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Martin Brest
Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton
Writing Credits:
Daniel Petrie Jr.

Street smart Detroit cop Axel Foley tracks down his best friend's killer in Beverly Hills.

Box Office:
$14 million.
Opening Weekend
$15,214,805 on 1532 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Dolby Vision
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Description
French Dolby 2.0
German Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $25.99
Release Date: 12/1/2020

• Audio Commentary with Director Martin Brest
• Isolated Score
• Deleted Scenes
• 1984 Interviews
• “The Phenomenon Begins” Featurette
• “A Glimpse Inside the Casting Process” Featurette
• “The Music of Beverly Hills Cop” Featurette
• Location Map
• “BHC Mixtape ‘84”
• Trailer
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Beverly Hills Cop [4K UHD] (1984)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 25, 2020)

Ever since Chevy Chase left the show in 1976 to seek greener pastures, Saturday Night Live castmembers dreamed of becoming movie stars. Many of them have achieved this goal, and while the road is littered with SNL-related flops, its performers have certainly appeared in a slew of hits.

1984 stands as the greatest year ever for SNL alumni. That year all of the three top-grossing flicks included at least one former Not Ready For Prime Time player.

Third on that last fell Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with $179 million. It also featured the smallest role for an SNL veteran, as we barely saw Dan Aykroyd in a quick cameo.

Aykroyd appeared again along with fellow SNL player Bill Murray in the year’s biggest hit. Ghostbusters grabbed a very healthy $238 million as it made Murray one of the world’s top stars.

In regard to grosses, the third flick fell between these two, though it came very close to Ghostbusters. Starring Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop hit screens near the end of the year, and it very nearly dethroned Ghostbusters as the box office champ.

Cop eventually snagged a tidy $234 million, which left it a mere $4 million beneath Ghostbusters. That’s a pretty tight horserace.

Coincidentally, I also think of these two movies in very similar terms. Neither did a lot for me during their theatrical runs, but not long after that, I developed a strong affection for both on video. Ghostbusters and Cop have been two of my favorite comedies for many years now.

As such, I may be biased, but I still think Cop offers a very entertaining experience, and it follows the adventures of Detroit police officer Axel Foley (Murphy). At the film’s start, we quickly learn that he’s a talented cop who uses unconventional methods that irritate his boss, Inspector Todd (Gilbert R. Hill).

After getting chewed out again, Axel returns to his seedy apartment where he finds Mikey (James Russo), a childhood friend who’d been jailed for years. The two enjoy a brief but happy reunion during which Axel learns that prison didn’t rehabilitate Mikey.

He’s stolen some bonds from his LA-based employer. The chickens quickly come home to roost, as enforcer Zack (Jonathan Banks) catches up with Mikey and executes him.

A loyal friend, Axel gets cheesed when Todd gives another officer the investigation. As such, he decides to go to the source, so Foley uses vacation time to drive to Beverly Hills and find out some things for himself.

There he hooks up with another old friend named Jenny (Lisa Eilbacher). She’s the one who got Mikey the job as security for art maven Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff). He learns more about her boss and delves into Maitland’s shenanigans in an attempt to deal with Mikey’s murder.

On the negative side, some parts of Cop haven’t aged terribly well. Granted, one expects the various fashions to mature awkwardly, with the primary victim being poor Eilbacher and her poofy hairstyles.

At times, the movie’s tone comes across problematically, mostly due to the combination of cheesy pop tunes and violence. The truck chase early in the flick seemed wild and wacky 35 years ago, but now it just looks silly.

However, I think Cop still works very well, largely due to the performers, and Cop represents Murphy at his absolute peak. By 1984, he’d experienced a lot of success, but he didn’t become a true movie star until Cop, so he remained hungry.

After this, he bought into the hype too an absurd degree. His next movie - 1986’s Golden Child - virtually tried to deify Murphy, and in between, he had attempted to be a pop star with his How Can It Be? album. Though it sold acceptable well, it later became a punchline.

Cop remains the perfect example of Murphy as leading man. As Axel Foley in this first flick, he mixed street sense, intelligence and charisma to ideal levels that made the character immensely entertaining and appealing.

One thing I like about Murphy’s take on Foley is that he’s earthy and believable but he doesn’t become stereotypically “black” or “street”. He’s a smart and savvy African-American who seems real and secure in any environment.

