Time: 126 Minutes
Age Rating: M – Violence & offensive language
Eddie Murphy as Detective Axel Foley
Judge Reinhold as Detective Billy Rosewood
Jürgen Prochnow as Maxwell Dent
John Ashton as Sergeant John Taggart
Ronny Cox as Captain Andrew Bogomil
Brigitte Nielsen as Karla Fry
Allen Garfield as Chief Harold Lutz
Paul Reiser as Detective Jeffrey Friedman
Director: Tony Scott
When a series of Alphabet Crimes, wherein the robbers leave behind monogrammed envelopes in high-end stores, rock Beverley Hills, Axel Foley, an undercover detective, is called to help.
I enjoyed the first Beverly Hills Cop, a fun buddy cop comedy which is boosted by an energetic and entertaining Eddie Murphy in the lead role. I heard some mixed things about the sequel, but the fact that Tony Scott directed it had me interested nonetheless. Overall, I liked it about as much as that first movie.
Beverly Hill Cops II has a pretty familiar and safe script, and feels somewhat like a retread of its predecessor. However, it still retains the entertaining spirit of the original. It moves more towards an action movie direction instead of a fish out of water comedy like the first one was. The humour is pretty funny, though I don’t think the jokes hit as hard or frequently compared to the last movie. Despite the writing not being as strong, I was still entertained throughout.
Fortunately, the sequel retains many of the likable characters from the first movie. Once again, Eddie Murphy is highly entertaining as Axel Foley, and remains one of the best aspects of these movies. The supporting cast is also pretty good, particularly Judge Reinhold and Paul Reiser; they are given a lot more to do here and share some great chemistry with Murphy.
One of the movie’s biggest strengths is the direction, which is more standout here. Tony Scott brings his trademark stylistic visual flair, injecting a lot of energy and action into the film. The action beats are more explosive and are highly entertaining, but the third act is particularly where it kicks into full Tony Scott mode as it goes all out with the set pieces. The music is also pretty good, with solid needle drops and its iconic theme song.
I’d consider Beverly Hills Cop II to be at about the same level of the first movie. It is flawed in some areas; the comedy doesn’t hit as hard and the plot is quite samey for a sequel. At the same time, it has some good performances (with Eddie Murphy delivering as always) and Tony Scott’s action, style and direction makes up for much of the writing issues. Considering how most sequels to action comedies are mixed bags, Beverly Hills Cop II is actually pretty good.