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There's gotta be a better way
on 26 May 2011
Long ago, when Eddie Murphy was the biggest star in Hollywood, Beverly Hills Cop 2 was the most anticipated film of 1987. Movies like Trading Places and 48 Hours made Murphy famous. But Axel Foley made him a superstar. Impressed by Top Gun (even though it's a truly awful film), Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer brought Tony Scott on board to direct. What they forgot to do was polish the script.
Foley returns to Beverly Hills to help solve 'The Alphabet Crimes' after his old pal Lt. Bogomil is gunned down in the street. With Taggart and Rosewood in tow (now actually doing police work instead of standing by) Axel uncovers a seriously convoluted conspiracy.
The story should have taken a back seat to allow Murphy to work over the massive holes in the plot with his distracting wisecracks. I won't lie to you, there are some utterly horrible contrivances in BHC2 (Bogomil's daughter digging up dirt at the insurance company she just happens to work at is honestly the most obnoxious movie coincidence of all time), but you'll just have to suffer them.
This might have been easy to overlook, but Tony Scott, still finding his feet as a director, and his editors turn a great deal of the film into an incomprehensible mess. Some of the continuity errors are just baffling (where did Rosewood get the coffee cup from at the night club crash scene?) and it makes the action quite hard to follow.
However, Tony Scott's highly visual style of filmmaking is far more suiting to this kind of environment. The wealth and decadence of late 80s California is all over this movie, and it's the only aspect where it improves on the original. I doubt the latter day Scott would make the movie this way, but it's definitely the best looking of the trilogy. It's also the only one to be shot in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio (however it's Super35 instead of the superior anamorphic Panavision format).
The Blu-ray is a VAST improvement over the awful DVD and sports a lovely 2.35:1 1080p picture with bold colors and deep blacks. The sound also fares a lot better in DTS HD-MA, but there are no extras whatsoever. Even the menu is completely static with no music.