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The original: 

The Beverly Hills Cop films (1984, 87, 94) 


Directed by: 

Martin Brest (Midnight Run), Tony Scott (Last Boy Scout) and John Landis (The Stupids)  


Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher, Ronny Cox, Gilbert R. Hill, Paul Reiser; with Steven Berkoff, Jonathan Banks, Jurgen Prochnow, Bridgette Neilson, Timothy Carhart and Fred Asparagus

What’s it about? 

Detroit cop Axel Foley (Murphy) travels to Beverly Hills to investigate the murder of a childhood friend. 

While there he meets the super-rich, super-privileged and super-uptight. Managing to rub people on both sides of the law the wrong way, he goes on to uncover a major crime ring, make some friends, shoot some villains, and order a lot of room service. 


Beverly Hills Cop is a masterclass of storytelling. Tight, witty, exciting and clever, it showcases understated and pitch-perfect direction from Brest, with wonderful supporting turns from the two cops who slowly succumb to Foley’s charms- the irrepressible Rosewood and Taggart (Reinhold and Astin).  This burgeoning friendship between the three elevates the film further, with the stiff-backed cops acting as foil, support and ultimately cast-iron comrades to our hero.  


The film’s ace in the hole is of course Murphy. Top of his game, shining as bright as only a true a mega-star can, the man is pure charisma, improvising genius dialogue while remaining utterly convincing as the cop from the wrong side of the tracks. 


The film remains a feel-good romp, with an edge. 


Beverly Hills Cop 2 followed, with Scott’s direction oozing style and cinematic verve, with witty escapades and exciting action, again capitalising on the excellent chemistry between the leads.  It remains fast, funny and inventive, but is also astonishingly self-indulgent. 


A second sequel somehow managed to be devoid of all that made the first two great, while actually being so bad it threatens the fabric of the universe. 


At the end of the day, it is the original which truly stands the test of time, pulling off what many imitators have tried and failed to replicate- blending action and comedy seamlessly, with neither contradicting or diluting the other. 


A masterclass from all involved. 

And always better than a banana in a tailpipe. 


Axel: “Tell me, what's the charge?” 

Cop: “Possession of a concealed weapon and disturbing the peace.” 

Axel: “Disturbing the peace? I got thrown through a window! What's the charge for getting pushed out of a moving car? Jaywalking?!” 



Rosewood: “Wow. You know, it says here that by the time the average American is fifty, he's got five pounds of undigested red meat in his bowels. 

Taggart: “Why are you telling me this? What makes you think I have any interest in that at all?” 

Rosewood: “Well, you eat a lot of red meat.” 


Jeffery: “Todd's looking for you. He is really pissed. You know what he said? This is your worst fuck up ever. Personally, I don’t think that’s true.” 


The pitch: "Come up with a sequel to Beverly Hills Cop 2."

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