I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Beverly Hills Cop II

In Seattle we have this big music and arts festival every Labor Day weekend called Bumbershoot. This year I was waiting in line for one of the bands that was gonna play when a guy near me was looking at his phone, he says, “Eddie Murphy died!” I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like he was talking to somebody that was with him, then I realized he was by himself, just sharing this shocking news with the crowd. It used to be you go to an all day event like this and you’re off in a separate world, you don’t know until you get home that something blew up or somebody got killed or something. Now everybody knows, word spreads.

Except for phone-free Vern. I’m a simple man. I read the same websights too many times as it is, I don’t need to carry that addiction around in my pocket. I’m like a monk. And there are limits to the technology anyway. For example this guy, he lost his connection and sat there for 5 or 10 minutes fumbling with it trying to get more information. I wasn’t devastated or anything, but it was bumming me out, getting used to this new world without Eddie Murphy. Poor guy had such a meteoric rise, he stayed at the top money-wise but his movies have been a laugh-free laughing stock for years and years and years. They are the go to joke for an example of the dumbest, most audience-insulting bullshit comedy possible. Even his last well reviewed movie, that one where he was a nerd who becomes an action star, was in my opinion not that great. But at one time I liked the guy. I wished he would’ve figured out how to be great again. It was too bad. And nobody should die that young, except Nazis and serial killers and shit.

Suddenly the newsbringer gets his phone working again, he finds the article, starts reading it out loud to us. He says Eddie died in a snowboarding accident while on vacation in Switzerland. He was wearing a helmet, but was killed instantly when he hit a tree. The guy makes a joke about how let’s face it, snowboarding is the last way we’d expect a black guy to die. He says that was how whatsername died, the British actress, daughter of Vanessa Redgrave. The two younger guys he’s talking to don’t know who that is, and he doesn’t bring up that it’s Liam Neeson’s wife he’s talking about. Eventually he settles on Miranda Richardson as her name.

I mean I never seen NORBIT, I’m not sure I want to. But the guy used to be pretty funny. Maybe some of it doesn’t hold up well. His standup was real homophobic, if I remember right. But remember the James Brown thing on SNL? “Gotta get in the hot tub. Gotta get in the water.” That was good shit, right?

I started thinking about how I’d been meaning to re-watch BEVERLY HILLS COP II for a long time. I know it’s supposed to be bad, and the last time I watched part 1 I didn’t even like that anymore. But I thought it would help my understanding of the evolution of action movies. Tony Scott, at that time, was kind of like the proto-Michael Bay, wasn’t he? He invented the Bruckheimer style, in my opinion.  Now that Tony Scott was dead, and Eddie Murphy was dead, I was definitely gonna have to get on that.

But there is a twist in the story. Maybe you can guess what it is, I might’ve telegraphed it too much. Get this: Eddie Murphy was not dead. The two young guys were trying to read about it themselves, I could see the article over the one guy’s shoulder. It was about various celebrity death hoaxes, including the one where Eddie Murphy had been killed in a snowboarding accident in Switzerland. I felt relieved. Unless somehow there had been a hoax and then Eddie really had died while snowboarding, it looked like he was safe.

They told the guy who had originally shared the news. “Where are you seeing that?” he asks. And then, “I bet it was a publicity stunt. They say any publicity is good publicity, you know?” He did not apologize to the rest of the line for his poor judgment and research skills. But at least he reminded me to watch BEVERLY HILLS COP II.

* * *

It’s hard to explain to the youth – hell, it’s hard to explain to myself – but BEVERLY HILLS COP was a huge fuckin deal in 1984. Eddie Murphy was a phenomenon on Saturday Night Live, and was only 21 when he made his movie debut in 48 HOURS. He stole the movie as the co-lead smartass that racist asshole cop Nick Nolte has to hang around with, but BEVERLY HILLS COP made him the central role, with two dorky white sidekicks. Originally designed as a serious action vehicle for Sylvester Stallone, Murphy made it into a series of comedy riffs where his fish-out-of-water Detroit cop talks fast and full of shit and confuses the hell out of the uptight Californian upper class. And then he would give that weird donkey laugh, and we loved it. And the theme song, that thing was huge. The best thing was when they played “Axel F Theme” on the radio and they added the laugh at the end.

Part 2 came 3 years later and was hugely successful moneywise, but maybe not so important to pop culture. In a weird way it connects the series back to Stallone, because Judge Reinhold’s character has posters for RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART 2 and COBRA (the movie Stallone put some of his BHC ideas into) in his apartment. Also the villain is played by Stallone’s then-wife Brigitte Nielsen, though that might be more of a fuck-you to Stallone than a tribute since she divorced him two months after the movie was released and later said she was having an affair with Tony Scott. Poor Stallone was making OVER THE TOP and had to put with this shit.

Nielsen plays “that big bitch” as Axel calls her, a lady who wears various wigs and expensive sunglasses while robbing and shooting people in a series of crimes the Beverly Hills police are calling “the Alphabet Murders.” In the opening scene she robs and shoots up a fancy jewelry store, and just before leaving she turns around and shoots down a chandelier. I took this to mean she had a contempt for the upper class and their shameless opulence, but no. It really just means that Scott liked to wreck stuff.

