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Movie Review: ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.’

Movie Review: ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.’

NEW YORK (OSV News) – The last time Eddie Murphy appeared as Detroit police Detective Axel Foley was during President Bill Clinton’s second year of office, and among the latest names in the news were skateboarder Nancy Kerrigan and renegade CIA officer Aldrich Ames. What was the outcome of Murphy’s return to the role after a three-decade hiatus?

Overall, it’s not much. Director Mark Molloy’s relatively routine addition to the action-comedy franchise, “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.” (Netflix), offers a few laughs, car chases in unconventional vehicles and a mostly unconvincing subplot about the tension between a flawed father and his spiteful child.

This part of the story reaches a pleasant conclusion, and the mayhem is kept mostly bloodless — at least until a bloody climactic shootout — but there’s not a single line of dialogue that’s free of vulgarity.

What unfolds amid the relentless verbal blue line is Axel’s fourth visit to the title lavish hideaway. This time, his trip west is triggered by the danger he finds himself in when his estranged daughter Jane (Taylour Paige), a crusading Los Angeles defense attorney, begins uncovering corruption in the upper echelons of the LAPD.

Recurring series characters are introduced into the plot, while Axel gains an impromptu partner in the form of Detective Bobby Abbott (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a Beverly Hills resident who also happens to be — coincidentally — Jane’s ex-boyfriend. It’s a small world.

As bullets fly, Axel and Jane argue over who is responsible for the deterioration of their relationship. Jane’s change of surname to Saunders is intended as a symbol of the gulf that has opened between the two.

But, clearly, the real order of business here isn’t emotional analysis, but Axel breaking every existing rule and generally wreaking havoc. Oh, and reminding viewers that Foley isn’t the only word that starts with F.

The film contains some blood, drug use, a few sexual references, more than a dozen profanities, about a half-dozen milder profanities, extensive coarse and vulgar language, occasional rude language, and a lot of violence, including suggestive gestures. The OSV News rating is L – limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults will find disturbing. The Motion Picture Association rating is R – restricted. Under 17s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

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