A laughably bad entry in a franchise that helped build Eddie Murphy’s career.
By the time “Beverly Hills Cop III” hit cinemas it had been ten-years since the original. Eddie Murphy’s acting career was in a slight decline to many and he was clearly trying to bolster it by taking another shot at the role that helped make him famous.
When director John Landis worked with Eddie Murphy in “Coming to America” the result was a comedic masterpiece, this time around the result was much less fun although it did entertain during brief moments.
The plot was the same old story, virtually a remix of the second film with a change in bosses, and the illegal dealing of goods changing from weapons to counterfeit bills. The theme of the setting being an amusement park could have led to some fun action-sequences but the result was not what it could have been in my opinion.
Eddie Murphy after this film slowly began to phase his career from adult themed comedian to more of a Disney brand of comedy with many roles and voice-overs. This film had a very childish humor and it may have translated well to younger audience, but it completely killed the tone for me. The tone was so far gone in this movie it never really felt like a real sequel to a couple of solid entries in the franchise.
The result was a lighthearted film that tried to be an action-comedy aimed for the wrong audience. The jokes in this one were recycled from other films and failed to deliver more than the occasional chuckle. Also the antagonist was not the slightest bit intimidating, he never felt like a threat to Axel Foley, thus garnered zero intrigue.
The action was tamed down to the point it was extremely cheesy and unrealistic. When the action should be ramping up the tension in this one it only managed to deliver some eye-rolls and faint smirks. This film was for kids, and kids are not the ones who invested their time in the franchise since the 80’s. This and many other reasons are why it was not even a glimmer of the quality that the first two brought to the screen.
Another thing missing from this one was the great soundtrack the Beverly Hills Cop series had been known for. Not only was this film missing the great brand of music, it also featured a slow mangled version of the very theme song to the series which also added to the overly lighthearted feel of this one. The soundtrack went from excellent in the first two films to simply odd and out of place in this one.
“Beverly Hills Cop III” is not completely horrible but it is much closer to that, than it is to being good. With the announcement of a fourth film being made, it will have to be pretty bad to keep part three from being the least entertaining of the franchise, as Murphy looks to resurrect his career as a headliner once again.
Time: 104 min
MPAA Rating: R (For language and some violence)