Axel, meanwhile, is back in Detroit, smiling at how awesome he is in a mirror and happily driving a Ferrari past scenes of urban blight and the Chrysler logo. He’s wearing a tie that we later hear cost $200. I thought at first that he sold out, but it turns out he’s undercover. I guess this is their way of reversing shit and making him seem like a Beverly Hills fish on Detroit dry land.

He returns to the 90210 zip code when the chief (Ronny Cox) gets shot by these alphabet fuckers because he knew too much about them. Because of Axel’s vacation to Beverly Hills 3 years ago he’s like family, comes to the hospital and kisses the chief’s daughter (Alice Adair), who I don’t think was even in part 1 but is supposed to be the emotional side of the movie as well as the computer expert.

Axel’s buds Rosewood (Reinhold) and Taggart (John Ashton) are on the new chief (Allen Garfield)’s shit list. They’re supposed to be demoted to traffic duty but Axel convinces them to investigate the Alphabet case anyway. After all, he doesn’t even work on this coast and he’s going around doing police work, as well as committing the felony of impersonating a federal officer. (He also impersonates a building inspector to break into and stay in a mansion while the real owners are on vacation. Think of how many innocent hard working individuals he probly got fired.) Taggart is supposed to be the comedic fuddy duddy, Rosewood now is into firepower and action heroes. Although he has the Stallone posters, at one point he says, “Fuck Rambo!” He carries a gun that causes Axel to ask, “Who do you think you are, Clint Eastwood? Dirty Rosewood?”

I’ve written about this before, how in the ’80s it was a big comedy thing to have a guy who’s obsessed with guns: Tackleberry in the POLICE ACADEMY series, TV’s Sledge Hammer, Michael Gross’s survivalist character in TREMORS. Those guys are supposed to be crazy, though. With Dirty Rosewood it seems like it’s supposed to be more cute than anything else. We’re supposed to think yeah, Rosewood deserves a chance to be Stallone. There’s a tense situation where he should call for backup and proceed with caution, instead he pulls out two shotguns and changes into a trenchcoat and whines to Taggart to let him do this. Like, I gotta be me. This is the only way I really feel alive.

I do think this is kind of the model for Michael Bay, or at least the BAD BOYS movies. It’s got the same approach of having a character who doesn’t seem like a real cop, who recklessly disregards all laws and procedures at all times and constantly endangers civilians and creates property damage. Movies were smaller then, though, so the destruction is not on as massive of a scale. But it has the same lack of tension or danger, it’s ha ha, Rosewood stole a cement truck, he’s driving terribly, everyone could be killed, they’re all smiling at how great they are.

The comedy is a little funnier than Bay’s in my opinion, but equally dumb and formless. On the extras Reinhold says all their scenes with Eddie were improvised, and it shows. Most of the movie is Eddie talking in the Funny Voice presenting himself to different people as various identities: the deliveryman to get into a private gun range, a pool cleaner to get into the Playboy Mansion. Some of them are less thought out, like when he has to confuse a guy by pretending to be in “The Rap Coalition of America.” I’m not even sure what that means.

By the way, Chris Rock has a bit part as a valet at the Playboy Mansion. This was before he was big, though, so it makes more sense than when he played a pizza deliveryman in PAPARAZZI.

Now that I mention the Playboy Mansion scene I realize this also reminds me of the RUSH HOUR series. It feels more like “Let’s have a scene where they go to the Playboy Mansion!” than a story that happens to involve the Playboy Mansion. They follow Jurgen Prochnow and Nielsen there, and they all get kicked out because Hef doesn’t know any of them. So why were they there in the first place?

The weirdest thing I noticed in the movie is a montage where Axel drives around Beverly Hills in a convertible, and there are various shots of the funny rich people walking their dogs and stuff. All the sudden two bulldogs start fucking, and it cuts to Axel smiling and laughing to himself. Ha ha, dogs fucking. That’s what amuses this character. I wonder if Eddie was embarrassed that they edited it that way, or was that in the script? Did Scott tell him, “Okay Eddie, now you see two dogs fucking. How do you feel about that? Smile Eddie. That’s good. That’s great. Cut.”

Scott uses his trademark orange filters and shows some beautiful sunsets. There’s some smoke, there’s a sunbeam going through a spinning fan. But it’s not as good looking of a movie as most of his. REVENGE was the next one, for example, and looked way better. Maybe he toned it down in tribute to the bland-looking original.

The screenplay is written by Larry Ferguson (HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, ALIEN 3, MAXIMUM RISK) and Warren Skaaren (BEETLEJUICE, BATMAN), but based on a story by Eddie and one of his buddies.

Anyway, I got my wish. I don’t consider it a good movie at all, but I was still interested in it as a piece of history. This was a movie that they made, alright.

