“Beverly Hills Cop” is a crude, poorly acted action comedy. A would-be interesting story is clouded over by nonstop f-words and Eddie Murphy’s obnoxious laugh. It is also clouded over by a repetitive electronic soundtrack, but there are no complaints there. It is a shame that such an iconic soundtrack comes from a nearly unwatchable film. The irony is that it gets really entertaining in the last 40 minutes when all of the profanity disappears, but it isn’t worth enduring the first hour to get there. This film was critically acclaimed and considered to be one of the best of 1984 – what were these critics thinking?!?!? Every time that Murphy delivers a serious line, it feels like a mistake. And apparently the Academy watched a censored version of the film when they nominated it for Best Original Screenplay because the incessant profanity cheapens every line of dialogue. The one positive attribute of this film is the humor generated by John Ashton, Judge Reinhold, and Murphy. The majority of their dialogue is improvised and you can occasionally see one member of the trio struggling to hold it together. Reinhold really nails the sidekick role as the wide-eyed, naïve Billy Rosewood. If I could cut out all of the profanity, I’d watch the film again just for his cluelessness. All of the other actors in the film are completely unmemorable and perform well below the expectation of a Hollywood blockbuster. Perhaps the most maddening part of the film is that nobody is asking the big questions like… what kind of a name is “Axel”? And why doesn’t anybody question it? I want to love “Beverly Hills Cop” because it is a classic, but between the poor acting and overblown volume of profanity, it is tough to consider watching it ever again.
[Pictured: This trio is the only redeeming quality of the film]