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Beverly Hills Cop (Blu-ray Review)

Cue the synth theme!  Don’t try to play it off, you know exactly what synth theme I am talking about.  It’s the theme that once you hear it it stays in your head and you begin humming or whistling it all day long.  That would be the Beverly Hills Cop theme, and you can now listen to it in all its lossless glory!  Eddie Murphy stars alongside a who’s who of crazy and eclectic characters dispensing his own brand of streetwise justice on the glitzy streets of Beverly Hills.  Besides 48Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop was one of the first films to define the wisecracking-buddy cop films that were soon to follow in abundance.  It’s actually no surprise that Beverly Hills Cop was a Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson vehicle.  How does the Beverly Hills Cop Blu-ray stack up to scrutiny?  Come in and find out! 

Film 

Axel Foley (Murphy) is a Detroit police officer who plays by his own rules and who always has something funny to say.  After the murder of his best friend, Axel sets off to Beverly Hills on a rouse to track down the killers.  The City of Beverly Hills has different plans for Mr. Foley.  After meeting up with a mutual friend of theirs, Jenny (Eilbacher),  Foley let’s her in on what he’s really doing in town.  Along for the ride are two officers assigned to keep an eye on Axel and to make sure he doesn’t interfere with the ongoing investigation.  If it were only that easy.  On the search for justice Axel will come across  huge culture, class, and style clashes  that are not the norm back in Detroit.  The laughs and bullets will come fast and furious, because Axel Foley is on the case.

It is great to finally have Beverly Hills Cop on Blu-ray!  As was previously mentioned in the lead-in paragraph, Beverly Hills Cop was one of the first wisecracking cop-buddy films.  Yes, Axel flies solo, but Rosewood & Taggart (Reinhold & Ashton) are on his tail every step of the way.   Beverly Hills Cop works, because this is Eddie Murphy in his PRIME.  I don’t think he was even 25 yet when he made Beverly Hills Cop. The comedic timing, jokes, ad-lib, they’re spot on.  There are classic lines and gags like Axel getting thrown out of the window scene or his Beverly Hills Hotel lobby rant.  You can just tell that the majority of Murphy’s lines are improvised, but who cares?  The lines work!

Beverly Hills Cop had several major actors of the time attached to star with Sylvester Stallone officially cast in the lead just a couple of weeks before shooting.  Stallone had even re-written the screenplay to fit his persona.  Sylvester Stallone: Axel Cobreti.  I kid you not.  Paramount balked at the idea, because the film would have gone way over budget, so Stallone left the project and would later film Cobra which would have been Beverly Hills Cop if he had stayed on board.  I love these insider stories of what could have been!

Beverly Hills Cop was released in 1984 and for being a mid-80’s action flick it does deliver the goods in that department.  Beverly Hills Cop is rated R, so be prepared for tons of bad language, lots of killings, and a cheesy but cool soundtrack.  It all works in context and is not gratuitous in anyway way.  Another reason why Beverly Hills Cop works the way it does is due to, and I’ve mentioned this in previous reviews,  most of the supporting characters, along with the main star, have depth.  You actually care about these people and you want to tag along for the ride with them.  The characters are also not bumbling fools that insult the audience’s intelligence.  Yes, this was 1984, so you can see that if the directors of today want to get it right when it comes to formulaic films like this they need to consider the source and see why Beverly Hills Cop works the way it does.  It is not rocket science.   End rant.

 

 

Video 

Beverly Hills Cop is presented in 1080p 1.85:1 widescreen.  The transition over to the Blu-ray format for Beverly Hills Cop is a welcomed one, but it’s obviously not a demo one.  It’s not expected it either.  Grain is present throughout the film, which is good, but there are several instances in the daytime scenes where the picture comes off a bit a hazy and soft.  Whether that’s just inherent to the Southern California weather at the time, we can only speculate.  Contrast levels are fine, and I did not pick up on any traces of heavy dirt or scratches.  This is as good as its going to get, in my opinion.  

 

Audio 

Beverly Hills Cop is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  I’d say that the audio presentation for Beverly Hills Cop rivals the video quality in that it’s also not a demo worthy disc, but shouldn’t be dismissed.  We all know that besides Eddie Murphy the real star of the show is the music.  I am happy to report that your system will get a satisfactory workout when the synth and bass score kick in along with the other 80’s tunes.  What will not kick in, will be some of the canned and dated effects.  There are far too many of them that litter the film, but it’s usually the car wrecks that have no depth of field.  Dialogue and music come through unscathed, though.

Special Features 

Beverly Hills Cop contains a small helping of special features that include a commentary track by Director Martin Brest, and several featurettes on different aspects of the film.  My favorite one would have to be the 30 minute featurette that talks about the project and how it came to fruition.  It’s not fluff and is very informative.  Remember Axel Cobreti?   I do believe that most of these were ported over from the 2000 DVD release.  The commentary is a bit of a downer, because Martin Brest starts watching the film instead of actually commenting on it.  He even apologizes, but there are way too many moments of dead air.  The music of Beverly Hills Cop location map are neat a well.   All of the features are presented in SD.

  • Commentary by director Martin Brest
  • Beverly Hills Cop – The Phenomenon Begins
  • A Glimpse Inside the Casting Process
  • The Music of Beverly Hills Cop
  • Location Map
  • Theatrical Trailer

Final Thoughts 

Beverly Hills Cop is still great almost 30 years later, and was one of the first film to break the mold in funny cop-action-dramas.  Eddie Murphy is great and all of the supporting characters are also great.  Big props to Paramount for going into their catalog vaults and pulling out gems like this for release.  Here’s hoping that they go ahead and release II and III as well.  If only to complete the trilogy.  The Beverly Hills Cop Blu-ray is not demo worthy by any means, but it sure is great to finally have it on the format.  Highly recommended!

 

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

8 Responses to “Beverly Hills Cop (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    It’s been a long time since I have seen this one!

  2. Gerard Iribe

    @Brian – Did you like it when you last saw it?

  3. Big Boys Oven

    just awesome, must have!

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    you’re not gonna fall for the banana in the tail pipe.

  5. Jiminy Critic

    Can’t beat the original… FUN!

  6. Sean Ferguson

    One of my all time favorites!

  7. Aaron Neuwirth

    Along with the third, right Sean? because it has George Lucas in it 🙂

  8. Sean Ferguson

    Not even George Lucas could save that one. I’ve got all three on DVD and I’m sure I will get them all on Blu-ray too. This is Eddie Murphy at his best! Now if they would release the other ones and also RAW too, I would be set!