Edward Regan Murphy
April 3, 1961 – September 3, 2012, 5:30ish; 5:40ish – present


VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2012 at 2:26 am and is filed under Action, Comedy/Laffs, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

76 Responses to “Beverly Hills Cop II”

  1. I have a confession to make. I never liked the BEVERLY HILLS COPs. In fact, the much hated part 3 is the only one that I would call entertaining. Don’t know why. I’m a sucker for 80’s action comedies.

  2. The 48 HOURS movies are better for me, because they are partially serious. Especially the first film, which probably would have been a straight-up crime drama were it not for Eddie’s casting. The shootout that sets things in motion (and the only scene with Jonathan Banks, AKA Mike fucking Ehrmantraut from BREAKING BAD) is extremely tense, and doesn’t paint the villains as goofy at all.

  3. I did an overview of the whole “trilogy” the other day because, weirdly, #3 was screening here in New York. I’m still a tremendous fan of the first movie, which was a formative influence on me, but my basic takeaway was that the rest of the series is something of a de-evolution — it started with modest perfection (#1), then ramped up to excess and borderline misogyny (#2), then ended up kinda sad and misguided (#3, although I worked hard in my piece to look for the bright spots). That whole “big bitch” line you mentioned that Eddie drops in #2 always stuck with me — it’s the kind of line that seems to go nastier than the franchise should ever have gone. Much like #2 in general.

    In my opinion, you were spot-on when you raised the issue of Michael Bay — I feel like THIS is the Tony Scott movie that probably influenced Bay and the BAD BOYS movies the most, when he (and we) would probably have been better served looking at some of the other movies Scott made. I love Tony Scott movies and I love Eddie Murphy, but in this case they weren’t a good match I don’t think.

    Anyway, insightful as always Vern, and if you or your readers are at all curious, here’s what I wrote about #3:

    http://demonsresume.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/screenings-in-nyc-beverly-hills-cop-iii-1994/

  4. My abiding memory of this is the hysterical BBC footage with the reporter saying it was appallingly bad but making a fortune and how worrying that was.

    As he signed off he said words to the effect of, I hope it doesn’t become a trend.

    Well, tough shit, Mr BBC man.

    Like Vern says, the most shocking thing to me about the movie is just how unfunny it is. It’s pure vanity and ego. Mostly Murphys but pretty much everyone looks so very pleased with themselves.

    And even the sporadic action is a mess.

    The first one was and is fantastic and, considering how it was changed so many times before getting made, remains something of a minor miracle (a bit like BAD BOYS, in fact. Only better).

    And what’s this about Murphy agreeing to star in a new BHC TV show?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2198389/Beverly-Hills-Cop-TV-Eddie-Murphy-return-Axel-Foley-CBS-orders-series-pilot.html

    Maybe, if it happens, they’ll get Reinhold and Ashton back. And what’s Bronson Pinchot up to? Get him in, as well.

    Sorry, this is turning all Exp3 cast-discussion-y.

  5. I thought BEVERLY HILLS COP 2 was funny…..*sigh*

  6. Yeah, I prefer BHC 3 over Part 2. I think that’s just because I’m a huge John Landis fan and the Die Hard in (faux) Disneyland plotline was kinda cool. 2 is a slick, empty summer movie that I’m sure was great in 87, but looking at it now it just seems like everyone was just going through the motions.

  7. Can’t agree with Vern here, Beverly Hills Cop is a product of it’s time. I loved this movie when I first saw it. Ok, I was 12 at the time but I was a mature 12. The thing about Beverly Hills Cop is it doesn’t age well, it’s like me watching that movie The Party with Peter Sellers. It was a huge hit for it’s time and I love Peter Sellers, but when I watched it I only wondered how was this movie a huge hit. It wasn’t funny at all to me, give me The Pink Panther or Dr Strangelove, but you can keep that one. Beverly Hills Cop is like that, watching it though more jaded eyes it’s just not going to have the same effect it had in the 80’s. Eddie Murphy was something that people hadn’t experienced up to that point. It’s not as funny as it was to me now as it was back then, but it still has moments and you can clearly see Murphy was going to be a dominating presence in the movies. Now, my favorite Murphy movies are the ones where he went outside the box like Boomerang and Life. That doesn’t mean I still can’t enjoy BHC.

    BHC 2 is entertaining to me in a different way. BHC 2 was the first movie I can remember with that Bruckheimer/Simpson look which they are still using to this day. I loved the action of BHC 2 but thought the comedy was completely lacking. In fact I can remember wondering why it was so unfunny. It’s the same exact feeling I got watching Bad Boys 2, which I think is one of the most unfunny “comedies” I’ve ever seen. I cannot even understand the love for that piece of trash. BHC 2 is not a great movie, but it’s probably a more polished movie the BHC was and an enjoyable time waster.

  8. Hey, I just watched this last week. I guess my basic feeling was that it wasn’t significantly worse than the first Beverly Hills Cop, which I don’t think is that great. Murphy’s standup of that period is still really potent today – just fresh and funny and in-your-face (if also fairly mean-spirited), but the stuff we get in these movies feels like a really watered down version of that with some 80s cop movie cliches sprinkled in.

