of them ever saw this film. I know they sure didn’t see it with me, but The ’84 Crew of CFS Daniel’s Head, Bermuda loved it, and I wore the ink off the cassette flipping it in my walkman or on my ghetto blaster.

Ah 84. That was the year. And every time I watch this film I am transported back to my youth, recalling my youth, and enjoying the film anew, as Murphy owns the screen.

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