Eddie Murphy Shines As Axel Foley in “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F”

If you’re like me, fighting a horrid bug and feeling “bleh,” who you gonna call? Okay, you could probably call the Ghostbusters, but if you’re seeking sheer entertainment, watching Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F might be a better option. The opening scene features our favorite motor-mouth detective, Axel Foley (played by Eddie Murphy), cheerfully grinning as he trades light-hearted insults with the people of Detroit, all while Glenn Frey’s ‘The Heat Is On’ plays in the background. It’s enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Eddie Murphy, reprising his role as Axel Foley, is joined by several familiar faces, including Judge Reinhold as Billy, John Ashton as Chief Taggart, Paul Reiser as partner Jeffrey Friedman, and Bronson Pinchot as the quirky art/weapons dealer Serge. Foley starts off in Detroit, where he is involved in an adrenaline-pumping chase scene at a hockey game, which sees him commandeering a snow plough. Just when it seems like another day at the office, Foley receives a distress call from his old friend Billy.

Billy informs Foley that his estranged daughter, Jane (played by Taylour Paige), who now works as a criminal defense attorney, has gotten herself embroiled with some very dangerous people. Wasting no time, Foley packs his bags and heads to Beverly Hills to come to her aide.

Once there, Foley immediately finds himself in the thick of the action, fending off intimidating goons who were ransacking Billy’s office. It turns out Billy has retired from the Beverly Hills Police Department and is now working as a private investigator. Jane, on the other hand, is defending Sam, who stands accused of killing an undercover cop. She believes something about the case doesn’t add up.

Foley is quick to see through the flashy façade of police captain Grant (Kevin Bacon), recognizing his $2000 Gucci shoes and Rolex as signs of corruption. The detective in charge of the case, Sam Abbott (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), happens to be Jane’s ex-boyfriend.

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. Despite their initial reluctance, Abbot and Jane team up with Foley, knowing full well that there is no way the dogged detective will give up the trail.

The film introduces an array of colorful characters, from musical cartel kingpins and cocaine hidden in tacky statues, to crooked cops and lavish mansions that scream opulence. The plot propels Foley through a series of chaotic yet exhilarating set-pieces, including a nerve-wracking low-flying helicopter chase and a scene where Foley cons his way into a movie studio by pretending to be a producer for a fictional Liam Neeson revenge thriller called “Impound.”

Mark Molloy, in his directorial debut, handles Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F with a light yet confident touch. While the film pays homage to the original, it avoids falling into the trap of excessive reverence. Instead, it captures the essence of what made Beverly Hills Cop a classic 40 years ago, and even nods to Pankaj Parashar’s Hindi adaptation, Jalwa (1987).

Eddie Murphy, with his iconic jeans, jacket, and sneakers, and that unmistakable rowdy smirk and twinkling eyes, commands attention throughout the film’s numerous action-packed sequences. Despite the frenetic pace, Murphy’s charm shines through, making the audience root for the quick-witted detective.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kevin Bacon put in commendable performances, with Gordon-Levitt particularly standing out. Taylour Paige, however, doesn’t leave as strong an impression and remains somewhat forgettable in her role as Foley’s daughter.

Although it took 30 years for Harold Faltermeyer’s electronic instrumental, ‘Axel F’, to once again serve as the backdrop to Foley’s escapades, the wait has certainly been worth it. Amidst the thrills and laughs, there’s a moment where Jeffrey Friedman tells Foley, “they don’t want swashbucklers, they want social workers,” but as long as Axel Foley is around, audiences can rest assured there will be plenty to smile about.

Currently streaming on Netflix, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is a delightful trip down memory lane infused with contemporary flair, reminding fans old and new why Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley remains an iconic character in the annals of cinema.

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