Sunday, July 7, 2024

80's-Sequel Watch: Beverly Hills Cop - Axel F (2024)

Watched:  07/07/2024
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Director:  Mark Molloy

Back in 1984, my mom - KareBear, a world-renowned loose-canon - took my brother and me at ages 11 and 9 to see Beverly Hills Cop in the theater.  There's probably a whole separate post on what Rated-R movies were like in the 1980's and how the culture of suburban latchkey kids and HBO meant we were all watching those movies without anyone's permission, so it was not my first Rated-R film by a long shot.

But, yeah!  That was my first parental-sanctioned Rated-R flick, seen because my mom heard you got to see Detroit in a movie, and we'd lived there for a bit in the 1970's.  I believe her takeaway was "that Eddie Murphy is a stitch" and that's all she cared about.

I did see Beverly Hills Cop 2, but aside from Brigitte Nielsen in haute couture, I don't really remember anything else about it.  Bananas likely found their way into tailpipes.

The only reason Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F (2024) exists is because Netflix has the data to prove that people alive in the 1980's will give a modern sequel a whirl, whether it's a Star War or a Top Gun.  Countdown to us all sitting through a Goonies reunion.*

This movie follows the now proven formula of 
  • bringing back the main character(s)
  • bringing back some favorite bit characters
  • introducing an adult child or heir to the throne to pal around with our aging hero
  • downloading the original script and then changing a few details, but making sure you can say "oh, that's the equivalent of the (fill in the blank) scene, but slightly different"
  • a sort of odd, hollow feeling as an audience member wondering what you just watched and if you really need to be excited about the thing now that you were into when you were (checks notes) nine years old
The movie is *fine*.  I enjoyed seeing the heroic trio from the first movie, even if I don't believe for a second that 40 years later, cops haven't retired.  I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Taylour Paige was good.  Should keep eyes peeled for her in more stuff.  

Murphy kind of carries the movie on charisma more than comedy chops - but that's there, too.  And he manages to do it without insisting only he gets jokes.  There's bits for other players.  It's an opportunity to have a hang with Eddie Murphy, who seems to have a better eye for material the last decade or so.  We're fans at our house, so I was happy to watch and give him Netflix points.

Oddly, I think I enjoyed Kevin Bacon the most of anyone in this movie.  Not that there's anything wrong with Kevin Bacon, but when you see it, you'll maybe know why its weird I was like "hey, he's good in this".

But, yeah, as social media is fond of saying, this sequel was super unnecessary, except that I know we all watched it this weekend, so Netflix is probably happy.  It's not particularly hilarious like the first film, but it is violent like the first two movies.  I don't have much to say about it, partially because aside from marking it as another multi-generational sequel as I think on trends, I doubt I'll think on this movie much in the future or give it a rewatch.

*my guess is that we'll likely get a Brat Pack movie first

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