The Wheel’s come off the Axel Foley Wagon
7 year and 7 movies after giving us "Beverly Hills Cop II" Eddie Murphy returned as Axel Foley for "Beverly Hills Cop III". Why Murphy returned to an old favourite doesn't lie in that the storyline being any good but I would guess more to do with only one of those 7 movies he made in the interim years being any good. So yes Murphy was Foley again in another crime caper which saw him head to Beverly Hills to team up with an old friend and track down some criminals. If that sounds familiar it's because whilst we may have some new faces and criminals "Beverly Hills Cop III" basically follows a very similar path that both "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Beverly Hills Cop II" did. Unfortunately there is little to "Beverly Hills Cop III" which is memorable and seems to border more on the daft than amusing making it the weakest of the three movies, although it's still passable and mildly entertaining.
Whilst trying to crack a car jacking ring Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy - Life) finds himself in the thick of it once more as Insp. Douglas Todd (Gilbert R. Hill) is killed. Told to get off the case, Axel follows a lead which sees him returning to Beverly Hills to hook up with his old friend Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold - Gremlins). With all clues leading to something going on at Los Angeles theme park Wonder World Axel finds himself in a lot of hot water with a bad guy and his own personal police force as they try to launder money.
So right from the outset "Beverly Hills Cop III" follows an identical route to all the predecessors as Axel Foley is in the midst of a crime bust for it only to go wrong. What follows is as you would expect Foley discovering that a case he is on leads him back to Beverly Hills where he teams up with old friend Billy Rosewood and cracks the case. Along the way we get Foley winding up people the wrong way whilst participating in some over the top action which sees him rescuing children on a theme park ride as well as almost destroying the theme park as things come to a head.
But where once this storyline worked it all seems quite plain this time around as it borders on being nothing more than functional. In fact everything about "Beverly Hills Cop III" seems functional including the humour which crops up at the prescribed time. It is very much a case that we've seen this all before and nothing this time around makes it feel any fresher.
Now I know that you don't expect some solid storyline in this sort of movie but this one borders on the daft. Firstly you have the fact that when Foley rolls back up in Beverly Hills he doesn't know that Rosewood has had a promotion and that Taggart has retired and as for Bogomil well his name isn't even mentioned. It just doesn't feel right nor is the contrived way that Serge, remember him from the first movie with his love of Espresso, is given a few scenes which basically allows for the "Get the fuck out of here" gag to return. And it continues through out as it mixes daft gags with over the top action all of which is delivered not so much with out life but without enthusiasm if all of those involved were doing the movie as a pay check rather than because they thought it was going to be good.
As such the performances are nothing to write home about, Eddie Murphy seems at times to be uninterested in doing what he has done before and whilst there are moments of great comedy from Murphy there are just as many which don't pay off as they are expected to. The same can be said for Judge Reinhold who seems to be more of a clown than ever with gags surrounding him being a klutz. And as for the other actors and characters well Hector Elizondo seems to have been cast as a straight forwards cop to make up for Taggart not being about and every time Timothy Carhart showed up as bad guy Ellis De Wald all that came across was a human version of Dick Dastardly.
What this all boils down to is that "Beverly Hills Cop III" ends up an entertaining but less than inspiring sequel. It is very much a case that other than some new bad guys it is the second movie all over again and not just when it comes to the storyline as the comedy feels almost rehashed as well. As such there seems to be less enthusiasm all round for the sequel and although it will entertain it won't be as easily remembered as the first "Beverly Hills Cop".