Paramount Pictures | Release Date: May 20, 1987
6.7
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Generally favorable reviews based on 22 Ratings
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6
EpicWinGuyJun 25, 2013
I just watched this movie this afternoon, and i thought to myself: Well, it's not great, but its not bad either". It has its own share of laughter and action, and it is overall a pleasant movie.
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5
MovieGuysSep 24, 2013
Cop II isn't as good as the original, but Eddie Murphy proves that the series still has some juice left in it with his performance that is equally funny as that of the first one.
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6
MovieMasterEddyApr 3, 2016
In the interval between ''Beverly Hills Cop'' and ''Beverly Hills Cop II,'' Axel Foley, the brash young police detective from Detroit, has been on at least one fishing trip with Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), John Taggart (John Ashton) andIn the interval between ''Beverly Hills Cop'' and ''Beverly Hills Cop II,'' Axel Foley, the brash young police detective from Detroit, has been on at least one fishing trip with Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), John Taggart (John Ashton) and Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox), his friends on the Beverly Hills force. Some other things have happened as well. Axel has become, in the mind of the nation if not in his own, the supreme practitioner of inspired back talk, the wise guy against whom all others are measured. To anyone who saw the first film, Eddie Murphy's endlessly resourceful Axel is now no stranger to the ways of Beverly Hills, and no novice at manipulating them to his own comic advantage.

A true sequel to ''Beverly Hills Cop'' might have made good use of Axel's past experience, or at least have acknowledged it somehow. But ''Beverly Hills Cop II,'' which opens today at Loews Astor Plaza and other theaters, is not an extension of the original story; it's a clone. As such, it's quite a skillful one, repeating the first film's better setups and recalling it as freely and often as possible. Mr. Murphy even wears his same old T-shirt, and of course he's funny in the same old ways, whether he's impersonating a Caribbean psychic or commandeering a mansion by pretending to be a building inspector.

So the new film has at least some of its predecessor's appeal. But it can't match the first film's novelty, or recapture the excitement of watching a great comic character like Axel Foley as he first came to life. That's the liability facing all but the most imaginative sequels: the chance that the original work's very originality was its greatest virtue. Lively as it is, ''Beverly Hills Cop II'' can't help but suffer from the lack of any originality at all.

It might seem as though ''Top Gun'' and the ''Beverly Hills Cop'' story were sufficiently different to require different directorial styles. But they aren't, at least not in the minds of the producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, for whom the worldwide grosses of those films (over $300 million each) must seem stylish and then some. So the producers have transferred Tony Scott, who directed ''Top Gun,'' to Axel Foley's territory. And Mr. Scott has done what he can to prove that mega-movies of the rock video age are essentially interchangeable anyhow. ''Beverly Hills Cop II'' has hit songs (or at least they will be), loud action sequences, flashy cuts among eye-catching but unrelated visual images, and a steady, upbeat pace. That it lacks airborne fighting footage is almost beside the point.

''Beverly Hills Cop II'' begins exactly the way the first film did, with Mr. Murphy in Detroit in the midst of an undercover scam. However, he is now wearing the fanciest of wardrobes and driving a Ferrari, which effectively cuts any tie to reality in the film's first few minutes. Supposedly, the Detroit police department has paid for all of this, in an effort to help Axel pass as a plausible high roller. Yet his boss, Inspector Todd (Gil Hill), balks at advancing him expense money once Axel decides to return to California to help his old friends. All of the key original actors, like Mr. Hill, have returned this time, and the screenplay (by Larry Ferguson and Warren Skaaren) works hard to give them more to do.

Axel's arrival in Beverly Hills is greeted by exactly the same kinds of touristy shots - Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Hills Hotel - that showed up in the first film. And soon he is embroiled in a complicated plot that, like the first film's, pits him against cool, merciless Teutonic villains. Chief among these are Jurgen Prochnow as an evil kingpin and Brigitte Nielsen as his coldblooded assistant. The six-foot-tall Miss Nielsen is a walking photo opportunity, and Mr. Scott happily cuts from stylized images of her to other attention-getters, like shattering glass or galloping race horses. The rock-video imperative, the need to keep all images as vibrant and nonverbal as possible, is especially noticeable in Miss Nielsen's scenes.

For all the flash, it's Mr. Murphy that audiences will come to see, and Mr. Murphy whose manic impersonations are the film's only raison d'etre. To his credit, Mr. Murphy always manages to make his riffs seem new. And Axel's delight at his own extravagant rudeness remains his funniest attribute, never more so than in the particularly contrived scene that brings Axel, crazy Billy Rosewood and the wonderfully long-suffering John Taggart to the Playboy mansion. (The new film is more noticeably misogynist than its predecessor, and more intent on cheesecake, which is where the crowd of volleyball-playing bunnies come in.) To hear Mr. Murphy cry ''Hef!'' - with just the right mix of impudence, wit and sheer reckless bravado - is to remember why Axel Foley became the toast of Beverly Hills in the first place.
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