Eddie Murphy returned to the character of Axel Foley in 1987’s follow-up to his box office smash Beverly Hills Cop. This time around Tony Scott settled into the director’s chair to guide Foley on his next adventure, and while the film was fun, and recognisably Foley, it now had Scott’s signature visual style of saturated colours, and fast paced action.
This time it seems there’s a villain known as the Alphabet Bandit on the loose. A cool, if comic booky idea, but here’s my problem with that. Before there’s a ‘b’ crime, which in this case is a murder attempt on Bogomil (Ronny Cox), meaning there’s only been one crime so far, and they haven’t left a name, they’re being called the Alphabet Bandit.
And while we’re at it… were crimes ‘c’ and ‘d’ both designated as the City Deposit? So just the one crime for two letters? or did I miss something.
Nonetheless, once Bogomil gets shot, Foley leaves his own casework in Detroit behind, in the hands of his less than able partner played by Paul Reiser, who has to avoid the scene stealing Inspector Todd (Gilbert R. Hill) and heads off to sunny California to lend a head to Billy (Judge Reihold) and Taggart (John Ashton) to work the case, despite the fact that he wasn’t invited, and they’ve been reassigned by the new chief of police to traffic duty.
Backed by a great 80s soundtrack, and a score by Harold Falermeyer, Foley is conning more people than ever for leads, which definitely brings into question the legality of his police work not to mention his investigation. Soon he is on the trail of Maxwell Dent (Jurgen Prochnow) and his top aides, including Karla Fry (Brigitte Nielsen) and Charles Cain (Dean Stockwell).
For me, this one remains as fun as the first one, though re-watching it recently it seems a little less than. But back in the 80s when it first came out, and I was a lot younger, I thought it was great! It was another night out at the base theatre for me and my friends, and another kick ass soundtrack to play in my well-used walkman.
For me, this was Eddie Murphy, the man who taught me to swear, and cemented my growing appreciation for Tony Scott who had wowed me the year before with Top Gun (and unless you saw that film on an American Naval base you’ve never seen it with the right audience).
Beverly Hills Cop II is loud, fun, and showcases Murphy at the top of his comedic-action game. It also surrounded him with a great cast to play with, and just like the firs film, it helped define a summer for me, and has stayed with me since.