    There’s a few decent laughs in the first BHC and a cool action scene in the opening, which are both more than you can say for the Tony Scott sequel, but on a character & story level I didn’t perceive a big difference in quality.

  9. I love the original BHC, but I never enjoyed any of the sequels. It is has been a long time since I have seen BHC 2 or 3, but I remember 3 being completely unfunny and hard to sit through. At least 2 looks good thanks to mister Scott, and it features Brigitte Nielsen in her prime.

  10. God, I would kill to see Murphy return to stand-up. Raw is still one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

    No idea if he’d be any good as a stage comedian these days, but I’d love to see him give it a shot after all these years.

  11. Knox, I doubt it would happen but it would be interesting. I wonder if Eddie Murphy even remembers how to be funny anymore.

  12. He’s just become such a weird, shy tropical fish of a man that I can’t imagine him owning the stage the way he used to. I’ve probably seen RAW and DELIRIOUS more than any other standup. I recently rewatched DELIRIOUS for the first time in a decade and was amazed at how many of my joke-telling inflections and cadences I stole directly from Eddie.

    Shit, Eddie was my fucking hero when I was a kid. It was an inspiration to a small, unathletic child like myself that he didn’t win because he was bigger and stronger–he won because he was smarter and funnier. The idea that you could survive solely on your wits and charm has stayed with me my whole life.

    I still like BHC2. It’s more of an action movie than the first one, but that’s okay with me. It looks great and Eddie is still Eddie, although you could kind of tell the fame was starting to take its toll. I also prefer the soundtrack to the first one’s, “Axel F” notwithstanding. Bob Seger’s “Shakedown” beats the pants off of Glenn Frey’s “The Heat Is On,” and the musical cue that Harold Faltermeyer did for the bad guys is just cool as shit the way it builds from a little woodblock beat into this awesome badass synth bassline.

  13. “Except for phone-free Vern. I’m a simple man. I read the same websights too many times as it is, I don’t need to carry that addiction around in my pocket. I’m like a monk.”

    Right on. I’m the same way. Never ever have even owned a smart phone. Which is ironic since I study IT/Networking and eventually will have to give in but until then I like to think of myself as Roddy Piper in THEY LIVE when I’m around the rest of society.

    BHC II I haven’t seen in a while but the one thing I do remember about it is how malicious and mean spirited Axel Foley was in this movie. He became a very obnoxious character which is a big problem since you have to follow him throughout the whole thing. A far cry from the likeable guy in the original but I guess a lot could happen in 3 years. Like growing an ego the size of Texas and having that influence your work as a writer and performer. Whoever said that it comes across as a vanity piece is dead on. It’s Eddie Murphy trying to showcase why he feels “Eddie Murphy” was cool and completely missing the mark but since it made him and his brothers laugh it was worth releasing in cinemas in his eyes.

    Knox – That ship has sailed. In order for that to work it would require genuine honesty from Eddie. This means talking about being caught with a tranny and the Johnny Gill rumors and going PG and etc. Eddie is not the man who could speak bluntly about such things anymore. As he grows older he grows even more distant with the world of comedy. He could no longer be a beacon of self expression through storytelling like his act required him to be cause the man can’t even be honest with himself it seems now a days.

  14. SHAKEDOWN is indeed dope. Great song to start a movie with when the audience has the proper sound system. As catchy and memorable as opening a movie with THE NEUTRON DANCE but for completely different reasons.

  15. BHCII will always be remembered by me as the first movie I didn’t like. As a kid, I pretty much liked every movie I ever saw, just because I didn’t know any better. I was psyched and excited, and i made my parents order it on Spectravision(!) when we were on vacation and I just remember feeling so disappointed at the end.

    It just wasn’t funny, the action wasn’t that good, the “mystery code” was bullshit (was it even explained how he deciphered it?) Plus I don’t like how Rosewood and Taggart mercilessly gunned down a bunch of unarmed guys running away at the end. Not sure why that image stayed with me as a kid.

    I saw BHCI a few years later and absolutely loved it. I actually thought it had the right mix of grit and comedy and heart. It also made me dislike BHCII more since Axel and Rosewood seem to be playing entirely different characters. BHCIII is also terrible, but it seems less offensive and mean-spirited than part II, so I can’t decided which is worse.

  16. What I love most with the Axel Foley character is that he´s basically a criminal with a badge. I don´t understand how he became a cop in the first place because of his delinquent youth ( that was hinted at in the first part of the Axel Foley Saga) and little respect for authority. He lies and cheats his way throughout the movies. he is a pathological liar. ” My name is Johnny Wishbone and I´m from the island of St Croix!” He constantly breaks into peoples home and shit. I love that shit.

  17. I can´t stand all this BHC2 hate. Its my personal kryptonite. I feel real weak right now…

  18. You were obviously a much more discerning youth than I was, neal. Basically, if it had dudes shooting each other and cracking jokes in it, I loved it.

    Oh how I have matured since then.

