Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Foley's a Jolly Good Fellow!

Beverly Hills Cop III  (Paramount, 1994)

Before the Camera:

Eddie Murphy  (Beverly Hills Cop)
Judge Reinhold  (Beverly Hills Cop II)
Timothy Carhart  (Ghostbusters)
Hector Elizondo  (Private Resort)
John Saxon  (A Nightmare on Elm Street '84)
Stephen McHattie  (A History of Violence)
Alan Young  (The Time Machine '60)
Theresa Randle  (Near Dark)
Bronson Pinchot  (Beverly Hills Cop)
Jon Tenney  (Legion)
Joey Travolta  (Beach Babes from Beyond)
Helen Martin  (Repo Man)
Fred Asparagus  (Galaxis)
Louis Lombardi  (TV's The Sopranos)
Gil Hill (Beverly Hills Cop)
Inspector Todd

Also, look fast for cameos from:

Ray Harryhausen  (stop motion animation master - Jason and the Argonauts)
Joe Dante  (director - Piranha '78)
Forrest J. Ackerman  (editor - Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine)
George Lucas  (director - THX-1138)
Martha Coolidge  (director - Real Genius)
Arthur Hiller  (director - Love Story)
Peter Medak  (director - The Changeling)
George Schaefer  (director - An Enemy of the People)
Robert B. Sherman  (composer - It's a Small World)
Barbet Schroeder  (director - Single White Female)
John Singleton  (director - Boyz n the Hood)
Julie Strain (The Dallas Connection)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by John Landis

Produced by Leslie Belzberg, Mark Lipsky, Catherine Meyers, Ray Murphy Jr, Mace Neufeld, and Robert Rehme

Written by Steven E. DeSouza

    Ten years after the first Beverly Hills Cop went through the box office roof and became a benchmark in action comedies, a few of the cast members came back for another go-round. In Detroit, detective Axel Foley (Murphy) is gearing up a bust on a major car theft chop shop operation with his team (including Tenney and Travolta), with his boss Inspector Todd (Hill) along as an observer. What Axel doesn't know is that moments before their arrival, some smooth operators with machine guns showed up at the chop shop, collected a van full of something that was stolen on their behalf, and paid off in lead. As the bust comes down around their ears in a hail of gunfire, what Axel does know is that he has seen Inspector Todd shot dead by the leader of the baddies - a steely eyed buzzard (Carhart) who then hightails it, along with the van full of McGuffins. However, they've left a trail...and you only get one guess where it leads. Well, two, because, yes, it is indeed Beverly Hills California. But where in Beverly Hills? How about the world famous theme park Wonder World, led by that lovable old Uncle Dave (Young)? And no, I don't know what you mean when you say the words "Disney" or "Walt." This is entirely different.

Axel shows up and enlists the help of Billy Rosewood (Reinhold), now promoted from detective to being the DDOJSIOC for all of Los Angeles. (Oh, that's Deputy Director of Operations for Joint Systems Interdepartmental Operational Command. Something about interfacing all the various law enforcement agencies when crimes go across city limits and county lines.) Sadly Taggart has retired, covered with a couple of lines of dialogue and they plain forget to even namecheck Lt. Bogamill, although both gentlemen can be glimpsed in a picture on Billy's desk.
    Billy introduces Axel to his new old cop buddy Jon Flint (Elizondo) who fills in neatly yelling at the boys for the rest of the movie that he's too old for this sh--wait, no, that's Danny Glover who says that. Oh well, Flint yells at them anyway, just like Taggart used to. Still miss John Ashton though.
    Axel heads out to Wonder World to see why there were clues pointing to the park back in Detroit and to maybe find out why all clues found in Detroit crime scenes always point to Beverly Hills. Flint offers to set up a meeting with chief of park security Ellis DeWald, but is called away, leaving Axel to head out there alone. Before he can even set foot in the park, Foley runs afoul of the park's jerkweed security force, and soon finds himself dragged bodily to DeWald's office where he first meets DeWald's boss, park chief of operations Orrin Sanderson (Saxon). Imagine Our Hero's surprise when DeWald finally shows up and it's the same motherloving jackwagon who shot Todd back in Michigan!
    Now knowing there's something more than fishy going in the home of Rufus Rabbit, Axel goes into full Foley mode, making waves every chance he gets as he works to bring down DeWald and his whole criminal organization. He gains some allies, including Wonder World operations rep Janice(Randle), Treasury agent Fulbright (McHattie), Uncle Dave himself, and even our old buddy Serge (Pinchot), now out of the art game and selling stylish weaponry for home defense. Even with this much help, will Axel be able to stop the slick and nasty DeWald?

