As a 90s kid, Netflix’s Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F made me nostalgic for an action-packed era I never experienced

Axel Foley surrenders to two police officers outside an overturned vehicle as a crowd films him on their phones.
(Image credit: Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix)

New Netflix movie Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F sees Eddie Murphy reprise his iconic role as misfit cop Axel Foley, who returns to Beverly Hills after his daughter Jane’s (Taylour Paige) life is threatened. Like its predecessors, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F starts in Detroit, Axel’s hometown and it’s not long before he gets up to his old mischievous tricks. It’s clear not much has changed for the spritely detective 30-years later as he gets involved with shootouts, car chases and police pursuits.

In addition to a classic soundtrack with the theme tune Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer that everyone remembers to this day, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F director Mark Molloy brought back some of the original cast to capture even more of the legacy sequel magic, including John Ashton as Taggart, Judge Reinhold as Rosewood, Paul Reiser as Jeffrey and Bronson Pinchot as Serge, who join Axel to crack a drug conspiracy.

Of course, with a new reboot comes new characters to try and attract a fresh audience to the 80s cult classic. Paige stars as Axel’s estranged daughter Jane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer) plays Axel’s new Beverly Hills Police Department liaison Bobby Abbott and Kevin Bacon joins the cast as Captain Grant. In Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, it’s not just cops and robbers that attracts Axel back to Beverly Hills, but the chance to reconcile with Jane and develop a relationship outside of his work. 

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F | Official Trailer | Netflix - YouTube Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F | Official Trailer | Netflix - YouTube
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Hot shot cop isn’t a flop – even if you haven’t seen the original movies

As someone who has never seen the hit 1980s blockbuster franchise Beverly Hills Cop, I had no idea what to expect from the fourth installment, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. Of course, I had definitely heard of the iconic action comedy, but in an era of reboots and remakes, I usually find myself asking if I need to have watched the previous movie to understand the new one – and in this case, it would have definitely helped. But that didn’t distract me from experiencing the completely bonkers, fun action sequences that everyone clearly loved in the 80s and somehow made me nostalgic for an era I didn’t even live through. 

I also didn’t realize how much of a cultural phenomenon Beverly Hills Cop was when it was first released. The blockbuster is a trailblazer within the American buddy cop genre, with the first movie becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of the year and being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1985. It later birthed two sequels with 1987’s Beverly Hills Cop II and 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop III. The original movie was such a success that its theme tune Axel F reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and years later became an Internet meme when Crazy Frog covered it in 2005 (I’m sad to admit that it was the cover I instantly recognized while watching the movie). 

A still from the movie Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

(Image credit: Netflix)

Reboots and remakes are a hot topic of discussion among filmgoers, with Hollywood often facing pushback when a movie is just a regurgitation of another old movie. Cult classics and multimillionaire-dollar franchises often fall victim to the reboot treatment with A Nightmare on Elm Street, Charlie’s Angels, Ghostbusters, Fantastic Four and Oldboy all making it onto the hefty list of failed reboots.

But when Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F director Mark Molloy took on the challenge of creating the fourth movie in the film franchise, he was eager to bring back the qualities everyone loved from the 80s classic, which were (obviously) Eddie Murphy, the original cast, the stylish residents of Beverly Hills, a hit soundtrack and thrilling action that defined the 80s buddy cop movies.

Eddie Murphy in the movie poster for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

(Image credit: Netflix)

As I mentioned before, I have never watched the original trilogy, so the legacy of the beloved characters may have been slightly lost on me. However, their hilarious banter and zingy dialogue can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter whether you’ve seen the previous movies before or not. The same goes for the crazy action sequences and Axel’s outrageous humor, which had me laughing out loud throughout the whole 115 minutes run-time. Although if you’re like me and haven’t yet chewed through the original Beverly Hills Cop movies, you probably wouldn’t recognize some of the recreated scenes, but you will still enjoy seeing them for the first time even if you’re not familiar with the source material.

As for the star of the show, Murphy is a crowd-pleaser with every role he plays, so you're already guaranteed a roller-coaster ride of entertainment. Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F definitely feels like the start of a new series of movies that will kick off a new era for Axel and hopefully it proves to be better than the dead and buried Beverly Hill Cop III, which received a dire 11% Rotten Tomatoes score and didn’t make it onto our best Netflix movies list.

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Grace Morris
Entertainment Writer

After graduating with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, Grace dived into the world of entertainment where she started writing all about the must-watch shows and movies at What To Watch. Now Grace is on her next writing adventure at TechRadar, where she uses her expertise to help readers keep up to date on the biggest TV shows and movies in the ever-changing world of streaming. If she’s not writing about her passion for entertainment, you’ll find her watching reality shows while feasting on chocolate.