Beverly Hills Cop: 3-Movie Collection
Genre(s): Action, Comedy
Paramount | NR – 311 min. – $26.98 | January 14, 2020
Date Published: 01/12/2020 | Author: The Movieman
Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
|Beverly Hills Cop (1984) — 3.75/5
Plot Synopsis: After his childhood buddy is murdered while visiting Detroit, rebellious cop Axel Foley (EDDIE MURPHY) follows the leads to Beverly Hills, Calif., under the auspices of a vacation. He checks in with old friend Jenny Summers (LISA EILBACHER) and starts to believe her boss, art dealer Victor Maitland (STEVE BERKOFF), might somehow be involved in the murder. However, Lt. Bogomil (RONNY COX) of the Beverly Hills Police Department does not trust Foley, and hinders his search for evidence.
Beverly Hills Cop is a film as engrained into 1980s cinema as any of the others like Ghostbusters, Lethal Weapon and Back to the Future (to name a few). Is it particularly fantastic like the aforementioned films? I’d say no, but thanks to Eddie Murphy, it certainly has the entertainment value to make it as memorable as it is. The sequels on the other hand…
The movie isn’t a great movie by any stretch but as a vehicle for rising star Eddie Murphy, coming off of 48 Hours and Trading Places in ’82 and ’83 respectively – not to mention the turkey Best Defense starring Dudley Moore –, it’s pure entertainment balancing the sometimes obnoxiousness with the character and great charm which makes me question where Murphy’s career has gone in the 2000s. So while a character like Axel Foley doesn’t quite measure up to Riggs or Murdoch in Lethal Weapon, it’s still the a fun part to watch even when the story isn’t particularly in-depth.
Beverly Hills Cop was helmed by Martin Brest whose body of work is fairly limited with only 8 films on his resume dating back to 1972 and ending in 2003 with the notoriously awful Jennifer Lopez/Ben Affleck crime-comedy, Gigli. Brest also has done some decent work with Scent of a Woman, the moderately underrated Meet Joe Black and of course probably his second best known movie, Midnight Run.
Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) — 3.5/5
Plot Synopsis: The hard-nosed Detroit cop (EDDIE MURPHY) from the original film returns to Los Angeles to help solve another case. This time he must direct his efforts towards unraveling the Alphabet Crimes, a series of robberies committed by leather-jacketed punks. The investigation puts him on the trail of an illegal arms dealer (JURGEN PROCHNOW) and his hit lady (BRIGITTE NIELSEN).
Quick Hit Review: This sequel to an action-comedy classic was passably entertaining, though at times Eddie Murphy seemed to be doing some stand-up routines during the comedic parts, yet I did like seeing Murphy back together with Judge Reinhold and John Ashton even when the plot was a bit weak, not to mention a generic and bland villain, though Brigitte Nielsen at least was memorable…
Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) — 2.5/5
Plot Synopsis: When his boss is killed, Detroit cop Alex Foley (EDDIE MURPHY) finds evidence that the murderer had ties to a California amusement park called Wonder World. Returning to Beverly Hills once more, Foley reunites with Detective Billy Rosewood (JUDGE REINHOLD) to solve the case. Along with Billy’s new partner, Jon Flint (HECTOR ELIZONDA), they discover that the security force of Wonder World is actually part of a counterfeit money operation headed by park manager Orrin Sanderson (JOHN SAXON).
Quick Hit Review: This third entry was… pretty pathetic. Although I won’t go so far to call it horrible or even unwatchable, you can tell Eddie Murphy was phoning his performance in, and while there are comedic moments, this was a bit of a more serious take on Axel. The plot also isn’t anything noteworthy and even Judge Reinhold’s appearance felt a bit off, but still nice seeing him in the role (probably) one last time. I will say, the Disneyland-esque theme park setting was amusing at least.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
This release comes with a slip cover. The first movie has all of the original features and some new ones. Oddly, Paramount did not port over the features from the DVD releases…
Feature Commentary – Director Martin Brest provides an informative, albeit low-key, track. Brest keeps things light while offering up his recollections of making the film. It’s not a great commentary and it would’ve been better if there were others included but you do get an idea about filmmaking at least.
Deleted Scenes (3:49) — Only two scenes here and easy to see why they were nixed.
Behind the Scenes: 1984 Interviews (6:49) is a collection of archival interview footage with Murphy and others.
Beverly Hills Cop: The Phenomenon Begins (29:11) chronicles the origins of the film from script to casting (who they wanted in the roles and who almost took the roles) to filming. It’s a basic by-the-numbers making-of but still provides some info on the movie. It features interviews with Jerry Bruckheimer, Martin Brest, Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold and others.
A Glimpse Inside the Casting Process (9:37) – As the title suggests we look at how BHC was cast from the casting director and what they look from the big roles to the extras.
The Music of Beverly Hills Cop (7:49) tackles the iconic score and theme we associate with the film and, in fact, with the 1980s.
Location Map (TRT 12:01) are several mini-featurettes talking about the various locations/sets used throughout Beverly Hills.
Theatrical Trailer (2:33)
VIDEO – 4.75/5
|All three movies underwent some sort of remaster work — wish studios would take the Arrow approach specifying exactly what was done — but best I could tell, all three of these films do look incredible, including the first one which does seem like got an upgrade from the previous transfer. Colors are pretty vibrant but best of all, the picture itself was sharp with the natural film grain has been retained. From what I could see, these were also free of any major instances of artifacts, aliasing, specs or other significant flaws.|
AUDIO – 4.5/5
|The Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy received DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks, each one pretty strong offering both clear dialogue from the center speaker with some nice depth during the numerous action sequences between car chases (and one cement truck) to the chaos Axel delivers onto both Beverly Hills and Detroit with some explosions.|
OVERALL – 3.5/5
The Beverly Hill Cop trilogy is very hit or miss, like many franchises, with the first being great, the sequel serviceable but very flawed and the third a huge step down, both with Murphy’s phoned-in performance but the poor script and bland direction. In any case, it is nice for Paramount to finally release the sequels in high-definition and apparently gave the first a new transfer; however, for whatever reason, the features on II and III were not ported over…