  19. Agreed about the soundtrack (big Seger fan here), the score in particular was good. Synths all over the place, but it didn’t feel too out-of-wack.

  20. After reading the review and the comments I tried to remember anything about at least one of the BEVERLY HILLS COPs, but I’ve failed. I liked them as a young teenager, but I’ve also loved every part of POLICE ACADEMY then, so that doesn’t say much.

    One of the earlier Eddie Murphy movies I can remember is COMING TO AMERICA, especially with it’s great seamless transition from the Paramount logo to the first scene, something I’ve never seen before. I loved that effect, it’s like walking through the door of a great old theatre or the opening of the red curtain.

    Since then I can’t completely dislike any movie that has a great transition from the logo to the movie, if it’s ALIEN 3, HARD RAIN or DOOM.

  21. While writing my last comment THE GOLDEN CHILD came into my mind. I have to rewatch this soon, when I was young this was as great as the INDIANA JONES movies for me.

    Thinking about all this I’m remembering watching TRADING PLACES and loving it in my early youth.

    Damn, there was a time in my life where I couldn’t wait to see the next Eddie Murphy movie. Today he’s like more Adam Sandler to me: a reason not to watch a movie.

  22. As great transition it doesn´t matter since DOOM is a shit movie. Removing the occult theme, and all the fucked up shit from the videogame and turn it into the most bland inoffensive fucking zombie-movie in order not to offend some stupid christian organization? That kind of shit is not looked well upon from this part of Sweden I can tell you. Sorry for the mini-rant.

  23. The Original... Paul

    September 20th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Count me as one of the people for whom “Beverly Hills Cop” was part of my childhood. And by that I mean the sequels – I think I missed the boat on “Beverly Hills Cop” and saw the two sequels first. I didn’t see the original until much later. I think the three movies are interesting as a product of their time. I will also say that Pt 2 has a great late-eighties-slash-early-nineties style soundtrack. Not just “Axel F”, but also the music that plays during the first heist. I think that works really well actually – you’ve got Brigitte Nielsen calling out the time, the “clock ticking” beat to the soft guitar chords, etc. It’s not subtle but it is tense. I like Nielsen as an antagonist but I think they could’ve done a lot more with her than they did.

    BHC2 is not by any means a great film; but even now I still think it’s a fairly fun one. If you can excuse the fact that Axel is kind of an asshole and it’s all very style-over-substance, it’s better entertainment than its reputation would suggest. In my opinion anyway.

    I also liked BHC3 more than most. A couple of gripes though: the scoring is definitely not on a par with the other two entries in the series (the ferris wheel chase in particular is scored to a really annoying bit of electronica – it actually includes synthesized yelping – that sounds terrible compared to the heist music of the second movie. What happened to the ticking clock and cool guitar chords?) And when you pull a final twist like that, you really have to set up the character who the twist is about. A certain recent blockbuster had exactly the same problem (I’m avoiding spoilers of recent films here, so please don’t ask / suggest who I’m talking about in which film) – we know nothing about the subject of the twist other than their occupation, so we have no reason to either trust them or suspect them. BHC3 at least justifies Axel’s knowledge of the character in question at the end though.

    I also liked “Golden Child”. But looking back on it, I haven’t got a clue what Murphy is doing in it. I think it might have worked better if it had been played deadpan, but as an Eddie Murphy vehicle it’s lacking.

  24. Axel almost becomes asshole when you say it.

  25. Paul – I could excuse BHC II because it is what it is and could be entertaining but the third movie is just atrocious. I tried to rewatch it again recently and I couldn’t make it all the way through. It’s truly the worst shit you could get from a couple of wash ups (Murphy & Landis).

  26. BEVERLY HILLS COP III has an orchestral version of ‘Axel F’.

    So fuck that movie.

  27. As a huge Eddie Murphy and an even huger John Landis fan, I watched BEVERLY HILLS COP III once.

    Once.

  28. Just rewatched this the other night too. I don’t get the hate for it either, although it’s the very definition of “serviceable”. It’s one of those sequels that is nowhere near as good as the original but it’s fun enough to see these characters in another adventure. Don’t remember the 3rd to well other than they lost me as a kid when they got rid of Taggert for some reason. That was enough to ruin it for me back then. Dreading to revisit that one.

  29. The vibe during the theme park climax of BHCIII always reminds me of the theme park climax of the film CLIFFORD with Martin Short. You know, the one where he played a kid.

    Think on that a while.

  30. Oh, one more thing about BHCII – it was my first dose of “style over substance” because as a kid I wondered why the streets were all wet (to look all neon-y) at night when it didn’t rain during the day. I wonder if kids today wonder those things when watching Michael Bay movies.

    Also, I do think it’s kind of weird that BHC I and II might be the only blockbuster franchise I can think of that didn’t have a love interest for the hero (even Rambo II threw in one). I THINK Foley finally had one in III but I can’t remember.

  31. Zod, I most have been the most easily impressed kid in the world in the 80´s. Since everyone else seems to have been so selfaware and I was not. I was the gullible one I guess..

