High Speed Car Chase……….In A Cement Truck – Beverly Hills Cop II

6 11 2013

Beverly Hills Cop II (Paramount Pictures - 1987)

The idea of the traveller from an arcane land is not used as heavily as it has been done in cinema in the past. Many films, particularly during the 1980’s used to do it a lot mainly in the form of someone from the east (in a stereotypical china man with a long beard) such as The Karate Kid. However it is good to see when someone uses this traveller from an arcane land in a different sense which is more to the real world such as Beverley Hills Cop II which is by far in many ways one of the funniest and best cop and comedy films to date.

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The film is the follow-up to Beverley Hills Cop and relies a lot on the ground already set up in the first film including main characters Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), Detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), Detective Sergeant John Taggart (John Ashton), Inspector Douglas Todd (Gil Hill) and Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox). In Beverley Hills a bunch of robberies named the Alphabet crimes take place. Captain Bogomil, Detective Rosewood and Detective Sergeant Taggart try to get to the root of the problem but are hindered by incompetent Police Chief Harold Lutz (Allen Garfield) who suspends Bogomil. On his way home Bogomil gets shot and becomes the latest victim of the Alphabet Crimes. Meanwhile in Detroit Detective Foley is trying to catch a group of Credit Card scammers when he hears about the shooting. After covering for his absence with Inspector Todd, he then travels to Beverley Hills and sees Bogomil in Hospital with his daughter Janice (Alice Adair) by his side. Axel requisitions a house for him to live in and then goes to the police station have a look at the notes from the Alphabet Crime only to be disturbed by Lutz and disguises himself as a psychic by the name of Johnny Wishbone. It is here that Foley, Rosewood and Taggart agree to work together to work on the case.

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The trio head to a gun club to check out a bullet, here Foley meets a six-foot tall woman named Karla (Brigitte Nielsen) and gun club owner Charles Cain (Dean Stockwell), both of whom work for Maxwell Dent (Jürgen Prochnow), the man behind the alphabet crimes. Rosewood and Taggart meet Axel at his house and Taggart changes his clothes (after falling into the swimming pool), they then go to a strip club where Axel tells everyone that Taggart is former president Gerald Ford. When they leave the club, a drive by sent by Dent to kill them goes wrong. Lutz arrives and finds out about Axel’s true identity. The trio head to Billy’s place and using a street cop trick, they get a finger print for Cain and then break into the gun club to get information.

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They head to a bank where the next crime is taking place and Axel and Billy end up chasing the getaway truck in a cement truck. The trail eventually leads to a party at the Playboy Mansion thrown by Hugh Hefner. Axel is told to leave Beverley Hills by Lutz but stays to solve the case. The trio goes to Dent’s accountant Sidney Bernstein (Gilbert Gottfried) and trick him into finding out that Dent is planning on leaving the country, this combined with information from Janice stating that all his businesses no longer have insurance except for his race track means that they have evidence of where the next crime is to take place. They are however too late to stop the crime taking place.

While at the race track they find evidence which leads the trio to Dent’s oil fields. There they find a weapon stash of weapons which Dent is planning on selling. This leads to a shootout on the site where most of the men surrender while Dent and Karla get shot. Lutz arrives on scene only to get fired by the Mayor of Beverley Hills. Bogomil is made new Chief of Police and Todd finds out what has been going on and orders Axel to return to Detroit. Axel says goodbye to everyone at the house only for its real owner to suddenly arrive.

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Beverley Hills Cop II’s supporting cast is a brilliant bunch. Bogomil, while incapacitated for most of the film is the real connection to the previous film, and that friendship is much apparent. Sidney Bernstein is incredibly funny during his brief moment while Janice has that rookie sidekick idea about her who while only appearing very briefly is a great character. For my money however, I really do like the character of Inspector Todd, because while very funny in the way he talks and acts is one of the anchors to this film to keep the serious note going through, thus preventing the film from going into a cheap comedy.

Gil Hill, Alice Adair, Ronny Cox and Gilbert Gottfried

The films main characters though are where the real enjoyment exists. Eddie Murphy uses the combination of serious acting along with his well-known comedy routines to make this film funny in any way he can but does not do that all the time, meaning that the film can be enjoyed by those who may not necessarily like a comedy film. His character is well constructed and while he is a joker, he is also a very caring person and cares very much for those around him, like a true friend. Another one of his great attributes is that due to him being from a different police culture, his street wise antics are a real blessing to those in Beverley Hills who rely pretty much on a combination of Computer Technology and Politics to get the job done.

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Judge Reinhold’s character meanwhile is the perfect sidekick to Axel Foley. He is a man who very much wants to rise to the top but is generally quite shy and only really comfortable with those around him. He is a great admirer of Rambo and in many a way wishes that police work was a lot like that compared to the strict going Beverley Hills way of policing, in some sense making him want to be more like Axel or at least work in a similar climate. John Ashton is the film’s real anchor. He is not a funny man, he does not make jokes but he uses comedy very differently in the form of mostly being annoyed as to what is going on around him and very much not only cares for those around him, but also his job and worries that he may end up eventually losing it. He is very much held back by the political side of the job but seemingly does not care that much about it.

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The soundtrack is a nice blend of 1980’s American pop as well as a soundtrack made specifically for the film. You have scenes of the police nature such as dark night scenes or when a crime is going down or being investigated, such as the scene at the oilfields towards the end where you are really into the whole scene, it sounds very low cover but then it would pick up the pace for the action bits. Then there would be scenes where the famous theme music would be used but then you would get scenes such as the opening themeend theme or the cement truck chase where it has this great upbeat vide about it. It may sound silly in those places, but the song is well made and gets used amazingly well, making it a nice change from the hard gripping soundtrack.

The film is very cleverly written. While in essence it is a silly comedy film, it has good background seriousness to it. The whole crime case and everything attached to it is kept serious throughout and all the comedy comes from its characters. It’s not like some films produced these days where the film is made for both quick cash and a cheap laugh, Beverley Hills cop is made to entertain those who watch it. I mean if you take the comedy out of it, Beverley Hills Cop II is a very dark police thriller.

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Beverley Hills Cop 2 is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It is one of that rare breed of comedy films where the comedy is almost a second thought. It uses great characters, music and story to produce both a dark and suspenseful story while also using those previous comments to inject some comedy. While there have been other comedy films like this that have been produced and in many a case are as funny if not more a lot more funny such as Tropic Thunder, DodgeBall and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Beverley Hills Cop II is by far in many ways one of the best and funniest films to date, and that is something that is going to be hard to beat.

GENEPOOL

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