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Review: Beverly Hills Cop III

May 13, 2012

Well, another late review, but I’m getting better – I’m only behind by two days on this one.

In 1982, a young African-American comedian was chosen to play a convict tapped to help solve a crime in forty-eight hours.

This is not that story.

No, this is the story of that same comedian, somewhat older now, and riding high on his success – two feature-length stand-up specials and a decade of acting in movies, including two popular series. And then…Beverly Hills Cop III.

Our tale starts in Detroit, where after advising him to use SWAT, Axel Foley witnesses Inspector Douglas Todd being gunned down during a raid on a chop shop, after all the mechanics inside have been killed by the person that they hijacked a load of blank bank notes for so that he can counterfeit money using an off-brand Disneyland as a front and do you see why this is considered the worst movie in the series?

I mean, I didn’t intend to give away the entire plot just now, but…it’s just too damn linear. Everything runs into everything else, and it really feels overly complex to me, to the point where I try to explain just the opening, and I wind up giving away the crown jewels, if it can be called that. It didn’t have to be like this. It really, really didn’t. The logic of the big bad in this movie just doesn’t add up. The murders that kicked off this movie are completely unnecessary, and Inspector Todd’s death is cheapened by the series of killings feeling like a plot device.

Eddie Murphy has admitted that he feels that Beverly Hills Cop III is the most disappointing of the series. And yeah, I can see where he’s coming from. But you have to take into consideration what was going on in Hollywood at the time. You’ve got guys like Wesley Snipes and Denzel Washington doing really serious movies like New Jack City and Philedelphia, and Eddie Murphy has John Landis trying to get him to do shtick when he’s in a serious mood.

And for all I’ve said about the bad in this movie, it does have some good aspects. Bronson Pinchot is back with his character having undergone development from the first movie, now an arms dealer – legit – selling the most insane gun I’ve ever seen in my life. It has a boom box and a microwave in it. A lot of the action scenes are well done, especially the finale in Wonder World. And the best joke in the movie (in my opinion) comes from Judge Reinhold reprising his role as Billy Rosewood, now the deputy director of something-0r-other, where he mobilizes a good dozen or so LA police units, including SWAT, to open the back of an empty truck.

In short, the movie isn’t terrible, but I’m not exactly rushing out to get the DVD either. I’d call it a good flick for a bad Saturday afternoon.

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