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What to Watch This Weekend – Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is the continuing story of a Detroit detective who plays by his own rules. Deputy Chief Jeffrey (Paul Reiser) grows weary of covering for Axel Foley’s (Eddie Murphy) antics. Especially since Detective Foley recently left a trail of vehicular mayhem while pursuing his last suspect, and now the higher-ups are calling for his badge. When Axel’s old friend—private investigator Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold)—informs him that his lawyer daughter Jane (Taylour Paige) might be in over her head, Foley heads to Beverly Hills once again. Upon arrival, Axel uncovers a larger plot which may include some crooked cops. Determined to keep Jane safe, Axel allies himself with old and new friends as a new adventure unfolds.

What works in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is the comedy, thrills, and understanding of what fans love about the franchise. Murphy is absolutely outstanding as he eases back into his iconic role. He is effortlessly charismatic, hilarious, and convincing as an action hero who relishes the chaos that ensues wherever he goes. Director Mark Molloy, in his directorial debut, pulls off a magic trick. He creates a film with clear 1980s vibes set in the modern day. Fans of the genre and era will be grinning from ear to ear at everything from the soundtrack, to the car chases, to the playful jabs at elements from previous installments that haven’t aged well. It also helps that the entire supporting cast are all along for the ride. They are happy to spout catch phrases and indulge meme-worth moments at every turn. Molloy clearly had the intention of delivering something both nostalgic and freshly entertaining at the same time and succeeds in impressive fashion.

People who never enjoyed the Beverly Hills Cop movies will likely not be converted by Axel F. Primarily because this 4th film follows the same basic playbook as its predecessors in terms of tone. Furthermore, audiences familiar with the first two movies (not so much the third, which is largely ignored) will likely enjoy the myriad of references, cameos, and inside jokes. While Axel F is a standalone outing for Detective Foley, previous knowledge makes the ride even funnier. Finally, the “twists” are almost absurd, given how telegraphed they are. People expecting a deep mystery with reveals might be a little disappointed.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is a fantastic piece of entertainment from beginning to end. Many older film franchises seek to relive the glory days, and Axel F is an example of doing it right. By focusing on its strong core formula of Murphy + comedy + action, Axel F delivers on a great time at the movies. Very highly recommended.

Recommended if you enjoyed: Beverly Hills Cop, Speed, Lethal Weapon

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is available exclusively on Netflix starting on July 3rd, 2024

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