Axel doing what he does best - needling the bad guy, here at an awards banquet in his honor.

    Everyone pretty much agrees the first BHC is a classic. There's a split on BHC II, some love it even more, others find it too impressed with its own coolness. But nearly everybody seems to agree that BHC III sucks, including Eddie Murphy.
    Well, I like Beverly Hills Cop III. Quite a bit. Oh, it's not a perfect movie. It doesn't meld the comedy with the action as seamlessly as did the first movie, and some of the trips it makes down the comedy road don't work. But the action side does work; quite well in fact. It actually makes sense that an older Axel, really hit by the loss of his mentor, the irascible and salty Inspector Todd, would tone down the quips and improvs and concentrate on getting his hands around DeWald's pencil neck. So I don't mind that Murphy is a little lower key here. It's a great cast down the line - look how many I listed up there  -and of course Landis continues his penchant for slapping film directors into as many of the 1 and 2 line parts as he possibly can.

The production got to use a real amusement park - Great America -  owned by Paramount, so the settings look good, with some early digital flimflam giving the park a different appearance in the wide overhead shots - watch how the camera "jerks" when it pans down across the park to the gate twice during the movie. Plus, they got the Sherman Brothers - Richard and Robert - the composers of Disney's notorious It's a Small World - to write a similar tune for this movie called The Wonderworld Song! Robert cameos too! And following in the villainous duo footsteps of Steven Berkoff and Jonathan Banks; and Jurgen Prochnow and Brigitte Nielsen - Timothy Carhart and John Saxon make for some terrific bad guys.
     In the end, I like this one a tiny bit more than BHC II - I'm one of those who thinks Eddie and the movie have started believing their own press in the second movie. This gets a definite recommendation for action junkies, and a qualified yes for others seeking action entertainment. Check it out!

Let's Get Out of Here ?

At around 1:16:07, Peter Medak knows this is no place to be if even Uncle Dave isn't safe from harm.

Eye Candy ?

Theresa Randle - for making a corporate skirt suit look good - you're in!
Why you got to photobomb my Eye Candy photo, Eddie Murphy? Why?

Welcome to the list, Ms. Randle!

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says: "Beverly Hills Cop III has no Axel to grind...
it's a Foley invested action comedy!"

I completely agree, little gold buddy! And until next time, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. I loved all the Beverly Hills Cop movies. There was just something about Axel and Billy that got to me. Not as great as the first, BHC3 is nonetheless comic gold. Far better than the lame fair that Murphy has offered up over the last few years aside from Tower Heist.

    1. I am so glad to hear you share my love for this series -another trilogy of faves for me. I have yet to see Tower Heist - but the previews look like a fine action comedy, so I'm stoked to see it!

  2. I never saw BHC III, but I liked the first movie. Eddie Murphy was awesome...I think it's his best film to date. What really impressed me was the theme song...so cool and hip.

    Also impressed with the list of cameos. I guess everybody wanted to get in on the "Action."

    1. I forgot to mention the "Axel F" theme is reprised in this movie - and it is such a great movie theme - really brings back memories the minute it starts.

      Yeah, apparently all film directors want to throw on the actor hat for a bit when Landis comes calling!

  3. same here. I think BHCIII is quite cool. Far from being as great as 1 & 2, but still fairly entertaining.

    1. Absolutely - definitely not "atrocious" as Eddie Murphy has been quoted as calling it!

  4. Craig, you just blew my mind. George Lucas had a cameo?!
    @melissa they had great chemistry.I wonder if they would make it into the top ten list of buddy teams.
    The Geek Twins

    1. Maurice, I think Axel and Billy are most deinitely a top ten buddy team. :)

    2. Yeah - and there's no missing him when he pops up - that's for sure!

      And I agree with both of you - but Taggart needs to be in there too!

  5. I too have always enjoyed this movie. I think I was 11 when it came out on VHS, and for a while it was my favorite of the series.

    - Cody

    1. I can understand this one being your favorite - it's really a pretty good movie!

  6. I remeber watching Beverly Hills Cop movies when I was a wee lad. Them were times of constant fevers and grade school homeworks, and 24/7 TV. BHCs were one of my fave action coemdies, though I hardly remember them now. Time for a revisit!

    1. Go for it, Kaijinu! I know we won't see it at Sticky Red, obviously - but you can always post a review of them here if you'd like!