  32. Best Eddie Murphy movie for me is Trading Places, but 48 Hours is his best action vehicle.

    And I, too, have great affection for Coming to America. Sexual Chocolate cracks me up.

  33. The Black White Shadow

    September 20th, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    What I remember about BHC 2:

    Getting the distinct feeling that they just took an unused Miami Vice script, realized it wasn’t feature length, and just told Eddie to “vamp” for 45 minutes. Also, developing an unhealthy fascination with Brigette Nielson that only the ravages of time and Flavor Flav himself could subdue.

    What I remember about BHC 3:

    There is a George Lucas cameo so random that every time I think back on it it, I’m not sure it actually happened. There was a ridiculous gun Serge was pushing. Hector Elizando losing his shit at the Wonderworld Theme. And was a purely Landis-style gag invovling a toy train that atill amuses me just thinking about it. It had a pretty decent New Jack soundtrack. And as a 14-year old, I had an enormous amount of difficulty telling Timothy Carhart and Judge Reinhold apart.

    ….and that’s probably everything you need to know about that.

  34. I’m gonna get all basketball on this one. I see Pryor as the Elgin Baylor of black comedians; coming in when the league was lilly white, being the first to take the game above the rim, but then suffering a debilitating knee injury before he was ever able to get that championship. Then Eddie picked up the mantle from Richie, I’ll call him the Julius Erving, who blew people’s mind in the ABA, created immediate buzz and instant legends about his acrobatic exploits etc. Until the ABA/NBA merger, by then the Doc had a few years on him, (a lil grey in the fro) and he had dutifully (and probably thanks to some divorces and illegitimate children) fallen into the profitable role as ambassador, but would never again display the raw physical talents of his ABA youth. So everyone kept cheering. Everyone kept nodding happily and making excuses for him, even though the player on display in the early 80’s was being sold as Dr. J, but was not the same talent. So we nod at Eddie, we cheer for Julius, we forget Elgin, and we overrate Pryor. That’s the difference. Baylor is forgotten, while Pryor has become colossally overrated. Maybe he’s Wilt.

  35. Personally, I’m a Carlin guy (Larry Bird?) or a Bill Hicks guy (Charles Barkley?). But they never had movie franchises, for better.

  36. Black White Shadow, the Lucas cameo happened! Also the Joe Dante cameo. And I’m sure there were at least 15 other directors who I didn’t instantly recognized.

  37. Back the the truck up Giggler. Richard Pryor is overrated? Man fuck that! Pryor is one of the greats, and not just because he was something new to white audiences either. He was an absolute genius at story telling on stage. Eddie Murphy was great also, but he never had anything near the depth of Pryor. In fact some of his jokes were stolen directly from Pryor( the poltergeist joke he used to tell was directly stolen from Pryor’s exorcist joke). Pryor took the ball from comedians like Dick Gregory and Redd Foxx and ran with it. Without Pryor, Eddie doesn’t exist. He took what Lenny Bruce was doing and made it mainstream and acceptable just because of his personality and charm. No way he was overrated. Have you actually ever listened to a whole Richard Pryor album? Or watched his stand up? No way you could have ever listened to That Nigger’s Crazy and came out of it thinking he was overrated. Easily one of the all time greats. Carlin was great, so was Hicks, and Pryor paved the way for a lot of comedians who came after to be free and speak their minds on stage. A true legend in every way.

    The true comparison if you want to compare them to basketball players would be Dick Gregory as Elgin Baylor because he was the original that spoke his mind and was actually accepted by a mainstream(white) audience. Then came Pryor as Dr J who blew up the 70’s like a comet with dunk after dunk while winning unappreciated championships(2 ABA for Doc/Blue Collar and Which Way is Up for Pryor where he plays 3 roles way before Eddie did it). Eddie Murphy as Michael Jordan who came at just the right time as the main-steam audience was now ready to accept true greatness for what it was. They both were great and befitted from what happened before them by making millions of dollars. In between all this would be Bill Cosby as Bill Russell, the steady player who doesn’t get as much credit but just keeps winning championship after championship. All were great in their on way and unique.

  38. The Balck White Shadow

    September 21st, 2012 at 10:04 am

    CJ Holden- Joe Dante was in there? Ha! Of COURSE he was!

    I may not love that movie, but man do I love me some John Landis…

  39. Sorry Chi Town, and yes, I’ve listened to all of Pryor’s albums. He’s not my cup of tea, frankly. And when I hear people regard him as the greatest stand up ever I want to throw up. Still like him, just doubt that he could write his name in the dirt with a stick.

  40. BEVERLY HILLS COP III had Axel Fox that alone makes it one of the lamest movies of all time.

  41. BWS – I did like Landis populating cameos in BHC3 of people associated with Disney, like the Sherman Brothers. (Well one of them at least.)

    Broddie – I remember that story of how the original DeSouza script had ultra-expensive set pieces based off theme park rides and one wonders what we would’ve gotten if they had happened.

    Oh and fun fact: George Carlin was the greatest.

