Forget about Beverly HIlls Cop III. That’s really the message that’s delivered with Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. Everything that went wrong in that film, whether it was stripping away everything that made the previous two Beverly Hills Cop movies what they are, or just a lack of humor to the proceedings, Axel F takes the series back. Eddie Murphy is here, starring as Axel Foley, and he’s once again making his way back to Beverly HIlls. This time, because of threats to his daughter’s life by cartels and a conspiracy involving the Beverly Hills PD.

Also returning are some of the classic characters from the series, like Rosewood and Taggart. Judge Reinhold and John Ashton step right into their shoes like no time has passed. Rosewood is a private investigator, and Taggart is the Chief of Police at Beverly Hills PD. Axel’s daughter Jane, played by Taylour Paige, is a lawyer representing a member of the cartel that she thinks is being framed for some shady business in the police department. Along the way, Axel runs into Detective Bobby Abbott, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a former boyfriend of Jane, and someone who’s working the case. The big bad of the film is Kevin Bacon, who plays Captain Grant, a decorated officer that wants more than what’s coming to him in his line of work.

The story here is simple. It doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. The stories for the original two movies didn’t take the action genre and turn it on its head. We’re watching these movies to see Eddie Murphy riff, get some awesome action set pieces, and have a good time.

Is Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F A Good Time?

From the get-go, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F starts off in classic fashion. Axel Foley and a deputy are tracking down a robbery of the Detroit Red Wings arena, and it ends up spilling onto the streets of Detroit. Axel’s stunt costs millions of dollars, but the bad guys get caught. That kicks us into the actual story of the film, mentioned above. Screenwriters Will Beall, Tom Gormican, and Kevin Etten distill down what it means to be a Beverly Hills Cop film with this script. They did a fantastic job of blending the old with the new, and not just making it into a greatest hits album, but something that shows off that Eddie Murphy and Co. can still command an action movie.

Mark Molloy directs the film and the choices he makes are evident throughout the film. There are visual callbacks to the series, but he makes it his own. No one is going to equal the magic that Tony Scott captures on screen with Beverly Hills Cop II, but Molloy adds his name to the series and directs a tight film.

The music and cues in Axel F are a character in and of itself. You get tunes that scream out the vibrant, youthful energy of the past, but they’re added to, tweaked slightly to match a more modern audience. It all adds to the allure of Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.

Some Of The Minor Issues

As I mentioned before, the movie and the action can feel on the bland side at points. You’re not seeing anything in this movie that you haven’t seen before from an action standpoint. The stunts and action are all kind of cookie-cutter. They do the job, but nothing more. Besides Beverly Hills Cop II, the action hasn’t ever really been the point of these movies, but in the landscape of action movies in 2024, this doesn’t meet the same bar.

The film’s look is also too squeaky clean. It makes sense to make Beverly Hills look as clean and shiny as possible, but when we’re in other areas, it all just looks so clinical, like a hospital. It detracts from the story of everyday, normal police officers and detectives fighting corruption and drugs in the streets.

These issues are easy to look past though. Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F gives longtime fans of the series the filmmaking equivalent of a Tums to get rid of the atrocious heartburn that Beverly Hills Cop III left us. They even make a joke about Axel’s third visit to Beverly Hills in the movie! Eddie Murphy is surgical with his comedy and his chemistry with Judge Reinhold and John Ashton is right back to where it was in the ’80s. However, there’s an even bigger chemistry with Joseph Gordon-Levitt that helps carry the early-to-middle sections of the film.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F does an excellent job of spreading the joy to new fans of the series and old stalwarts who have been begging for one last dash from Axel Foley.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F releases on Netflix on July 3rd.

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