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Beverly Hills Cop

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

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold
Director: Martin Brest
Rated: R
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: December 1984
Genres: Action, Comedy

*Also starring: Lisa Eilbacher, John Ashton, Steven Berkoff, James Russo, Ronny Cox, Jonathan Banks, Stephen Elliott, Paul Reiser, Damon Wayans

Review by Jerry Saravia
No Rating Supplied

The crux of the movie is Axel's need to apprehend the killers with the help of the Beverly Hills police department. He does not play by the rules but the BH boys do. This causes a conflict of interests but I think you can see where the film is going. It is an action comedy in the strictest sense of the word, but somehow very uneven. The comedy does not flow easily or smoothly with the action scenes, especially the final shootout that seems to come from a different movie entirely. There is some humor there with the bumbling Rosewood and Taggart team but a bloody climax undermines the comedy and goes too far. Ever since I first saw the film in 1984, I felt the ending was crude and unnecessary.

But that is the problem. Is this a comedy or an action picture? Roger Ebert famously declared the fusion of the two genres as suspect and unworkable. The screenplay by Daniel Petrie (which was shockingly nominated for an Oscar) is at its best when we see Eddie at the center, acting drunk and foolish to nail a suspected robber at a nightclub or, in general, bluffing his way out of any Beverly Hills establishment and showing the rich, glamorous denizens of the ritzy town who is the boss. That is what I remember best about "Beverly Hills Cop." The lazily written, mediocre cops and cocaine dealers stuff is something you would see in any "Starsky and Hutch" show. Had the film focused on Eddie's attempts to mingle and bluff his way through Beverly Hills and completely ditched the screenplay, then it might have been a real winner.

Martin Brest directs as well as he can, but he later proved to make a more amiable and entertaining action-comedy in the classic "Midnight Run" four years later. "Beverly Hills Cop" was a solid start for Eddie Murphy and it showed his comedic talent skillfully. I just sense that it could have been so much more.

Copyright 1990 Jerry Saravia

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