  42. I never saw 2 but I did watch 3 once out of boredom and it was spectacularly terrible, despite maybe one or two clever John Landis moments here and there (the George Lucas cameo for example)

    however the “Die Hard in Disneyland” idea is actually really cool and should have been in a much better, more serious movie

  43. It is cool, but in a serious movie? To me, it sounds way better as a comedic premise (in something more worthy of the comedy-action genre, think MIDNIGHT RUN or PINEAPPLE EXPRESS). The closest thing I can think of it being pulled off in a serious movie was the climax of that foot chase in TRAFFIC that ended in a Chuck E. Cheese-style establishment.

  44. you can’t see the potential for serious drama in terrorists attacking a place filled with kids?

  45. The potential for that goes beyond serious drama into oh-my-god-this-is-so-depressing-i-think-i’ll-cut-my-wrists type stuff. And I don’t even have kids.

  46. Sorry Giggler, get the barf bag because Richard”muthafuckin”Pryor is the greatest comedian of all time!

  47. Growing up in Detroit, they used my dad’s friend’s Ferrari as one of the 2 they used. 2 you ask? Yep. They wrecked the first one. Then I saw the movie and was severely bummed that there was no badass chase scenes with the Ferrari. I still can’t figure out how the wrecked a Ferrari shooting the driving around Detroit scenes that are in the movie. Also, car enthusiasts will notice that the cars, while supposed to be playing the same car character, are actually slightly different models.

  48. so then, I guess that means you’re rich?

  49. He didn’t say it was his Ferrari. Also, what kind of a question is that? He shared a good anecdote. Leave him alone.

  50. Griff, I wish. Nope, not rich. Strictly middle class here. My dad’s friend obviously had some money, though. He did take me for a ride once, and I remember thinking that an insanely expensive car like that should be more comfortable.

    But anyway, as Vern said, I was just sharing an anecdote. Hope it didn’t come off as some sort of douchey car version of name dropping.

  51. I didn’t mean it as a put down, just curious

  52. No offense taken. It’s all good.

  53. Sorry ChiTown, we’ll agree to disagree. In a major way.

  54. The pilot with Shawn Ryan (THE SHIELD) as head writer and Barry Sonnenfeld as director was passed over by CBS Friday. Kevin Pollak said on his chat show just now that Eddie was given a 10 million dollar golden parachute for it not being picked up…

  55. Wow. Imagine how terrible it must be for the network to pay $10 mill NOT to air it.

  56. Naw. It’s a personal grudge. The studio head basically bought it for the purpose of shelving it.

  57. Oh. Well, whatever his reasons, I thank him for sparing us all the indignity of seeing what a BEVERLY HILLS COP network television show would look like in 2013.

  58. I think Kevin said it was in Eddie’s contract. I guess it’s for the greater good of the reasons Mr. M has already stated, but I was kind of looking forward to it. Mostly because of Shawn Ryan. Not just because I think THE SHIELD might be the best cable series of all time, but that he was the producer of a show I dearly loved, TERRIERS, which I would describe as a bit of a cross between BHC and CHINATOWN.

  59. One of these days I’ll have to finish THE SHIELD. I did four seasons and just got so fucking sick of these assholes constantly digging themselves deeper and deeper. It stopped being fun, so I never went back, even though everybody tells me the last season will blow my balls out through the back of my head or similar unlikely hyperboles.

  60. Despite that particular hyperbole sounding rather unpleasant, your friends aren’t that far off. Season 5 is quite good in particular.

  61. Actually, it’s just you guys telling me that. But I trust you more than my friends anyway.

  62. Just since the facts are more important… CBS passed on the show but they are actively shopping it to other outlets, it’s not “dead” at the moment. No reason has been given but some of the rumors are that while the veteran support actors like Murphy were great but the leads weren’t working. Who knows, I’m sure more will come out after the upfronts.

    THE SHIELD is garbage.

    But I guess it’s fitting you guys are talking about it here since BEVERLY HILLS COP II is so cold and miserable.

  63. “THE SHIELD is garbage.”

    Explain, please. I’ll likely disagree with you but you can’t just throw that out with explaining why. Especially here I would imagine.

  64. CBS bid money to get BHC, only to drop it.

    Times like this I just don’t get Hollywood.

  65. I really don’t get the golden parachute. With the money nearly all of Eddie’s movie lost you’d think the studios would be demanding he pay them back.

  66. *nearly all of Eddie’s recent movies.

  67. The BHC pilot was also directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, so it can’t be that terrible. I buy the “pesonal grudge” theory from above. Maybe also the guy who greenlit it has already left NBC since then and it’s an unwritten rule to say “no” to everything that the guy before you greenlit.

  68. Okay, a few more facts to hopefully help before the week is over and the upfronts are out of the way so we might get more info.

    BEVERLY HILLS COP the pilot was produced by Sony and Paramount. It was shopped to CBS given the history between CBS and Paramount from the Viacom days. Murphy was signed for a supporting role and to get him on board they gave him the “golden parachute” which gave him a cash guarantee if the show wasn’t ordered to series, something that isn’t uncommon with “name” stars. It’s an industry thing, like “second position”, where an actor on an existing series with a contract is attached to a new show but can’t take that job if the existing show gets renewed.

