Beverly Hills Cop II, 1987.
Directed by Tony Scott.
Starring Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, Jürgen Prochnow, Brigitte Nielsen, Allen Garfield, Dean Stockwell, and Paul Reiser.
Beverly Hills Cop II follows its predecessor onto 4K in an edition that doesn’t have any bonus features, nor a Blu-ray disc. However, you get a code for a digital copy, and the presentation here is as close to the original theatrical presentation as you’re going to get.
In the 1980s, Eddie Murphy could seemingly do no wrong. Okay, he had his share of clunkers, like The Golden Child, but 1984’s Beverly Hills Cop made him a box office superstar, so it was inevitable that a sequel would be on the way, sooner rather than later. Director Tony Scott, fresh off his Top Gun success, was tapped to direct, and much of the original cast returned, this time with model Brigitte Nielsen, who was making a name for herself at the time, added to play one of the antagonists.
Beverly Hills Cop II opens with a jewelry robbery that’s the latest in a string of heists known as “Alphabet Crimes” because the perpetrators leave behind monogrammed envelopes. Beverly Hills cops Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) are back in action and trying to solve the crimes, but when they try to bring in the FBI to help, they’re accused of overstepping their authority and are put on traffic duty.
However, when Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox, also returning for the sequel) is shot by one of the Alphabet Crimes perpetrators and the news reaches Axel Foley in Detroit, he drops his current undercover duties and flies to Beverly Hills to reunite with Rosewood and Taggart. The trio work together covertly to try to solve the crimes, since new overbearing police chief Harold Lutz (Allen Garfield) is watching them closely.
Jürgen Prochnow plays weapons dealer Maxwell Dent, who’s the mastermind behind the Alphabet Crimes, along with his second in command, Karla Fry (Nielsen). Foley, Rosewood, and Taggart follow the trail that leads toward them, even when Lutz declares the Alphabet Crimes solved when the seeming perpetrator of them is killed. As you might imagine, all of that leads to a finale full of shoot-outs.
Like a lot of sequels, Beverly Hills Cop II tries to walk a fine line between, to use a music analogy, playing the greatest hits again while trying out some new material. Of course, Beverly Hills Cop wasn’t the kind of movie that really lends itself to going in interesting new directions in a sequel, so the story leans heavily on reprising the greatest hits. The end result is a film that serves a basic function (let Murphy play a fish out of water again as he brings his street smarts to hoity-toity Beverly Hills) while not really putting anything unique on the screen. To use another analogy, it’s a “meat and potatoes” movie that may fill you up but doesn’t have the kind of flavor that stays with you for a while afterward.
If you were to argue that Beverly Hills Cop II was nothing more than a cash grab, I wouldn’t have much to say to counter that. Even Murphy called it “a half-assed movie” afterward, going on to say that it was “probably the most successful mediocre picture in history.” I also suppose that if you were going to assign blame for the half-assed nature of the film, you’d have to put it squarely on Murphy, who was supposedly very involved in the story process and had several screenwriters in a room with him.
Unfortunately, there’s no one who addresses any of this in the bonus features, since there aren’t any in this 4K Ultra HD release from Paramount. Unlike the 4K release of the first movie, there’s no Blu-ray included here, although you do get a code for a digital copy. Beverly Hills Cop had a solid line-up of bonus features in its 4K release, but I guess Paramount decided to let the sequel speak for itself with this edition.
As far as the 4K presentation goes, I don’t have any previous home video editions to compare it to, but Beverly Hills Cop II looks really good here. I know I’ve said this before about other 4K movies, but I’ll say it again here: it looks about as close to its original theatrical presentation as you’re going to get, especially for folks with standard setups.
There are a lot of close-ups in this movie, and the detail in them is on full display, down to the stitching on some of those very 80s fashion choices. Film grain is present but not overpowering, as you’d expect from a movie of this vintage.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★