Beverly Hills Cop II: 35th Anniversary Edition (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Paramount has had an interesting roll out here of the Beverly Hills Cop movies on the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format. About two and half years ago they rolled out the 3-Movie Collection with 4K restorations, but on standard Blu-ray. That following December, the original came out standalone on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray alongside a Coming To America 4K release, a remastered Trading Places on standard Blu-ray and the standard Blu-ray debut of The Golden Child. Now, a year and a half later, here’s Beverly Hills Cop II for its 35th Anniversary which has been ready to go for over 2 years now. The hold up certainly wasn’t new bonus materials, but its nice to finally have it here. Will anyone clamor for 3 now? Perhaps an update on the trilogy set in 4K can squeeze that one out. Beverly Hills Cop II: 35th Anniversary Edition arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on May 17th. You can pre-order it by using the paid Amazon Associates link after the review.


Originally published as a part of the Naptown Nerd Beverly Hills Cop Retrospective (August 2013)

The hard-nosed Detroit cop from the original film returns to Los Angeles to help solve another case. This time he must direct his efforts towards unravelling the Alphabet Crimes, a series of robberies committed by leather-jacketed punks. The investigation puts him on the trail of an illegal arms dealer and his hit lady.

The second Axel Foley adventure falls into that sequel trope of being “more of the same”.  A lot of times back in the day, if you got a sequel, you just got the same movie repackaged.  I’m not saying its an exact remake, but all the beats are the same and very little progresses.  Its an entertaining movie no doubt, but there’s nothing here that really needed to be explored.

The film has a very weak first act.  Everything is a plot of convenience and pretty hokey to have things set up.  We catch Axel Foley in basically the same situation we were introduced to him in the previous film.  And what gets him back to Beverly Hills is essentially the same circumstances in which he went in the first one.  Also, given the guise with which he takes the trip, he’s right back at square one with his own police office and the Beverly Hills one.  Also, the minute Ronny Cox’s Capt Bogomil is introduced, you know exactly where his character is going.  The absurdity is only cemented by an absolutely pointless call he makes to Foley before he meets his fate.  Its a very fast paced set up making it all really hokey, convenient and goofy as it plays out.  But, its what this film needs to set up, so we gotta shrug and just move on.

Once again, we basically have Foley dropped into a criminal plot of a generic 80s action film (one that thinks its smarter than it is).  Everything would be forgettable if it wasn’t for Eddie Murphy and that’s what makes it more special.  But, I guess that’s kind of what this series does.  So that’s no strike against it.  He’s once again at the top of his game and able to just own the screen.  Murphy became a massive star after the first film.  Paramount’s prime directive was to spin that into a television series with Eddie Murphy reprising Foley, but the leading man said he was done with TV and sequel was optioned.  The movie itself was another big box office success, despite mixed reviews.

This movie had some big points that reminded me of A View To A Kill a bit.  There’s a bit with horse racing that is familiar.  Most of it I guess is that henchwoman Brigitte Nielsen’s Karla being an obvious knock off of Grace Jones’ May Day.  Both are the main squeeze of the big bad, larger than life women that run heist operations, wear crazy array of sexy and stealthy outfits, fire big guns, kick ass and speak few words.  While I’d rather take 80s Brigitte on a date, May Day through and through is the cooler character.

Speaking of Brigitte, there’s a lot of Stallone jokes to go around.  Aside from her being his wife at this time, there’s an addition of somewhat of a love fest Rosewood has with him.  In some of the only character progression and development in this film, we are let in a bit on who Rosewood outside of work.  He is apparently a weapons nut idolizing Sly.  He’s got not only a Rambo: First Blood Part II poster on his wall, but a COBRA!!!!!!!!!!!! poster as well.  The producers surely were in on some of the behind the scenes fun with the first film here.  Judge Reinhold plays it great too.  As a weird guy already, he embellishes in playing the character quirky but straight, never going over the top to get it across.

