A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
Detroit cop Axel Foley is delighted when he receives a surprise visit from his best friend Mikey Tandino, who lives in California. Not long after Mikey arrives in Detroit, Mikey is killed, right in front of Axel, by a man named Zack. Axel follows Zack to Beverly Hills, California, where Beverly Hills police department Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil assigns Detective Billy Rosewood and Rosewood's partner, Sergeant John Taggart, to keep an eye on Axel. Axel visits his friend Jenny Summers, who works in an art gallery. With Jenny's help, Axel discovers that Zack works for Jenny's boss, Victor Maitland, the man who owns the art gallery. Maitland is a drug kingpin who is using the gallery as a front, and Maitland had Zack kill Mikey after Maitland accused Mikey of stealing some of Maitland's bonds. With the help of Jenny, Billy, and Taggart, Axel does what he can to make sure Maitland and Zack won't kill any more people. Written by
Eddie Murphy, John Ashton, and Judge Reinhold improvised most of their comic lines. Literally hundreds of takes were ruined by cast members, actors, or the director laughing during shooting. During the "super-cops" monologue, Ashton is pinching his face hard and looking down in apparent frustration. He is actually laughing. Reinhold put his hand in his pocket and pinched his thigh really hard, trying to prevent himself from laughing. See more »
In the art gallery, when Axel asks Jenny if there's some place they can talk real quick, Axel's left hand is on his stomach. In the next shot, it's in his back pocket. See more »
One of my all-time favorites: witty, warm, and very funny!
Martin Brest has only made five feature films (Going in style, BHC, Midnight run, Scent of a woman, and Meet Joe Black), films strikingly different from one another, but that all share certain traits. They are finely crafted, energetic, and extraordinarily human. The warmth and friendship shine through, even through the gun- and fist-play which are obligatory in a cops-and-robbers movie. This is one of the first and best prototypes of the buddy movie.
Brest's casting is superb, and he elicits performances which are often the best of even young actors' careers. Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, and Ronnie Cox are outstanding, and the ensemble clicks like a well-oiled infield. To me, this movie is still far and away Eddie Murphy's best performance. He is remarkably talented, a comic genius. As an actor, his expressions are sometimes outlandish, but always completely in character, and appropriate to the dramatic situation. Villain Victor Maitland (played by Steven Berkoff, the husband of Alberta Watson, Madeline in La Femme Nikita) is chillingly underplayed; the cold-blooded evil shines through the civilized facade.
BHC is one of the few movies which I can watch with my loved ones again and again and never tire. Even as a comedy, it has a solidness and integrity which make it extremely durable. I look forward eagerly to Martin Brest's next film. Meanwhile, I always have Beverly Hills Cop.
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