Eddie Murphy is one actor who just can't catch a break anymore. His last decent movie was Nutty Proffesor, but ruined it with a horrible sequel. Life was terrible along with childish kiddie fair Daddy Day Care. Thankfully we have the DVD format which lets us relive his prime, including the Beverly Hills Cop series.
This DVD box set includes all 3 movies in the series (each disc is also available seperately). All are only available only in widescreen, with BHC 1 and 3 being presented in 1.85:1 with the first sequel presented in 2.35:1. Each disc also features Dolby 5.1 sound, the first 2 being remixed, the third used it from the start. Dolby surround tracks are featured on all the discs as well. On to the movies....
Beverly Hills Cop is a classic in the buddy genre, a perfect blend of action and comedy. Eddie Murphy is outstanding as Detroit cop Axl Foley, drawn to Beverly Hills after a murder of his best friend. There he meets up with with two of Beverly Hills best cops, played by Judge Reinhold and John Ashton. Eddie Murphy is perfect for the role, having a blast BS'ing his way though the town to the source of the crime. Reinhold and Ashton just can't keep up with Murphy's tactics and it all blends flawlessly to make this one a true classic. (***** out of *****)
The sequel reunites the cast once again for more laughs, with Eddie just rolling through, making up some of the funniest alter-ego's ever put on film. The Johnny Wishbone segment and the way he finally gets into the Playboy mansion (with a cameo by Hugh Hefner) are some of the funniest scenes in the entire trilogy. This time their tracking the "Alphabet Bandit," a group of thugs smuggling weapons. The final shootout is way out there and really stretches believeablility (not to mention the weak editing), but Murphy steals the show yet again and makes this another entertaining ride. (****)
The third and hopefully final film in the series was made 10 years after the original. It's quite obvious there were no decent idea or writers left to make this one work. Writer Steven De Souza (of Street Fighter "fame") teams up with director John Landis (Animal House amonst other classics) in what should have been a classic. The comedy here is on par with a childs movie and the loss of John Ashton really hurts this one. The special effects during a rescue sequence are laughably bad (not even on par with 1940's movies), an absurd weapon which Murphy uses late in the film is a stretch, and the bad guys have worse aim than any enemy in the entire Rambo trilogy. The fake money scheme has much less impact than the rest of the movies and bright, cute colors of the theme park which makes up most of the film is a far cry from the rest of the series. (*)