Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F Arrives on Netflix

After a few attempts to reboot the franchise, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is finally making its way into the world and onto Netflix.

Much like Harrison Ford, Eddie Murphy has also been revisiting characters. First up was Prince Akeem of Zumunda in 2021’s Coming 2 America. Now it’s fan favorite Detroit Police Department detective Axel Foley. The results are far better this time around as the franchise celebrates 40 years in December. Its third installment marked its 30th anniversary towards the end of May. The film has a fun way of bringing up the three previous films in the franchise. It also goes as far as acknowledging the fact that the third film is the weakest in the franchise, saying that it wasn’t Axel Foley’s finest work. Murphy even admits that the third film is “garbage.” Let’s get one thing straight right now: this is not a paycheck movie. No, it’s a redemption movie.

Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is on the case–well, not officially–back in Detroit. His former partner, Jeffrey Friedman (Paul Reiser), takes the heat for whatever trouble Axel got himself into. It’s only when Axel gets a call from Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) that he returns to Beverly Hills after so many years, this time, Axel’s estranged daughter, Jane Saunders (Taylour Paige) is facing threats for her work as a criminal defense attorney. When Axel finally arrives on the scene, Rosewood–now working as a PI–is nowhere to be seen. Axel does what he does best and that’s get himself arrested and interrogated by the Beverly Hills Police Department. This time, Detective Bobby Abbott (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is doing the investigating. As for John Taggart (John Ashton), he is now the police chief. He did retire but came back.

(L to R) John Ashton as Chief John Taggart, Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley and Judge Reinhold as Billy Rosewood in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.
(L to R) John Ashton as Chief John Taggart, Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley and Judge Reinhold as Billy Rosewood in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. Photo credit: Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix © 2024.

It would not be a Beverly Hills Cop movie if there is not a conspiracy at play. Jane’s life is in danger because of it. Rosewood’s life, too. Axel ends up teaming up with Bobby only to learn there’s more to him than meets the eye. Outside of this, the film also gets back to the franchise roots. What this means: Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F” is playing because the stakes are high once again. Lorne Balfe adapts the classic theme into his score. Other classic songs make their return, including “The Heat is On” by Glenn Frey and “Neutron Dance” by The Pointer Sisters.

A number of Beverly Hills landmarks make it into the film, including the landmark sign and Beverly Hills City Hall. A popular filming location, Norm’s, is in the movie, too. There’s a chase sequence with a helicopter–no way something likes this could make it into another film. Only in a Beverly Hills Cop movie!

We can’t discuss the film without really addressing the elephant in the room. The third film sucked. It’s probably why this was delayed for thirty years. In a perfect world, we’d have gotten a fourth film in the late 90s but alas, that didn’t happen. He’s back now and a number of other friends are here for the ride. In any event, neither John Ashton or Ronny Cox returned for Beverly Hills Cop 3. Murphy had personally selected John Landis but then didn’t really want to do anything funny at the time. But anyway, the third film is all water under the bridge. A fifth film is currently in development and that’s good. A Netflix release is better than a CBS series that would have just been Beverly Hills Cop in name only. Plus, Jerry Bruckheimer is back!

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F redeems the franchise after a poor outing in its third installment.

DIRECTOR: Mark Molloy
SCREENWRITERS: Will Beall And Tom Gormican & Kevin Etten
CAST: Eddie Murphy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Taylour Paige, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Paul Reiser, Bronson Pinchot, and Kevin Bacon

Netflix releases Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F on July 3, 2024. Grade: 4/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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