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Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F
After a three-decade hiatus following a greatly underwhelming third entry, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F ends up being better than it has any right to be.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Release Date: July 3, 2024
Runtime: 01:58
Synopsis:
Axel Foley returns to Beverly Hills after his daughter’s life’s threatened. Includes old pals John Taggart and Billy Rosewood working to uncover a conspiracy.

Table of Contents

Axel Foley returns to Beverly Hills to help out his estranged daughter in . Axel Foley () is still working the streets of Detroit, much to the chagrin of his friend and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Friedman (), who announces his retirement to cover for Axel's latest screw-up. Jeffrey encourages Axel to repair relations with his estranged daughter Jane Saunders (), a defence attorney in Beverly Hills. Axel receives a call from his old friend Billy Rosewood (), now a private investigator, who warns Axel that Jane's latest case defending an accused cop killer is putting her life in danger.

Axel makes the trip to Beverly Hills to find that Billy is MIA. He quickly finds himself arrested again and meets hotshot young detective Bobby Abbott (), who happens to be Jane's ex-boyfriend. Axel also reconnects with Billy's former partner, and current Beverly Hills Police Chief John Taggart (), who introduces Axel to his former protege Captain Cade Grant (), the head of an anti-drug task force. Despite still having hatred towards her father, Jane reluctantly teams up with Axel and they try to find proof of police corruption to clear her client's name.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F Synopsis

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is a legacy sequel, directed by first-time filmmaker Mark Molloy, to the buddy cop franchise starring Eddie Murphy, released four decades after the original and three decades after the previous film Beverly Hills Cop III. The film brings much of the core cast, including Judge Reinhold as Billy Rosewood, John Ashton as John Taggart, and Paul Reiser as Jeffrey Friedman, last seen in Beverly Hills Cop II. There is even a sequence in the film featuring the return of as the flamboyant Serge.

Heading up the new cast members in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper) as Detective Bobby Abbott and Taylour Paige (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) as Axel Foley's estranged daughter Jane Saunders. The film also features Kevin Bacon as Captain Cade Grant, who develops an antagonistic relationship with Axel Foley throughout the film. Axel's job this time around is to uncover the corruption within the police force, to protect the safety of Jane.

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My Thoughts on Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

One of the reasons it took three decades to produce a fourth film in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise is that Eddie Murphy didn't want to do a film, which had Axel Foley returning to Beverly Hills for no real reason, other than to solve a new crime. It wasn't until the introduction of Axel Foley's daughter Jane, whose age suggests she was born before the events of Beverly Hills Cop III, that Eddie Murphy was finally interested in doing another film. At the very least, I can say that Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F ends up being closer in tone to the first two films, instead of the vast departure that Beverly Hills Cop III was.

Legacy sequels have become increasingly common in recent years with Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F coming on the heels of both Bad Boys for Life and Bad Boys: Ride or Die, legacy sequels of another Jerry Bruckheimer-produced buddy cop franchise. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the directors of both the recent Bad Boys sequels, were initially attached to direct this film, but they left to direct the doomed Batgirl film. Instead, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is directed by Mark Molloy, whose previous credits include a cancelled Quibi series about fake news and several commercials for Apple.

Despite Mark Molloy not necessarily being proven as a feature filmmaker, he still ends up doing a relatively solid job with Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. The screenplay by Will Beall (Bad Boys: Rise or Die) and Tom Gormican & Kevin Etten (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) leans quite heavily on nostalgia for the original film. This is also true in the music selection, with the film not only having a new score by Lorne Balfe featuring multiple allusions to Harold Faltermeyer's “Axel F” theme song but the return of the original opening credits theme song “The Heat is On” by Glenn Frey. Even the new closing credits theme “Here We Go!” by Little Nas X is based on an interpolation of “Axel F.”

After a three-decade hiatus following a greatly underwhelming third entry, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F ends up being better than it has any right to be. While the first two Beverly Hills Cop films remain at the top of the franchise, this film will probably sit firmly in third. As such, this film is worth tuning into Netflix and checking out.

Trailer for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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