Many actors would go out of their way to make the character seem overtly “ghetto”, but Murphy had the confidence to avoid those traps. It’s a consistently excellent performance that elevated some otherwise tepid material.

The supporting cast helped as well. Eilbacher seems a bit bland as Jenny, and it’s rather hard to imagine her childhood-self hanging out with teen hoods Axel and Mikey, but she makes an apt foil for Murphy during a few scenes. Berkoff creates a suitably oily villain, and Banks’ Zack is a memorably slimy guy as well.

Probably best of the bunch, however, are Reinhold and Ashton. They offer many fun scenes of their own, which are really the only amusing sequences that don’t involve Murphy. It’s hard not to like the vaguely Tarantino-esque nattering between the two during their stakeout.

As with Murphy, both actors fill out the roles to a degree they wouldn’t achieve in later renditions. Actually, to be fair, Ashton seems fine in Cop II, but Reinhold’s character goes through nonsensical changes for the two sequels.

Perhaps those new to Beverly Hills Cop won’t get much from it. The movie’s been a favorite for so long that it’s tough for me to see it objectively.

Nonetheless, despite some dated elements, I still think it’s a funny and entertaining piece that continues to work largely due to an excellent lead performance from Eddie Murphy. The film shows the actor at his best and should let people see how he became such a big star.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

Beverly Hills Cop appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Never the best-looking movie, the Dolby Vision 4K UHD offered about as good a presentation as I could hope.

Sharpness seemed reasonably good. A few shots came across as a little soft and fuzzy, but these occurred infrequently. For the most part, the movie appeared acceptably distinct and accurate.

No problems with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Source flaws failed to become a factor, and grain felt natural and consistent.

Colors seemed acceptably distinct and vivid. The movie didn’t boast the most dynamic palette, but it rendered the hues in a satisfying manner, and the 4K’s HDR added range and impact to the tones.

Blacks were pretty dark, and shadows were usually fine. Some shots didn’t light for Murphy’s skin tone well, so he occasionally became a little lost, but that wasn’t a real issue – and it stemmed from the original photography.

The 4K’s HDR brought a bit more impact to whites and contrast. Overall, this 4K replicated the source well.

The film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix stayed anchored to the front speakers. In that spectrum, I heard reasonably good stereo separation and imaging for the music, and effects also spread across the forward channels to a positive degree.

At times those elements came across as somewhat speaker-specific, but they usually blended together in a fairly pleasing manner, and effects moved cleanly across them.

Surround usage appeared to be negligible. At most the rear speakers offered general reinforcement of the score and perhaps some mild ambient effects.

Audio quality was decent. Dialogue occasionally displayed some edginess, but speech usually seemed reasonably natural and distinct, and I heard no concerns related to intelligibility.

Effects also demonstrated periodic bouts of distortion, and explosions and gunfire provided the most notable examples of these concerns. Otherwise, those elements sounded acceptably clean and accurate, though they never displayed terribly positive range.

Early in the film, the music seemed oddly restricted. “The Heat Is On” and “Neutron Dance” sounded somewhat flat and muffled.

However, this problem largely evaporated in short order, and most of the music appeared acceptably well defined and robust. The track remained somewhat muddy at times, but it usually presented the score and the songs with fairly good fidelity. Overall, the soundtrack for Cop showed its age, but it still seemed to fall within the acceptable range for an aging movie.

How did this 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray from 2020? Audio felt identical, as both discs sported the same DTS-HD MA mix.

As for visuals, both came from the same circa 2019 4K transfer, so improvements related to the superior capabilities of the UHD format. This Dolby Vision looked moderately tighter, brighter and smoother than its BD counterpart. No one should expect the 4K to blow away the 2020 BD, but it becomes a moderate upgrade.

The 4K UHD includes the same extras as the 2020 Blu-ray, though only some reside on the 4K itself, and we launch with an audio commentary from director Martin Brest. He appears alone for this running, screen-specific track. Brest starts well and offers a lot of useful and engaging material during the early parts of the film.

However, after a while he begins to sag, and the track becomes less interesting. The gaps increase in length and frequency, and the remarks themselves seem more mundane.

Nonetheless, he does give us a fair amount of compelling material, and he picks up considerably during the flick’s climax. He relates some debates that occurred along the way, and we find out why the movie’s ending freeze-frame - which he openly despises - appeared in the final piece. Overall, it’s definitely a spotty track, but it has enough worthwhile information to merit a listen.

An Isolated Score can run alongside the film. It provides the music via a Dolby Digital 5.1 rendition. It’s too bad the score doesn’t get the lossless treatment, but it’s still a good bonus.

Four segments appear under Behind the Scenes: 1984 Interviews. We find “Axel’s Wild Ride” (0:46), “Detroit Cops Vs. Beverly Hills Cops” (1:32), “Eddie’s Impromptu Lines” (2:24) and “Taggart and Rosewood” (1:57).

Across these, we get circa 1984 comments from Brest and actor Eddie Murphy. Brest’s remarks about Murphy’s improv in one specific scene add some value, but mostly, these interviews lack much substance.

Finally, BHC ’84 Mixtape offers an alternate form of chapter search. Click on any of the six songs listed and you can leap to its spot in the film. Yeah, it doesn’t do anything for me, either.

Two Deleted Scenes appear: “You Might Be On the Right Track” (2:18) and “Axel Gets Ready for Beverly Hills” (1:31).

“Track” offers more of Axel’s investigation into Mikey’s death while still in Detroit, and “Ready” shows Axel’s prep for his road trip. Both would come up between the shot where Lt. Todd grants Axel his vacation request and Axel’s arrival in California.

Neither offers any useful story information or comedy. Even for a big fan of the movie like me, they’re pretty boring.

Other than the film’s trailer, nothing else appears on the 4K. We do find these same extras and a few more on the included Blu-ray copy.

There we get Beverly Hills Cop: The Phenomenon Begins, a 29-minute, 11-second program about the film. We find a little footage from the set, but mainly it offers movie clips and interviews.

We hear from Brest, Murphy, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, writers Danilo Bach and Dan Petrie, editor Billy Weber, and actors Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher, and Ronny Cox.

All of the participants seem to have been shot specifically for this piece except for Murphy. The credits indicate that his footage comes from Fox, so I’d speculate that it was taped during interviews for one of the Dr. Dolittle flicks.

As such, we don’t get much information from the movie’s star, and the program suffers for it. Some decent information pops up in this show, especially as we learn about the film’s genesis.

Sylvester Stallone’s early involvement is well known, but the documentary expands on this area nicely and lets us know the flick’s development process. It also includes some worthwhile anecdotes from the set, but a lot of it falls back on the usual praise. Enough information appears to make it a good program, but it’s not anything terribly memorable.

During A Glimpse Inside the Casting Process, we get some minor insights into that realm. The nine-minute, 37-second piece includes comments from casting director Margery Simkin as well as director Brest and actors Reinhold, Ashton, Eilbacher, and Cox.

Although some decent tidbits pop up along the way, for the most part this show just echoes a lot of the same kind of praise we heard in the prior program.

An unusual feature, the Location Map shows an LA grid and lets you select seven different locations: “Beverly Hills Police Station”, “Victor Maitland’s Mansion”, “The Biltmore”, “Warehouse”, “Art Gallery”, “Harrow Club” and “Strip Club”.

When you choose one of these, you find comments from production designer Angelo P. Graham, as he tells us about the locations and gives us some useful information about them.

Each of the clips lasts between 28 seconds and 105 seconds for a total of seven minutes, 41 seconds of material. It’s a good collection of information, as we learn some useful facts about the different areas.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get another featurette called The Music of Beverly Hills Cop. This seven-minute, 49-second piece offers statements from producer Bruckheimer, actor Reinhold, director Brest, music editor Bob Badami, and editor Billy Weber.

They discuss most of the pop songs heard in the flick and indicate why they ended up in the movie. It’s a fairly compelling little program.

By the way, prior to this piece, I’d never really considered just how incredibly lame the lyrics to “The Heat Is On” are - they’re absolutely pathetic. Give it a listen and see if you agree!)

Beverly Hills Cop established Eddie Murphy as a major movie star in 1984. Despite his many ups and downs over the years, it remains a fun and lively piece, largely due to his winning and charismatic performance. The 4K UHD includes very nice visuals, decent audio and a reasonably informative set of supplements. Even after more than 35 years, Cop continues to entertain, and the 4K UHD represents it well.

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of BEVERLY HILLS COP

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main