Beverly Hills Banana
After watching just the first 10 minutes of "Beverly Hills Cop" you wouldn't be blamed if you thought that it was going to be 105 minutes of Eddie Murphy being Eddie Murphy. Those first 10 minutes are full of Murphy being loud, being funny and swearing, in fact those first 10 minutes are littered with more swear words than probably non swear words. Fortunately get past those first 10 minutes and "Beverly Hills Cop" settles down as it develops a storyline about criminal goings on. It's not much of a storyline, in fact it is very much a stock criminal storyline but it works as a vehicle for plenty of comedy and not just from Eddie Murphy as there are amusing performances from Judge Reinhold and John Ashton as well. More importantly 30 plus years after "Beverly Hills Cop" came out and it still is as entertaining as it was back in 1984.
When Mikey Tandino (James Russo) gets murdered whilst visiting his friend Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy - Trading Places), Foley takes leave and heads to Beverly Hills to try and find out why Mikey was murdered. All paths lead to respected gallery owner Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff - Octopussy) but through his snooping Foley discovers that Maitland isn't the upstanding citizen everyone thinks he is. But Maitland isn't Foley's only problem as he manages to wind up the Beverly Hills police force and finds himself being followed round by Detectives Taggart (John Ashton) and Rosewood (Judge Reinhold).
So as I said for the first 10 minutes "Beverly Hills Cop" is very much the Eddie Murphy show as we get an irrelevant scene which allows him to be loud and funny whilst establishing that Axel Foley is a risk taking cop. It is shall we say all rather manufactured with the expletive fuelled dialogue meaning to be funny but ending up quite cheesy. But get that out of the way and then the main storyline starts which sees Foley heading off to Beverly Hills and whilst doing some nosing about into the dodgy dealings of Victor Maitland winding up the Beverly Hills police force. In all honesty it is a stock criminal storyline which takes in drug trafficking and mean henchman allowing for a few action scenes. But "Beverly Hills Cop" is not meant to be a serious copy movie it is a comedy and the stock storyline works as a vehicle for the humour.
What is for sure is that "Beverly Hills Cop" is very much a vehicle for showcasing Eddie Murphy's talents, mainly that for being funny. Most of the humorous scenes revolve around his delivery of loud, in your face jokes and to be honest many of them are funny. What is certain is that if you don't like Murphy's brand of loud comedy you're not going to like "Beverly Hills Cop". But whilst most of the comedy revolves around Murphy being loud there are some hugely memorable scenes such as the bananas in the tail pipe and the visit to the strip joint.
Whilst Eddie Murphy is central to "Beverly Hills Cop" and is quite entertaining as Axel Foley there are some other enjoyable performances elsewhere. Judge Reinhold as wet behind the ears Detective Billy Rosewood is amusing in his stupidity, the scene where Foley sends down food to the car whilst he and Taggart are meant to be staking him is brilliant. And John Ahston who plays Detective Taggart is just as good, playing it straight but the partnership with Reinhold is perfect. Then of course there is Steven Berkoff as major villain Victor Maitland, not the most demanding part but Berkoff just has to look at you to ooze menace, but he doesn't over do it, making Maitland not a nasty bad guy just someone to boo at in a pantomime sort of way.
What this all boils down to is that "Beverly Hills Cop" is an entertaining movie and still as good as it was when released back in 1984. It does rely heavily on the comedy of Eddie Murphy to make it work with a stock crime story being nothing more than vehicle for various funny scenes but with solid performances from Judge Reinhold and John Ashton there are plenty of funny scenes which don't revolve around the Eddie Murphy brand of loud comedy.