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BEVERLY HILLS COP: AXEL F

I Netflix Canada I July 3, 2024 I 115 mins. I

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68%

* As of 7/3/24

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Kevin Bacon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bronson Pinchot, 

Paul Reiser, John Ashton, Patricia Belcher, Taylour Paige

Directed By: Mark Molloy

Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is back on the beat in Beverly Hills. After his daughter’s life is threatened, she (Taylour Paige) and Foley team up with a new partner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and old pals Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) to turn up the heat and uncover a conspiracy.

REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus - 7/3/24

RATING 4 out of 5

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F sees Eddie Murphy return to one of his most famous roles in an entertaining sequel full of laughter, action and excitement that is not only one crowd pleasing summer blockbuster, but proves that Murphy is still a comedic legend.

 

Forty years ago, Eddie Murphy introduced audiences to the wise cracking, resourceful and rule bending detective Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop, which was an instant box office smash and even earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Axel Foley would return for two sequels, but after the third film did not perform as well as the studio had hoped, we haven’t seen Foley for thirty years. But now Murphy and original producer Jerry Bruckheimer have returned to the fan favourite franchise for a fourth film in the series: Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. Much like Murphy, Axel Foley has aged since the original film, this time being a father to a thirty-two year old daughter Jane, portrayed by Taylour Paige, but that doesn’t mean that Murphy has lost his spit fire comedic energy. It is in fact the opposite. Murphy adapts Axel to an older age and a modern era, but retains his mischievous, justice seeking and wild card personality that made audiences fall in love with him forty years ago, ensuring there is never a moment during Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F where you aren’t thoroughly entertained.

 

There are three certain things in life: death, taxes, and that Axel Foley will always find his way back to the streets of Beverly Hills. After learning that his lawyer daughter is in danger, Axel Foley returns to Beverly Hills and discovers a far larger conspiracy at play in which his daughter and former partner Billy Rosewood have become entangled with. As with the previous film, the screenplay is full of hilarious moments that lets Murphy unleash his comedic genius, both through scripted moments and improvisation, immediately reminding audiences why Murphy is one of the highest grossing movie stars of all time. The mystery itself doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s not concerned that it is fairly simple, instead allowing the father-daughter bond to develop between Axel and Jane and give Axel a new partner in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Detective Sam Abbott, remaining true to the series’ roots. In terms of action, it’s the best the franchise has ever delivered, capturing the fun and high stakes shoot out sequences of the original trilogy with some excellent set pieces that match the standards set by modern blockbusters. All of this combined results in a quick paced, heartfelt and most importantly, hilarious action comedy that makes me excited for the future of this series should Netflix green light a sequel. 

 

It comes as no surprise, but once again, Murphy is the heart and soul of the film as Axel Foley. Murphy has always been a comedic legend, and he has not lost his quick witted line delivery or infectious personality that made him a star decades ago. His improv talents remain evident throughout and lends itself to some of the film’s funniest moments, always raising the bar for the other cast members who all more than rise to the occasion, while it looks like he’s barely aged and still remains the action hero in every scene. But with a more mature Foley, Murphy finds more sentiment as a father reflecting on his past missteps with his daughter, looking to reconnect after being estranged for years, leading to some wonderful and touching moments with Paige.

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Also returning to the franchise alongside Murphy is Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Paul Reiser and Bronson Pinchot, and it’s great to see them back in their roles. Reinhold and Ashton have not lost a beat as Rosewood and Taggart; while Pinchot is still as fabulous and zany as ever as the beloved Serge, who alongside Murphy helps to deliver one of the film’s most memorable scenes while bringing back their infamous “get the f*** out of here” line. Paige is a strong addition as Axel’s daughter Jane, developing a hardened and strong willed young woman with every bit of her father’s tenacity and stubbornness, making for a great match to Murphy in all her scenes. Gordon-Levitt is fun as Abbott, contrasting Murphy’s comedic energy with a seriousness that is reminiscent of a young Reinhold, while Kevin Bacon is living in his villain era as Captain Cade Grant. And Nasim Pedrad as Ashley De La Rosa… well let’s just say that Serge has met his equal!

 

The original Beverly Hills Cop had a great soundtrack, and this sequel continues that legacy. Bringing back hit songs from the original film like Glenn Fry’s “The Heat is On” and The Pointer Sisters’ “The Neutron Dance”, and the new song from Lil Nas X “Here We Go!”, the soundtrack selections match Murphy’s energy level at every turn. And reinvigorating Harold Faltermeyer’s iconic “Axel F” theme is Lorne Balfe with a rockin’ synthesizer based score. Balfe rounds out the orchestrations to create a truly epic soundscape for the story to play out in, while paying homage to Faltermeyer’s original score and maintaining Faltermeyer’s instantly recognizable stylings. Both the score and soundtrack work together to create a fitting musical element to the film, honouring the franchise’s history while moving it into the twenty-first century.


Thirty years is too long of a time period to wait for the latest Axel Foley case, but Eddie Murphy and Netflix make that wait worth the while with Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. There is no beating the original Beverly Hills Cop, which to this day remains a classic in the action comedy genre, but the latest entry in the franchise does a wonderful job a recapturing its magic thanks to an energized Eddie Murphy who has not missed a beat since portraying Axel Foley thirty years ago and a screenplay that both takes the franchise back to basic and breathes new life into the beloved series. Led by a winning performance from Eddie Murphy as he reprises one of his most famous roles of all time, with a strong supporting cast featuring Taylour Paige, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kevin Bacon, and good story, Beverly Hills Cop is not merely a return to standard for the beloved franchise, but without question the best film to come from it since the original!

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