Martin Brest did not return to direct.  Instead, hot off another Jerry Bruckheimer production (Top Gun), came Tony Scott.  The difference in aesthetic is very noticeable as this is very much a Tony Scott film.  Its shot in 2.35:1 for starters.  Plus inside every building is that “smokey room” thing he brought to everything.  The film is also more action heavy and flashy.  Everything is up’d a notch which is very common of the “more of the same” sequels of the day.  Machine guns last time in the finale?  We’ve got rocket launchers this time!  Foley drives a beater in the first one?  Here’s a sports car.  A hoodie to accompany his SAME high school t-shirt?  We’ve got a Detroit Lions letter jacket for him to sport.  And Axel is also never fully dressed down in this film.  When in Detroit he’s wearing fancy suits and such.  Lisa Eilbacher’s small, homely Jenny Summers replaced by a larger than life exotic fashion model.  Its a flashier, more expensive looking version of the first film.  Whereas the first film was a more personal, character based crime drama, this is a big budget summer popcorn movie.  That’s how sequels tended to work in the 80s.  Same thing but bigger.  Even the theme is spruced up and more poppy.  And for this movie it seems to work out ok.

I really did like the cast in this one a bit.  Paul Reiser is given more to do this time around rather than just be a cameo at the beginning.  Aside from the returning players, the additions are quite fun with Brigitte Nielsen, Jurgen Prochnow, Dean Stockwell and cameos from Gilbert Gottfried and Chris Rock.  Just a bit more engaging and attention commanding actors in the villain roles.

The second film in the Beverly Hills Cop series is flashier but ultimately stays at home with where its comfortable.  Everything you liked in the first one is brought back here.  And in a rare circumstance, it does work.  Aside from going bigger the series narrative doesn’t really move a whole lot by the end.  Its got a rough first act and finishes quite over the top.  It still manages to be really entertaining, but the film doesn’t really do a whole lot aside from feel like a bigger budgeted remake.  It falls short of the first one’s greatness, but that film was something very special.  The film’s ok, but the formula is a bit tired by the end of it.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Beverly Hills Cop II makes its way to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with the previous 4K restoration for standard Blu-ray now appropriately displayed. It refines the image, crisping it up with a sharper look that adds more texture and detail. Depth and color saturation as well as the contrast noticeably improve as well. This is a nice upgrade in the image, which is the only change from the previous outing on standard Blu-ray.

Depth:  Depth of field is rock solid here. There is a nice display of scale on display as well as good pushback and spacious environments with nice free roaming characters. Movements are smooth and natural with no issues regarding distortion.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and natural. They saturated the image quite well and provide great contrast to really tighten the previous Blu-ray’s image and showcase much more poise, texture and pattern in the frame. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: This one isn’t too bold with the colors but things like neon signs, flashier fabrics & make-up and the orange or purple sunsetting sky really has a nice pop to it. The image overall has a nice bold touch to the more regular grays, browns and the like that populate.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are quite clear and distinct from any reasonable distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, German 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castilian) 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin America) 2.0 Dolby Digital,  French 2.0 Dolby Digital, Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Danish, German, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin America), French, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Simplified Chinese, Finnish

Dynamics: Beverly Hills Cop II features the 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix found on the previous standard Blu-ray. That’s fine as it has a pretty terrific presentations that compliments the action heavy sequences throughout with great feeling. There’s a nice balance on display with good layering and depth.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer in this mix can really rock your room with explosions, crashes, gunfire, glass shattering and the bass in music.

Surround Sound Presentation: This mix features some great playfulness with the speakers. Bullets especially zip around the room and environments feel more everpresent.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


Beverly Hills Cop II: 35th Anniversary Edition comes with a redeemable digital code. It comes with no bonus material.


Beverly Hills Cop II is a pretty cool sequel that elevates the film to more of an action one and swaps its genre from a little more indie to a little more big studio fare.  Paramount’s 35th Anniversary Edition 4K Ultra-HD release finally allows the 4K restoration from over 2 years ago to be seen as it was intended. The audio is the same as before, but its a terrific 5.1 mix. Extras would be welcome, but this one has to get by on the strength of the film alone.

Below is a paid Associate’s account link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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