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Netflix revives '80s classic movie series - and you can stream now

Can you hear the theme tune playing in your head yet?

Netflix revives '80s classic movie series - and you can stream now
Andrew Williams
03 July 2024

Eddie Murphy is back in a new Beverley Hills Cop movie and, despite a 30-year gap since the last, this is far from the worst we’ve seen in the series to date.

In Beverley Hills Cop: Axel F, Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold return to one of the greatest action-comedy movie series of all time for another go.

It’s available to stream at Netflix right now, alongside the other three films in the series. Who's up for a series rewatch?

Here’s a fact that will make some of you feel old: did you know the original Beverly Hills Cop is 40 years old this year?

Over the Hills

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F sees Axel Foley return to Beverly Hills. His daughter is in danger, and he teams up with a new partner, played by Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, to get to the bottom of the threat.

Is it any good? The consensus so far is while this fourth movie in the series is no match for the original, it is a cut above the third one from 1994.

Netflix revives '80s classic movie series - and you can stream now
Image Credit: Netflix

Empire gave the movie 3/5, saying "It’s cheerfully old-fashioned and easy. It feels like you should be popping open a VHS case to watch it.”

IGN’s even stronger 8/10 review suggests this is a cut above some recent series resurrections, saying “if you were as disappointed with Coming 2 America’s family-friendly overhaul as I was, rest assured that hasn’t happened here."

The Roger Ebert website gave Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F a strong 3/4 review. “From the beginning, “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” is buoyant and playful in a way that legacy sequels usually aren’t allowed to be, and that was arguably missing in the more leaden second and third films in this series,” it says.

Look just a little further and you’ll find plenty of less positive write-ups. The common theme is Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is stuck in the 80s, and the schtick is starting to look a bit stale.

“There’s something a bit tired and formulaic about this further go-around for his iconic Detroit cop Axel Foley from the Beverly Hills Cop action-comedy franchise which 40 years ago made Murphy an explosive Hollywood star,” says The Guardian’s 2/5 review.

Whether you like it or end up thoroughly uninspired seems to hinge on your take on the “dated or not” question.

Despite heading straight to streaming, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F was not a cut-price production.

It had a reported $150 million budget, making it the most expensive film of the series to date, even after accounting for inflation. The first in the series, from 1984, had an estimated $13 million budget ($39 million after inflation).

Beverly Hill Cop: Alex F was directed by Mark Molloy who, miraculously, has not directed a feature film before. His other was in advertising.

"I got a call one day from Jerry Bruckheimer (series producer), who had seen the work I’ve done and he was like, “I want to make a movie together! I love what you do."," Molloy told the AU Review.

Judging by the reception of Beverly Hills Cop: Alex F we may see plenty more from Molloy over the coming years.