BEVERLY HILLS COP 3-MOVIE COLLECTION
BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984) Starring Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, Lisa Eilbacher, Steven Berkoff. Directed by Martin Brest. (105 min)
BEVERLY HILLS COP II (1987) Starring Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, Brigitte Nielsen, Jurgen Prochnow. Directed by Tony Scott. (102 min)
BEVERLY HILLS COP III (1994) Starring Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Hector Elizondo, Timothy Carhart, John Saxon, Alan Young. Directed by John Landis. (104 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM PARAMOUNT
Review by Tiger the Terrible😽
In a way, this new Blu-ray collection offers a fascinating chronicle of a cutting-edge comedian’s slow descent into mediocrity.
Some of you reading this are too young to remember when Eddie Murphy was not-only the biggest movie star in the world, but really damn funny. Much of that was due to 1984’s Beverly Hills Cop, where his effortless charisma and gift for improvisation elevated a standard cop thriller into a modern classic. Even today, it remains the quintessential Eddie Murphy movie (only Harold Faltermeyer’s archaic synth score really dates it).
But if you are of a certain age, you might concur that the Law of Diminishing Returns definitely applies to this franchise. Beverly Hills Cop II, while still enjoyable, lacks the freshness of the original. Most of the main cast returns and Murphy has his share of amusing moments, but he's a brand name by now, meeting audience expectations without ever really exceeding them. With Tony Scott directing, there’s an increased emphasis on big, loud action over clever comedy, so the film sometimes plays more like a music video or Lethal Weapon sequel. Still, it’s worth revisiting from time to time.
The less said about Beverly Hills Cop III, the better, its mediocrity typical of other films Murphy was making at the time and a strong candidate for one of the most pointless sequels ever made. The film is a complete misfire from top to bottom, starting with the fatal decision to hire John Landis as director. With his penchant for gratuitous cameos and in-jokes, he’s completely ill-suited to helm a franchise like this. Murphy sleepwalks through the film on autopilot, content to collect a paycheck without trying to give Axel Foley the same wise-ass charm that endeared him to us in the first place.
|"My check has more zeroes!"|
But for what it’s worth, this is the first time BHC II & III have ever been released on Blu-ray. They are unavailable separately, making this three-disc set essential for completists. Only the first film comes with supplemental material, most of it carried over from the 2011 release. However, a few new features are tossed in to encourage double-dipping, such as a couple of deleted scenes and some interviews from 1984. Additionally, the overall audio and video quality is definite improvement over the previous disc, a nice transfer that’s repeated for both sequels.
Watching these films back-to-back is an interesting experience and could be viewed as a microcosm of Eddie Murphy’s entire career during that era. The original Beverly Hills Cop is the only essential film in the collection, but the second isn’t without its merits. BHC III may be a cynically-assembled trainwreck and indicative of the overall drop in quality of his films, but makes a nifty coaster.
Beverly Hills Cop is the only film with any bonus features.
FEATURETTES - “Beverly Hills Cop: The Phenomenon Begins” (retrospective doc); “A Glimpse Inside the Casting Process”; “The Music of Beverly Hills Cop”
LOCATION MAP – An interactive feature in which production designer Angelo Graham talks about some of the various shooting locations.
AUDIO COMMENTARY – By director Martin Brest
2 DELETED SCENES – These are actually pretty interesting, though it’s understandable why they were removed.
INTERVIEWS FROM 1984
BHC MIXTAPE ‘84 – Clips from the film where its hit songs are featured.
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS