All right, if you haven’t already seen Beverly Hills Cop, then you need to quit reading this now and go see it right now, because none of this shit going to make sense unless you’ve seen Beverly Hills Cop, starring Eddie Murphy. This is Beverly Hills Cop II, the second of a series, out in 1987 from Paramount Pictures.
If you still don’t already know the Beverly Hills Cop theme, I will explain it to you. It’s this. Eddie Murphy is Axel Foley, an undercover police detective working in Detroit, Michigan. What this has to do with Beverly Hills is what makes these movies. Two places on this planet could not be more divergent than Detroit, queen of the Rust Belt, and Beverly Hills, where shit don’t stink. What got Foley involved with Beverly hills in the first place was that two high school chums from Detroit moved out to California. One is sweet Jenny Summers, a white girl who wound up working in an upscale art gallery, presumably in Beverly Hills. The other was a low-life named Mikey Tandino, who got crosswise with the mob out on the West Coast and returned to Detroit with some hot bearer bonds, only to get snuffed in Axel’s apartment. So, Axel goes out to Beverly Hills to work the case, and the grit for these plots is the rough and tumble pragmatism of Axel (getting results) in sharp contrast with the Rodeo Drive lawyer cops in Beverly Hills, who do not go out of their way to rock the boat (and don’t get results). And that’s that.
This opens with the Ice Lady, also known as Karla Fry (Brigitte Nielsen), being delivered curbside by limo to a Rodeo Drive jewelry outlet, of which there must be a few. But she doesn’t come to make a purchase. Inside there commences a heist punctuated by military precision and more fire power than Pork Chop Hill. It’s one of a series of such crimes, identified by envelopes left behind bearing letters of the alphabet in series. These people have come to be called the Alphabet Bandits, but it’s all a sham. The gang wants to distract the cops from their ultimate purpose.
Meanwhile, back in Detroit, Foley is driving around in a Ferrari in some of the meanest neighborhoods on the continent, posing as a buyer of phony credit cards. It’s classic Eddie Murphy, living off balls, nerve, and bluff.
Meanwhile, back in Beverly Hills, the Alphabet Bandits have lined up Captain Bogomil as next in collating order. On his way home from the office he encounters a motorist who is experiencing some kind of difficulty. It’s the Ice Lady, setting up an ambush. Gunfire from that Mercedes Benz you see in the background fails to kill Bogomil, but the crime gets the attention of Axel, all the way back in Detroit. He tells his boss he’s going into “deep cover,” and he takes off for the West Coast.
The height of audacity, which is central to these movies—Axel cons a construction foreman into believing he’s the building inspector and takes over a Beverly Hills mansion that’s undergoing remodeling while the owners are away. Why the foreman is wearing an Omaha sweat is never explained.
They need to check out the seamier side of Beverly Hills, for the benefit of the male audience if for nothing else.
They need to check out the Alphabet Bandits, hanging out at a party at the Playboy Mansion. Yes, that’s Hef, in person, telling Axel and friends they not invited. All are sorely disappointed.
But Axel is the first to catch the critical clue. Ammo geeks are going to perk up on this. One of the shell casings from the first robbery is a .44 Auto Mag. They don’t make these anymore (remember, this was 1987). Somebody used their expertise to produce this ammunition, and the next stop is an upscale (what else) Beverly Hills shooting club. It’s a home-run for Murphy and team. The shooting club is swarming with Alphabet Bandit connections.
Without getting into the details of the plot, the Alphabet Bandit scheme is an arms dealer’s device to distract the police, skim money from a local horse race track, and pull of a huge arms deal. At the track, while everybody else is distracted by the start of a race, the bandits penetrate the counting room and scoop up bags of cash. Again the Ice Lady is number one with a bullet, as she ices gang members who will not be needed for future operations.
But it’s nearby, in California’s fabled oil fields where the true action is.
Axel and friends arrive in time to bust up the arms swap, blowing up the trailer loads of ammo and coaxing the surrender of most of the gang. Taggart puts the frosting on the Ice Lady with double blasts from a shotgun.
One of the benefits of watching on Amazon is they provide helpful information to go along with each scene. Not only do they tell you who you are looking at, but they clue you into production goofs you may have missed. For example, in the final gunfight scene we should look for Axel shooting his empty gun, as evidenced by the slide being back. I watched over and over, but I could not spot this.
The problem with this sequel is the problem with all sequels. It’s about impossible to top the original. With the first there was the novelty of a Detroit street cop cleaning up in Beverly Hills on brass balls and brains, difficult to tell which was which. The second time around we are prepared for Axel’s brashness, so some of the edge has worn off.
For you ammo junkies, this one should provide your muzzle flash fix for a few hours. Sex? Some tits and ass, but nobody gets laid. The plot is involved, but not so intricate as to appear contrived. I have no plans to review Beverly Hills Cop III, even though it is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
My introduction to Eddie Murphy was 48 Hours, and I don’t have a copy of that. If Amazon ever puts it up on Prime I will do a review. I just viewed Another 48 Hours and have to say it comes off as fatigued.
As this gets ready to be posted tomorrow (Wednesday) Amazon has just put 48 Hours on Prime Video. I’m watching it now and will post a review on 17 August. Keep reading.