Murphy is Axel Foley, a Detroit police detective. His boss, Inspector Todd, is portrayed by real life Gilbert Hill, a semi-famous police detective in his own right. "Mad About You" creator and star Paul Riser has a small role as Foley's fellow detective. Todd is always threatening Foley with termination due to his costly methods of crime busting.
When his friend Mikey Tandino (James Russo) arrives from Beverly Hills to Detroit to visit with his childhood friend, Foley, Mikey gets murdered. Foley is hit on the head during the hit on his friend, but is otherwise unscathed.
Because of his relationship with Mikey, a guy with a lengthy record of minor petty thefts, Todd assigns another detective to the murder and orders Foley to stay away. Lacking confidence in the skills of the assigned detective, and determined to get justice for his friend, Foley takes a "vacation" and goes to Beverly Hills to see if there is a connection.
The plot is more than just some laughs and gun fire - you truly feel like you are part of Team Foley, investigating the case. Does the murder involve the German Bearer Bonds that Tandino had on him when he was murdered? Is it about U.S. Customs? Is it about cocaine? Is it about expensive art? There are so many different aspects interwoven, a first time viewer is really taken for a ride.
From the get-go, you know who the bad guys are - but will they be caught, and why did they kill Mikey? This film, released in 1984, seemed to recognize the unique nature of the 80s and rather than some dated film with neon socks and big hair, it seems to make itself into a time capsule. Foley's hair and clothing are timeless for any decade from the 70s to today, so it's almost like he's a time traveller, laughing at some of the styles, cars, & habits of the rich & famous in the 1980s in California.
The music is also excellent and fits the mood for each scene. The main theme, "Axel F," a techno-type of instrumental, was on Billboard's top 10 for weeks on end and is often heard as a polyphonic ring tone on today's phones. One of Murphy's all-time best - second only to his role as "Donkey" in the "Shrek" franchise.
Director: Martin Brest
Studio: Paramount Studio
Video Release Date: July 8, 1997
Eddie Murphy ... Det. Axel Foley
Judge Reinhold ... Det. William 'Billy' Rosewood
John Ashton ... Det. Sgt. John Taggart
Lisa Eilbacher ... Jeannette 'Jenny' Summers
Ronny Cox ... Lt. Andrew Bogomil
Steven Berkoff ... Victor Maitland
James Russo ... Mikey Tandino
Jonathan Banks ... Zack, Maitland's Thug
Stephen Elliott ... Police Chief Hubbard
Gilbert R. Hill ... Insp. Douglas Todd
Art Kimbro ... Det. Foster
Joel Bailey ... Det. McCabe
Bronson Pinchot ... Serge
Paul Reiser ... Jeffrey
Michael Champion ... Casey
Frank Pesce ... Cigarette Buyer
Gene Borkan ... Cigarette Truck Driver
Michael Gregory ... Beverly Palms Hotel Manager
Alice Cadogan ... Beverly Palms Hotel Clerk
Philip Levien ... Donny
Karen Mayo-Chandler ... Maitland Receptionist
Gerald Berns ... Beverly Hills Cop #1
William Wallace ... Beverly Hills Cop #2
Israel Juarbe ... Room Service Waiter
Randy Vasquez ... Beverly Palms Hotel Bellhop
Damon Wayans ... Banana Man
Charles Adamson ... Warehouse Crate Opener #1
Chip Heller ... Warehouse Crate Opener #2
Rick Overton ... Bonded Warehouse Night Supervisor
Rex Ryon ... Bonded Warehouse Security Guard
Mike Pniewski ... Bonded Warehouse Clerk #1
Douglas Warhit ... Bonded Warehouse Clerk #2
Paul Drake ... Strip Club Holdup Man #1
Tom Everett ... Strip Club Holdup Man #2
Sally Kishbaugh ... Strip Club Waitress
Barry Shade ... Harrow Club Valet
Jack Heller ... Harrow Club Maitre D'
Michael Harrington ... Harrow Club Arresting Officer
David Wells ... Police Dispatcher
Scott Murphy ... Det. Owensby
Dennis Madden ... 1st Detroit Cop
John Achorn ... 2nd Detroit Cop
John Pettis ... 3rd Detroit Cop
Nicholas Shields ... Detroit Station Cop #1
Carl Weintraub ... Detroit Station Cop #2
Anthony De Fonte ... Detroit Station Cop #3
Darwyn Carson ... Barmaid
Mark E. Corry ... Pool Player
Thomas J. Hageboeck ... Maitland Body Guard
Martin Brest ... Hotel Check-out Clerk
Eddie Murphy has an infectious laugh, and his antics are hilarious. In this story, an old friend, just out of prison, shows up in Chicago, where Detective Axel Foley (Murphy) is a member of the police force. During their celebration of reunion, some thugs from California kill his friend, and so Foley takes off for Beverly Hills, against orders. to solve the crime.
This is a rollicking story, with truck chases, shootings, Murphy's dissimulations and antics--impersonating a customs agent, a Rolling Stone reporter, a flower shop delivery boy, and a light-in-the-loafers "friend" of the heavy, Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff).
This is a fun movie that you will probably enjoy. It is rated "R" for language. The violence is not to explicit, and I would think no worse than most B Westerns.
Joseph (Joe) Pierre
author of Handguns and Freedopm...their care and maintenance
and other books
The bonus features are pretty good, You get the usual 5. Read more