    As to my feelings on THE SHIELD onthewall2983 I will offer an In My Opinion explicitly despite my feeling that it is always implicit.

    I have a natural bias against television where the protagonists are villains. In movies you’re one and done so that’s fine, I love me some GOODFELLAS. But a TV show is an ongoing enterprise, and if a show offers nothing but a gaggle of assholes that deserve to die, why do I want to check in on them week-to-week? Even in shows essentially about bad people like DOLLHOUSE have at least one primary cast member that is the “good guy”.

    But that’s not the reason I used “garbage” to describe THE SHIELD. A friend who’s taste is fairly similar to mine raved about it so I picked up the first season DVD, the only episodes I’ve seen. Over the course of that season characters were introduced only to never be mentioned again, episodes ended with open threads that were never addressed even in passing, there were numerous badly written monologues and relative characters, and the larger world that these fucktards were operating in was barely sketched out. That’s the garbage I’m talking about, bad writing, poor or absent characterizations, an incomplete world.

    But all that doesn’t negate the fact that Vic Mackey’s skull should have been split with a shovel immediately.

  69. “Over the course of that season characters were introduced only to never be mentioned again, episodes ended with open threads that were never addressed even in passing, there were numerous badly written monologues and relative characters, and the larger world that these fucktards were operating in was barely sketched out. That’s the garbage I’m talking about, bad writing, poor or absent characterizations, an incomplete world.”

    Clubside, I am sorry you didn’t enjoy THE SHEILD, but how much of it did you watch? I am not saying you’re wrong for not liking it. I can understand if it is not for you, but I completely disagree with your assessment. Maybe you were watching another show called THE SHEILD, because THE SHEILD I am familiar with is one of the best written and acted shows that has ever been on TV and still better than most of what is on TV these days. I am not saying it not without its faults. The series spins it wheels a little in later seasons before gaining traction heading to its final seasons, but even the worst episodes of the show are still entertaining. I have watched the entire series from start to finish 3 times and I can’t think of one example of what you complained about in your post.

  70. First and foremost clubside, if it felt incomplete after just watching the first season and nothing else, you’re missing out on the bigger picture. As vague as I can be without spoiling it, things dating back to the first episode reverberate all the way to it’s end.

    I can agree with your point about protagonists as villains, even if I don’t see how it applies to THE SHIELD. Nearly everybody on the show during it’s 7-season run have moments of good, evil and indifference. Your point can be best applied to THE SOPRANOS for me. Regardless of it’s brilliant writing and style (which I felt it did have), at certain times I was waiting at any time for Harrison Ford to bust through the door and arrest them all, as it would have happened in the Hollywood version of the show.

    “Murphy was signed for a supporting role and to get him on board they gave him the “golden parachute” which gave him a cash guarantee if the show wasn’t ordered to series, something that isn’t uncommon with “name” stars. It’s an industry thing, like “second position”, where an actor on an existing series with a contract is attached to a new show but can’t take that job if the existing show gets renewed.”

    I’d find this easier to swallow if Eddie Murphy was still a name. He’s a perpetual mainstay on lists of overpaid Hollywood stars, and has cost these studios enough. What happened to earning your keep?

  71. Onthewall2983:
    Out of curiosity, what made you pick Harrison Ford there? Maybe I’m blanking on something here, but when I think “Hollywood version”, I don’t think of Harrison Ford arresting mobsters…

  72. Nothing in particular, except maybe I’m reminded of the scene from the show where Tony watches a scene from THE FUGITIVE. It’s just a generality really, you’re free to cast anyone in that role that you wish.

  73. onthwall2983:
    Ok. Cool. Hope you didn’t read my comment as criticism. It wasn’t meant to be.

  74. http://www.playboy.com/articles/what-happened-to-director-martin-brest?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=Playboy&utm_campaign=Playboy.com&linkId=11259829 (NSFW for probably the URL alone)

    Good article on the director of the 1st BHC, as well as MIDNIGHT RUN (quite possibly the best action-comedy ever), and what happened to him after GIGLI failed so enormously.

  75. Thanks for the article, onthewall. Martin Brest’s work in Beverly Hills Cop is so fantastic, especially because it’s invisible. There’s no weird stylistic touches or flourishes, no wacky cuts or edits or bullet-time or John Woo slo-mo or Tarantinoan time-fracturing. Just a well-paced story, hard hitting and well-staged action, perfectly timed comedy, and most importantly, the good sense to just sit back and let Eddie take the wheel. It’s journeyman film-making on a level with Donner and Badham, so I’m sure film nerds would call Brest’s work “pedestrian” or compare him to Ratner today.

    As for Gigli, it’s a trainwreck no doubt, but there’s some very, very funny scenes buried in there and it’s almost a pioneer in the “cringe humor” field made popular today. Ben Affleck is a champ for letting himself appear this stupid on film.

  76. R.I.P Glenn Frey. The heat will stay on.

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