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'Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F' review: Legacy sequel plays all the greatest hits

Courtesy of Netflix

 

Towards the end of “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F,” the hardened, seasoned John Taggart (played by the returning John Ashton) laments: “Jesus Christ, some things never change.”

 

In essence, that’s the mantra of Mark Molloy’s spirited legacy sequel, where most of the familiar faces you remember from the franchise (which revolved around Eddie Murphy’s fast-talking Detroit police officer Axel Foley trying to solve crimes under the nose of his superiors) back into the mix. Foley‘s attitude, and his notoriety, hasn’t faltered as the film opens with him cruising through several Detroit suburbs with everyone hooting and hollering as he drives by (some even throw out the occasional expletive). 

 

“Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” is the equivalent of warm comfort food. It’s baked in nostalgia (the soundtrack features a variety of classic needle drops, including the iconic and instantly recognizable Axel Foley theme) in a way that doesn’t undercut the entire movie. Molloy, working with a screenplay by Will Beall, Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten, strategically places little breadcrumbs, nods, and homages to the previous installments (including a hilarious one liner about how 1994 wasn’t Axel’s “best” year – in a direct dig at how universally panned “Beverly Hills Cop III” was) while still finding plenty of hijinks for these characters (stealing a helicopter) to get into. If only the movie, which glistens with that old-school Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckhemier panache, had gotten released in theaters rather than streaming.

 

Nonetheless, “Axel F” brims with big theatrical worthy set-pieces, including the opening sequence, which is set inside Little Caesars Arena during a Red Wings game (Michganders will undoubtedly get a kick out of that, in addition to seeing Foley sport the iconic Detroit Lions jacket). Axel is trying to stop a robbery, but all hell breaks loose and within minutes, we’re watching one of Detroit’s finest commandeering a snowplow and hurdling through the city while getting chewed out by his partner (a returning Paul Reiser) for defacing public property. Some things never change indeed. 

 

After three movies, we know Axel doesn’t play by the rules, and that could partially explain why he’s been estranged from his daughter, Jane (Taylour Paige of “Zola” fame) who is now working as an attorney in Beverly Hills. When she decides to take on the case of a suspected cop-killer working for the cartel, her life is put in danger, which sets her father on the path towards his old stomping grounds in an attempt to both protect her and rekindle their fractured relationship (cue “The Heat Is On”). Together, they uncover a massive conspiracy ring involving crooked cops and drug trafficking in what’s essentially a predictable and familiar rehash of the 1984 classic.

 

Still, it’s infections watching Murphy cook and adapt throughout the movie and seeing him realize he isn’t the same, young, and hungry officer of 30 years ago, where he can’t say or do the things once considered appropriate, let alone throw a punch without potentially throwing out his back. It’s the filmmaker’s way of tastefully bringing Foley into the 21st century without totally compromising his identity. And the comedian, at age 63, who has been on the comeback trail since his explosive performance in “Dolomite is My Name,” hasn’t lost his touch (nobody can deliver an F-bomb quite like him).

 

He's joined by other returning fan favorite Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and new one’s played by Kevin Bacon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who help inject “Axel F” with a little more street cred. Like everyone else in the film, they’re having a good time and through this fourth chapter doesn’t reinvent the formula or push the franchise in new or particularly exciting directions, it's decent, passive entertainment that is the epitome of the phrase: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

 

Grade: B 

 

BEVERLY HILLS COP: AXEL F streams on Netflix Wednesday, July 3rd 


2 comments

2 Kommentare


Ann Green
Ann Green
08. Juli

While Axel is attempting to put an end to a heist, chaos ensues, and in a matter of minutes, we witness one of Detroit's best taking control of a snowplow and speeding across the city, only to be chastised by his partner—a returning Paul Reiser—for causing damage to public property. It's true that certain things never change. Happy Wheels

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Sanford Russell
Sanford Russell
03. Juli

geometry dash lite, you must move a geometric icon past various obstacles to complete each level. In these music-synchronized stages, the player must tap or hold the screen to get the icon to jump or soar.

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