It’s nice to sit down after a long day and lose yourself for two hours in a good film. Unfortunately, when I did this yesterday, all I could think about was those US university applications and those Greek plays I had to read and learning lines for my part in The Crucible and the research I had on the cheery topic of “War Crimes”… It’s like I’m in a wave pool of treacle!
However, there comes a point where you start to go bleary eyed; where you read a page and complete forget what you just read. At this point, it’s time that you realise you are about to decline into a numbing pool of grey, and where your mind will not be able to store and process any more information that you are trying to cram into it.
My advice is always go for a walk, because that usually clears my head. However, since the cold nights are drawing longer, and I don’t particularly want to break my ankle in the middle of the woods and get mauled by a scurry of squirrels, a movie will suit me just fine.
So hey! Beverly Hills Cop anyone?Beverly Hills Cop stars Eddie Murphy as a Detroit cop (which doesn’t ring as well with the original title). Known for his ace police skills but inability to follow the rules, he goes on vacation to L.A. to solve the murder of his friend. From there, we brace ourselves for the sly tricks of Detective Axel Foley, while similtaneously having him arrested more times than a police officer really should be…
I’m sorry, I have to get this off my chest:
This is Steven Berkoff, who plays the main antagonist: Victor Maitland. He also played the antagonist in a Rambo film, and on the surface, he is a typical evil doer. I’m slightly saddened by this, because he probably holds the most talent out of any of the actors in this film. I had the opportunity to study him in my Drama A-Level, and he really does hold superb talent. His main career takes place on the stage. His own style of theatre (Berkovian theatre) is extremely taxing on any actor, and is notoriously hard to pull off, due to the actor having to be aware of their whole body to define their character, their mood and even their surroundings.
What I’m trying to get at here is I wanted to see more of his acting talent. While I have read that he is not keen on films, only accepting a part for financial reasons, I still wanted to see this legend steal the show. I was slightly disappointed, but I guess I’ll have to live with it.
It was in fact Eddie’s show. The protagonist is smart-mouthed, yet brash, having the ability to get into an exclusive club, yet being repeatedly called for arrest throughout the film. I liked Murphy in this film due to the fact he wasn’t over the top in his humour. His character seems realistic, and we love Foley due to his determination to bring his friend’s killer down and his multiple stories and lies that he conjures from nothing to get himself out of almost any situation… if he weren’t so head-strong (a hero needs flaws).
No one else jumped out at me during the film. The dialogue was fairly cheesy, but Murphy is able to use that to his advantage to create some funny scenes (surprisingly with a lack of slap-stick). I would have laughed, but my mind was already spent and I hadn’t had the energy to do so.
The action scenes were good. I became aware of how much the budget must be for so many cars to be decimated during filming. The film starts with a police chase following a lorry filled with bootlegged cigarettes, which involves smashing into every car that the lorry comes across, with police cars becoming collateral damage.
I thought that the film was going to skimp out on the gore, when Foley’s friend is shot in the back of the head with no satisfying blood splatter. However, a shoot-out in one of the last scenes scattered those suspicions, with another gunfight in Victor’s house later on. It’s satisfying to see the police working as a team to take down the bad guys, with Murphy (probably his stunt double) flipping over terraces to deal the final blow.
The film isn’t entirely action. In actual fact, it’s a fairly varied set up. First we have a car chase, then a cold-blooded murder, a comedic break in Beverly Hills, arrests, arrests and more arrests, a robbery, breaking and entering and finally a climax that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The majority of the middle part of the film is more comedic-based, as he finds clues to the murder and evades Detroit’s cops who are on duty to watch him. However, if you are an adrenalin junkie, you will be kept afloat during the film.
The plot does hold some touching moments as well, and parts that push Foley and his rule-loving accomplices’ limits on their respected characters.
The venues of this film were superb, and really capture the life of the materialistic Beverly Hills. Costume was great, as well as the contrast between what Murphy wears and what everyone else wears. Differences with Detroit and Beverly Hills, as well as rule-breaking Foley vs play-by-the-book Detroit police add an interesting dynamic. The film really does bring out the life of L.A., picking up on high-society, homosexual culture and… heterosexual culture.
It was a strip-club.
Another thing to add is the soundtrack, which was amazing. With Foley’s electronic theme tune, Axel F (the Crazy Frog song) and other classics like The Heat is On, it really is a noticeable score of music.
Some characters were underdeveloped (I will not mention Berkoff). Foley’s childhood friend Jenny really only acts as a plot device, telling Foley some minor information and acting as a damsel in distress later on. She reminded me a little of Sloane in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, who more tags along than does anything worth crediting.
I did see the sequel being aired soon on Film 4, but I refrained from recording it due to my doubts of me liking the first one. I can safely say that I will find it and record it as soon as humanly possible. Beverly Hills Cop is a witty action flick, that will entertain you in so many ways, that it will draw you out of whatever state of mind-numbness you’re in, although you’d probably enjoy it more without being dead to the world. Fun and fast, Foley is fantastic as the freelanced fuzz in this fabulous film.
I really did push that last sentence.
No outro! I’m tired, get used to it. See you all on Sunday.