Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite Thing from the 80s.

Beverly Hills Cop, 1984, directed by Martin Brest.

My brother and I used to watch this for all the swearing and gun fights; we both swore we'd live in a house just like Victor Maitland's someday. There's no real way for me to be eloquent about this, this is just a kick-ass fucking film. I love everything about it, the car chases, the writing, the soundtrack, the comedy, the physical jokes and acting, the ideology, ALL.

"What's the charge for getting thrown out of a moving vehicle,
Yes, (not to get too Folwell Hall about it) the ideology. Most of the theories I read in school about this sort of film were how in buddy/cop films, the black man could never achieve legitimacy without a white partner, but here it's definitely reversed. Axel Foley, a black police detective from Detroit, comes to Beverly Hills to investigate a friend's murder, and while obviously out of place, it's he who is bringing legitimacy to the white Beverly Hills Police officers, not the other way around. He has a sense of humor, they do not. His experience undercover has brought him knowledge of things that these guys wouldn't consider (drugs packed in coffee grounds, banana in the tailpipe, picking locks, posing as Maitland's scorned Herpes-infected lover at the Harrow club, etc.). He's clever! And they're not. It's not just a joke, either, he's the one getting the results while they stand around like fools. Noticing this time around that they really did a great job of showing scenes of Detroit later contrasted with scenes of Beverly Hills (the have nots vs. the haves), I appreciated it even more. Someone could remake this film here and just use content from North Minneapolis juxtaposed with the pumpkin latte-throwing Edina jerks. Yes, I have an Edina complex; that's another post.

So, it's no secret that I really, really love Eddie Murphy (ROBBED OF AN OSCAR for DREAM GIRLS, still pissed. . . ) and mostly it's because of this film. The first time I saw it, I knew from the moment he grabbed that chain on the back of the cigarette truck that I was already in love with the film.
That stunt of the bus actually doing a 180 in the middle of the street? Genius! That semi-driver swerving to ram into the train of police cars following him and then their anticipation of the swerve and counter-swerving away? Glorious! I love smoke shows, car chases, things of this nature, and this film is full of them!

There are a million more things to say about this, mostly all dialogue-related ("Hey Axel, you got a cigarette?") And Inspector Todd is still my favorite. 11 F words in normal conversation under a minute. Legendary.

Beverly Hills Cop 2, 1987, directed by Tony Scott.

Also very, very good. The Europeans are taking over! This was much flashier, late 80s, more California, but I thought still had the same ring as the first film. Music stepped up a bit, bigger actors taking part, cameo by Hugh Heffner, etc. Nice.

So these films aren't that edgey, granted. But sometimes I just kind of do what I want, you know? To make up for shit-canning 8mm I'll make a deal with you: Inglourious Basterds.


Donald said...

Beverly Hills Cop is on my list of favorite movies ever. It's just perfect entertainment. I love it.

But Eddie Murphy didn't deserve an Oscar for Dreamgirls. I thought that movie was ok but overrated. And Beverly Hills Cop 2 pretty much sucked. But it was better than 3.

Still... Beverly Hills Cop... classic. I still remember seeing it in the theaters. My dad took me and my sisters to see it, and well all pretty much agreed that it was the best movie ever made.

Anna said...

i'll grant you that the first one is far superior, but i still think 2 had some good moments, my favorite being taggart falling into the pool "get the hell outta there, you're still a goddamned police officer for christ's sake, you're gonna get us all in deep shit!" Axel says in RAMON voice,

and how many times did he flash his DETROIT badge for how many different fake reasons and they all just bought it! what a bunch of idiots.

normally i hate musicals, and i can't say i loved the film dream girls but his performance was killer. who got it that year, that old fucker in Miss Sunshine?