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Beverly Hills Cop Axel F movie review: Eddie Murphy’s cop act fails to dazzle

Beverly Hills Cop Axel F movie review: Eddie Murphy returns for a fourth instalment of the cop franchise a good 30 years after the last. But is it any good?

2/5rating
Beverly Hills Cop Axel F movie review: Eddie Murphy’s cop act fails to dazzle
Eddy Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop Axel F

Last Updated: 06.00 PM, Jul 03, 2024

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Beverly Hills Cop Axel F movie story: Detroit police detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) heads to Beverly Hills when his estranged daughter Jane (Taylour Paige), a lawyer, runs afoul of the cartel and dirty cops, when she choses to represent a guy accused of killing an undercover cop.

Joseph Gordon Levitt and Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop Axel F
Joseph Gordon Levitt and Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop Axel F

Beverly Hills Cop Axel F movie review: Eddie Murphy returning as a smart alec cop Alex Foley is meant for only one set of audience – those who watched the original three movies way back then they came out between 1984 and 1994. This is a generation that’s seen the best of Murphy, and will head-bob to Frey’s The Heat is On, every time it starts playing.

It’s about nostalgic value, which director Mark Molloy valiantly attempts to create by bringing back cast members from the original franchise. But despite their presence and the addition of a bunch of new faces, the novelty of seeing Axel Folley back in action runs out fairly soon.

Kevin Bacon and Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop Axel F
Kevin Bacon and Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop Axel F

And that’s because Axel isn’t just up to his usual shenanigans, and putting bad men away; this time around, he’s trying to mend his supposedly strained relationship with his daughter Jane Saunders (Taylour Paige), and play protective dad. He does get his share of gun-fights, car chases and destruction of public property, while also outsmarting the bad guys – dirty cops, led by Captain Grant (Kevin Bacon), who’s hand-in-glove with the drug cartel, but it’s all in the best interest of Jane.

Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop Axel F
Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop Axel F

Axel, apparently, wasn’t much good in the parenting department, even though he’s taught Jane enough survival skills to get out of pretty much every potentially dangerous scenario. The fleeting moments of the father-daughter duo attempting to bond, don’t have the desired effect because there’s just not enough backstory to make one feel invested in their relationship.

Let’s be honest, Beverly Hills Cop is not a franchise that we are looking for emotional drama in; it’s about letting Murphy, as Axel loose, with his Detroit Lions jacket and trademark grin and cause much chaos while getting the bad guys off the streets of Beverly Hills. The actor tries to infuse the film with some of that energy from the 1984 film, but there’s just so little for him to work with that it all goes downhill fairly swiftly.

A still from Beverly Hills Cop Axel F
A still from Beverly Hills Cop Axel F

But that’s not even the worst bit about the film – there’s no mystery in the dirty cop mystery, what with Axel sussing out Grant with just one look at his shoes and the action’s not thrilling in the least bit. There’s just nothing to write home about this fourth instalment and the sincerest hope is there won’t ever be a fifth.

Beverly Hills Cop Axel F verdict: Eddie Murphy’s action comedy relies on the stale ‘complicated family ties’ premise and is predictable from start to finish. If the Axel F theme has you thinking Crazy Frog, this film won’t work for you. If it is Eddie Murphy’s wide grin that comes to mind, it maybe mildly palatable; just don’t go in expecting much more.

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