Plot: What’s it about?
With the amazing success of Beverly Hills Cop, we knew there would be a sequel. Of course, this was back in the day when they made sequels to movies that were actually successful (unlike today). Murphy, interestingly enough, wasn’t really interested in a sequel. The “rules” of a sequel are simple: they must entertain the audience and give them something that they had not seen in the first installment. While the Bruckheimer/Simpson duo had gained even more momentum since the first (with the help of a little movie called Top Gun), they made Tony Scott the director of the second installment. Murphy had taken a chance at the script, but to no success. By his own admission, Scott essentially admits that he had no idea what he was doing on the movie as he had only experience with one other big-budget movie in the past (Top Gun). Still, the movie was a big money-maker and though not quite as original as the first, gave the audience it’s money’s worth.
Now with the cast all returning (even Paul Reiser stops in for a cameo), we need someone else to die! Right? It so happens that Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox) who had been Axel’s nemesis in the original, has just been murdered. He had been jogging and was getting a little too close to uncovering a gun smuggling scheme. It’s then that Axel has to head back out to Beverly Hills and re-establish his contacts with Rosewood and Taggert (the three of them made the movie work in the first place, so it would seem logical that they would all return to do the sequel). Giving a bit more insight into Rosewood’s (Judge Reinhold) character, it’s evident that he’s a real gun nut (ironically, the plot of the movie revolves around guns). The movie does take a bit of time to develop the relationship between the three, instead of us relying on Murphy’s laugh to get us through the movie. Look for Brigette Nielsen (at the time, Sylvester Stallone’s main squeeze) and Dean Stockwell to show up as well.
While Beverly Hills Cop II does deliver on most all the levels, it’s not the same as the first one. Tony Scott did a decent job directing, but as with most sequels, it can never equal the original. Odds are that if you liked the first, then you’ll have no problem enjoying the second one as well. The picture is a bit brighter, the sound a bit better and most all of the cast returns to give us more of what we want. Paramount has not included as many extras as the first one, but it’s not a bad package (especially considering it’s a Paramount title, whose ‘Special Editions’ are few and far between). Fans of the movie will love it and though it might not be an “automatic buy” like Beverly Hills Cop, it’s on my shelf!
Video: How does it look?
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s been some time, quite some time actually, since I sat down and watched this one. The main thing I remember was that this was filmed in scope (2.35:1) whereas Martin Brest’s original was flat (1.85:1). Still, it’s a bit irrelevant but Paramount has gotten around to this point in their catalog where they’re giving older films new 4K transfers. This is a good thing. The uptick in video quality is immediately noticeable. Even the Paramount logo looks stunning. Improved color, stronger contrast and black levels and, naturally, the enhanced detail all breathe some new life into this title (that’s nearly four decades old). There are still a few blips and such that caught my eye, but on the whole this one looks pretty darn good.
Audio: How does it sound?
Those hoping for a new Dolby Atmos track will be let down as all we get here is a DTS HD Master Audio mix. The range is very dynamic and the surrounds are used sparingly and rather effectively. Dialogue is very consistent and free of distortion as well. There does seem to be a bit of a limited dynamic range, like they were trying to make something out of nothing (an odd way to describe it, I know). The film has its moments when it comes to the audio, though it’s nothing that got me too excited, either.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In the “I hope you like the movie, because that’s all you’re going to get” category we’ve got this. Not a supplement to be found. I guess if you’ve got your special edition Blu-ray set, hold onto that for the supplements.
The Bottom Line
Beverly Hills Cop made Eddie Murphy a star. And this sequel cemented his status. The 80’s were, in essence, his. While it’s nice to have a 4K issue of the film, the lack of supplements and somewhat iffy audio mix might turn off all but the most die-hard fans.