Axel Foley Meets Dirty Rosewood
To describe "Beverly Hills Cop II" is to say it's more of the same cop based comedy which filled the first movie. That doesn't mean "Beverly Hills Cop II" is just a rehash of "Beverly Hills Cop" characters and relationships have grown and there are different criminals but it is basically just another crime story with comedy. It is still good fun especially with Rosewood and Taggart now friends with Axel Foley and to be honest is on a par with the first movie although the comedy appears to have been toned down a bit with less swearing as Eddie Murphy seems as interested in trying to act as he is at trying to deliver jokes.
Following a series of mysterious robberies which end up with Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox - Murder at 1600) being shot, Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls) leaves Detroit and heads back to Beverly Hills to see if he can help. With Rosewood (Judge Reinhold - The Santa Clause) and Taggart (John Ashton - Instinct) the trio start to snoop around much to the annoyance of Chief Lutz (Allen Garfield) who dislikes all three of them. But slowly Foley unravels the mystery of these crimes which lead to a gang of munitions smugglers.
It has to be said that with "Beverly Hills Cop II" we do get a different storyline and the characters have changed slightly but strip that away and basically there is little difference to the first movie. So what we get is Axel Foley back in Beverly Hills following the shooting of Captain Bogomil and digging around to try and find who the criminals are and what they are up to. The difference comes from the fact that Rosewood and Taggart are now his friends and whilst still are both a bit of a jobs worth's join in with many of his comedy capers as they wind up Chief Lutz. That simple change in things, making the trio friends, helps stop "Beverly Hills Cop II" from just feeling like a rehash of what we saw before.
But whilst things have progressed when it comes to the characters "Beverly Hills Cop II" is essentially a movie built around comedy, chaos and action. In a strange way "Beverly Hills Cop II" is not as funny as first time around, Eddie Murphy is still loud as he wise cracks his way through but it almost feels like he is toning it down as he wants to do more actual acting. It is definitely noticeable that there is less swearing but it still all works and combined with the action with such stupidly amusing scenes as a car chase in a cement mixing truck there is still plenty to laugh about. And what is amusing is that Chris Rock who many would say built his act on imitating Murphy appears in a short scene as a parking attendant at the Playboy mansion. That is not the only bit or irony as in one scene there is a poster for Sylvester Stallone's "Cobra" as not only was the first "Beverly Hills Cop" meant for Stallone but his wife Brigitte Nielsen also stars in this second movie.
As for the acting well once more everything revolves around Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley and as already mentioned it feels like the loud comedy side of things has been restrained. I actually enjoyed Murphy's performance more this second time around because the loudness is distilled by him trying to do more acting and whilst it does make "Beverly Hills Cop II" almost a generic cop comedy it still works. It's also more enjoyable watching John Ashton and Judge Reinhold as Taggart and Rosewood have more to do especially Reinhold who delivers some of the movies funnier moments with his artillery of guns.
What this all boils down to is that "Beverly Hills Cop II" is in fact the equal of "Beverly Hills Cop" without it feeling just a rehash. It is just another cop comedy but the trio of Murphy, Ashton and Reinhold make it all work and whilst it is noticeably toned down in the comedy stakes it is still a laugh fest, just without all the swearing. For some the toning down of the comedy will make it slightly disappointing but for me it is still great fun and as good as it was when it came out over 20 years ago.