‘Beverly Hills Cop’ is Back on the Rails With ‘Axel F’ Reboot

Synopsis: Axel Foley returns to Beverly Hills after his daughter’s life is threatened. Old pals John Taggart and Billy Rosewood work to uncover a conspiracy.
Director: Mark Molloy
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Kevin Bacon, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, John Ashton, Taylour Paige

Most of the time, the announcement of a sequel, reboot, or remake is usually met with an eye roll. We question the originality of scripts and prepare to endure an obvious money grab.

But now and then, a sequel comes along that initiates a certain level of expectation and excitement because the series was so beloved, and that is the sentiment with Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.

Eddie Murphy has been on a bit of a comeback tour. Several years ago, he was in the Netflix movie Dolemite is My Name, for which many feel Murphy deserved an Oscar nomination. Then, there was the sequel to Coming to America.

Beverly Hills Cop has been highly anticipated, and there have been many starts and stops since the mid-90s. In Murphy’s own words, they were waiting for the right script.

There’s a wonderful saying “To know where you are going, you have to know where you’ve been.” So, let’s go back to 1984; Beverly Hills Cop was the top movie at the box office. It was a stacked year that included films like Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and The Karate Kid (all of which have had sequels). It also was the year of Prince’s Purple Rain, the movie and arguably one of the greatest albums of all time.

It still seems crazy that back in 1894, Sylvester Stallone was initially considered to play the lead in Beverly Hills Cop. Fortunately for all involved, that didn’t happen.

Beverly Hills Cop is one of the top action comedies of all time. It introduced the world to Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit police officer who uses his wit to get himself out of dicey situations. Foley could sell water to a whale.

This installment kicks off in Detroit, where Axel uses his detective skills to track down some crooks. Years have passed, but Foley’s passion for taking down criminals hasn’t diminished at all, and neither have his instincts. His old colleague Jeffrey (Paul Reiser) has been promoted and has the unenviable task of managing Foley’s efforts.

Meanwhile, in Beverly Hills, his old friend Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) is working on a case in which Axel’s attorney daughter Jane (Taylour Paige) is also involved.

Jane is getting too close to the truth, so some baddies threaten her life. That is all it takes to ignite Axel. He is on the next plane to Beverly Hills to help as only Axel Foley can.

In addition to trying to solve this case, Axel and Jane are dealing with their estranged relationship. She wants nothing to do with her father, and she seems to be the one person he can’t charm.

It doesn’t take Axel long to get into trouble, which results in him meeting some fresh faces at the police department, Captain Grant (Kevin Bacon) and Detective Abbott (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

Along with the old, there are also some familiar faces. In addition to Reinhold, John Ashton is back as Taggart, now the Chief of the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Seeing the first two films is beneficial for appreciating this installment. (Yes, there was a third movie, but nobody needs to revisit that.) It is laced with easter eggs and throwbacks to the original films. This film is as much a love letter to fans as Avengers: Endgame was to the Marvel crowd.

In addition to the cast, the theme music, Axel F, made famous by Harold Faltermeyer, is back, as are some other familiar tunes from the Pointer Sisters and Bob Seger.

For those who haven’t seen any of the Beverly Hills Cop movies, this is still a very entertaining action comedy. The nostalgia is on point, but so is the entertainment. It doesn’t feel like a ‘paycheque’ movie but a labour of love. At its core, Beverly Hills Cop is a series about friendship and loyalty.

This movie also reminds us how we are spoiled with a Netflix subscription, as this film could have easily been released in a theatre. It’s a shame it isn’t, but a Beverly Hills Cop watch party can become a thing.

Eddie Murphy is the captain here. His resumé speaks for itself. He is a recipient of the Mark Twain Comedy Prize, recently won the Cecile B. DeMille Award and is an industry icon. That being said, the supporting cast still has opportunities where they shine.

Playing his daughter likely wasn’t easy, but Taylour Paige is very good in this film. Those unfamiliar with her (Zola) will be introduced to a strong younger actor.

Gordon-Levitt, who is great in everything, continues the trend here. For Reinhold and Ashton, the adage of riding a bike comes to mind as they fall back in as the bickering Rosewood and Taggart.

This is a very enjoyable experience and lives up to the hype. It was definitely worth the wait.

Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley is just as charismatic and charming as he was when we were first introduced to him all of those years ago.

Reteaming with veteran action producer Jerry Bruckheimer is another definite win.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is an extremely entertaining film that is sure to put smiles on the faces of Axel Foley fans while creating new ones.

Grade: B+

Watch the movie trailer: