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EDDIE MURPHY LEADS THE ACTION/COMEDY 'BEVERLY HILLS COP'

Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP Year: 1984 Rating: ****1/2

Eddie Murphy had one of the greatest trifectas in the history of hot young stars: while the breakout favorite of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, he co-starred opposite Nick Nolte in Walter Hill's action flick with comedy 48 HRS; then against Dan Aykroyd in John Landis's straight-out comedy TRADING PLACES; followed by his first solo starring role in BEVERLY HILLS COP, both a full-blown comedy and deadly serious action flick...

The latter because his buddy's brutal death by Jonathan Banks is as grim as things get, leading Murphy's cocky yet misadventurous Detroit cop Axl Foley into Beverly Hills, California, where the contrast between the black former street kid and the plastic rich white man's land provides a sublime template for an edgy yet affable Murphy...

Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP with Lisa Eilbacher and Judge Reinhold

Yet it's character-driven even beyond his vignettes of fast-talking in and out of corners with Judge Reinhold and John Ashton as polar opposite naive and veteran cops, complimenting Eddie's style while carrying what's a fairly basic revenge tale (originally intended as a high-octane Sylvester Stallone vehicle)... 

Enveloped in an intriguing investigation also featuring Lisa Elibacher as a non-romantic co-lead; Bronson Pinchot in one of the all-time greatest cameos; Steven Berkoff as a smug villain that the dead-eyed Banks works for and that Murphy's Foley... as gravely earnest as he's downright hilarious... has his sites on — long before fervently zeroing in. 

Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Jonathan Banks in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Steven Berkoff in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Lisa Eilbacher in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP with Judge Reinhold
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP with Judge Reinhold, John Ashton & Ronny Cox
Steven Berkoff in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Bronson Pinchot in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Frank Pesce and Gene Borkan in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP with real life cop Gilbert R. Hill & Paul Reiser
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP
James Russo in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Jonathan Banks and Michael Champion in BEVERLY HILLS COP
Eddie Murphy in BEVERLY HILLS COP

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