BEVERLY HILLS COP II: A Sequel That Has Aged Well

“Beverly Hills Cop II,” along with the original, are films that I can watch endlessly. Both have aged very well.

Lukasz Budnik

26 June 2024

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After the huge success of the first “Beverly Hills Cop,” it quickly became clear that a sequel had to be made. The producers wanted to create a television series, but Eddie Murphy did not agree to this. Therefore, the concept was changed, and they returned to the classic, theatrical sequel. The first versions of the script assumed that Axel would go to Paris or London, where he would try to stop criminals robbing jewelers. However, Murphy again stood firm, not wanting to leave the United States during filming. So, it was decided to send Foley back to Beverly Hills.

The plot’s beginnings (which Murphy co-created) are essentially a copy of the first film. An elusive “alphabetical criminal” is at large in Beverly Hills. Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox) is on his trail. Unfortunately, at some point, he is severely shot and fights for his life in the hospital. When Axel Foley (Murphy) learns about this, he immediately flies to California to, with the help of his trusted friends – Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) – finish Bogomil’s case. The problem is that the new police chief, Lutz (Allen Garfield), is more interested in politics than the investigation…

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As befitting a solid sequel, almost all the main characters from the original return, except for Jenny Summers (Lisa Eilbacher). And thanks to the appearances of already mentioned Bogomil, Rosewood, and Taggart, as well as Inspector Todd (Gilbert R. Hill, a non-professional actor and real policeman), Foley’s buddy Jeffrey (Paul Reiser), and even the slickster to whom Axel tried to sell a truckload of cigarettes (Frank Pesce), it feels like old friends visiting us. The only one missing is Serge – the character was supposed to return, but the actor could not participate due to other commitments. However, the relationships between the characters were developed. In the first part, Taggart and Rosewood mainly chased Foley, but here they are friends and work together from the start. Fortunately, the on-screen chemistry between them hasn’t faded, so every scene with this trio (and there are plenty) is great to watch.

The weight of the genre has shifted more towards action cinema. This resulted from a change in the director’s position. Producers (Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson) wanted to rehire Martin Brest, but he was already working on another film and had to decline. So, they asked Tony Scott, fresh off the success of “Top Gun,” who agreed to the proposal. Moreover, he envisioned Hans Zimmer as the composer, but in the end, the music was once again entrusted to Harold Faltermeyer. The German artist created another great synthesizer soundtrack, which, along with several hit songs (“Shakedown,” “Be There,” “I Want Your Sex”), gives the whole a characteristic 1980s vibe.

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Although the second “Beverly Hills Cop” includes a bit more dynamic scenes, this doesn’t mean there is no room for humor. And it is present and of as high quality as in the original. The best elements are once again those where Axel, improvising, needs to get into some guarded place, such as a nightclub or a party at the Playboy Mansion (this was the first film shot there, and Hugh Hefner, the founder of the empire with the bunny logo, makes a brief appearance on screen). Rosewood and Taggart are also as funny as before. Their conversations while sitting in the car are now a classic of action comedy.

Just like in the first part, the genre standard is broken here, and the main character does not have a screen partner who becomes his girlfriend throughout the plot. Instead, the character of Karla Fry (Brigitte Nielsen) is introduced and made one of the antagonists. Other interesting new faces on the screen include the loud Gilbert Gottfried as a corrupt lawyer and a young Chris Rock in a small cameo as a parking valet.

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“Beverly Hills Cop II,” along with the original, are films I can watch endlessly. Both have aged very well and also exude the incredible vibe of 1980s cinema. The sequel is essentially a copy of the original, which, however, does not detract from it at all because it is extremely enjoyable to once again watch Axel and his companions conduct an investigation in an exclusive setting. Personally, I rate the “second” part even slightly higher than its predecessor, though I love both parts. Foley remains Eddie Murphy’s best role, and the fact that the fourth installment of the series, born in great pain, is about to debut still seems unreal.

Written by Piotr Zymelka

Łukasz Budnik

Lukasz Budnik

He loves both silent cinema and contemporary blockbusters based on comic books. He looks forward to watching movie with his growing son.

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