Tag Archives: John Ashton

We Love the 80s!

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

by George Wolf

Within the first ten minutes of Netflix’s Axel F, we hear the big hit songs from both Beverly Hills Cop 1 (“The Heat Is On”) and 2 (“Shakedown”). So the promise of 80s nostalgia is made early, and then part 4 in the franchise makes good on that promise for nearly two hours.

Thirty years after the dreadful BHC III, Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) still has the same Detroit Lions jacket, and the same penchant for stirring up trouble.

He also has an estranged daughter named Jane Saunders (Taylor Paige, classing up the joint) who’s a successful defense lawyer in…anyone?…Beverly Hills. And Jane sometimes works with now P.I. Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), who left the Beverly Hills police force after now Chief Taggart (John Ashton) didn’t have his back on a complicated case.

Jane is defending an accused cop killer that Billy thinks might have been framed. Their work doesn’t sit well with Taggart, or with the Rolex-wearing Captain Grant (Kevin Bacon), head of the new narcotics task force. So when some goons try to scare Jane off the case, Billy feels responsible and….anyone?…calls Axel.

First-time feature director Mark Molloy dutifully rolls out a workmanlike series of recognizable franchise faces (Bronson Pinchot, Paul Reiser) and situations (Axel crashes an exclusive club, Axel startles cops by jumping in the back seat of their cruiser). And while it’s nice to see the addition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a well meaning cop/ex boyfriend of Jane, little of the script from Will Beall, Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten deviates from the convenient and the predictable.

But is it fun? Yeah, it kinda is.

Murphy seems engaged about the character again (especially during a surprisingly relevant exchange with a parking valet), and the film is perfectly happy to remind you of happier times and take your mind off of Supreme Court decisions.

Come back in the room after feeding the cat: oh, look it’s Serge! Check your phone for minute: there’s a shoot-em-up car crash! You know who the bad guys are, you know fences will be mended, and you know you love the 80s.

Axel F knows you know, and this time, that’s just enough.

You know?