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Beverly Hills Cop III

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Beverly Hills Cop III

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Hector Elizondo
Director: John Landis
Rated: R
RunTime: 111 Minutes
Release Date: January 1994
Genres: Action, Comedy

*Also starring: Judge Reinhold, Theresa Randle, Alan Young, Bronson Pinchot, Timothy Carhart, John Saxon, Gil Hill

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Dragan Antulov review follows movie review
2.  Steve Rhodes read the review movie reviewvideo review

Review by Dragan Antulov
1 star out of 4

These days the lack of originality in Hollywood reflects itself in the deluge of remakes. But, only a few years ago, before Wes Craven publicly made fun of the practice, sequels had been more popular among Hollywood producers. Sequels also used to be popular among directors and movie stars whose careers went south. The way to regain popularity and prestige, they thought, was the use the same formulas, characters and story lines that brought them success in the first place. One of such celebrity was Eddie Murphy, black comedian of 1980s whose career was in big decline during the first part of this decade. In order to return to the spotlight, he chose to resurrect the franchise created by his most popular film, BEVERLY HILLS COP, 1984 action comedy that had already spawned the sequel in 1987. Seven years later, for the third instalment, he used the directorial service of John Landis, another fading star, with whom he successfully collaborated twice - in TRADING PLACES and COMING TO AMERICA. This time, however, third time wasn't the charm and BEVERLY HILLS III was failure. Eddie Murphy had to wait few more years for real comeback.

Eddie Murphy here plays Axel Foley, fast-talking streetwise Detroit policeman, who raids illegal chop shop. The routine police action ends in tragedy, when the criminals kill Foley's boss. Determined to bring the killers to justice, Foley realises that their leader is Ellis De Wald (Timothy Carhart). When it turns out that De Wald happens to be security chief for Wonderland theme park in Los Angeles, Foley goes back to Los Angeles. There, with the help of his old friend, local policeman Rosewood (Judge Rheinhold), Foley would clash with money counterfeit ring.

Ten years has passed since the original and times are definitely different. In this decade, the contrast between blue collar Detroit and yuppie Beverly Hills, which provided a lot of gags in 1984 film, simply doesn't work. Screenwriter Steven E. de Souza provides another conflict, this time between the childish sillyness of the Good Guys and business-like professionalism of the Bad Guys. Since Foley belongs to the former, his character had to watch his language, and the tone of the film in general is more infantile. Unfortunately, this film still belongs to action movie genre, and there is too much violence for little children. Nice example is the humorous scene in the beginning, which turns into standard Ramboesque bloodbath. Unlike Donner with the LETHAL WEAPON series, Landis simply can't balance the comedy with "regular" action, and the result is a film that fails in both aspects. Action scenes are sometimes interesting, but not too spectacular (at the end, scenery of Wonderland is more fascinating than the action itself); humour, on the other hand, falls flat. To make even worse, some minor characters from 1984 film gets unnecessary and sometimes irritating overexposure (especially art expert turned into arms dealer, played by Bronson Pinchot). In the end, although the film provided some entertainment, viewers, at least critical ones, would probably be happy to know that there aren't any plans for BEVERLY HILLS IV.

Copyright 1999 Dragan Antulov

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