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Netflix's new number new movie is the return of an '80s cop classic

Eddie Murphy is back in a reprise of one of his iconic roles of years past...

Netflix's new number new movie is the return of an '80s cop classic
Andrew Williams
08 July 2024

This week’s least surprising film news is Beverly Hills Cop: Alex F has shot right to the top of Netflix’s movie streaming chart.

The film sits in the top slot in more than 70 countries, according to Flixpatrol.

However, we won’t know the scale of this hit until Netflix’s own numbers arrive in the coming days.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F turned out to be a pleasant surprise at release. Returns to classic series like this sound a recipe for disaster, but this one is perfectly solid.

The film currently has a 67% freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes. And the critical consensus is Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is, at the very least, better than 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop 3.

Netflix's new number new movie is the return of an '80s cop classic
Image Credit: Netflix

Axel Foley returns to the streets of Beverly Hills to investigate a conspiracy with new partner Bobby, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Familiar faces Judge Reinhold and John Ashton return too.

The film is directed by Mark Molloy, in a debut following a career directing adverts.

We’re likely to see more from Molloy. While Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is not a 5-star smash, it avoids making too many people question why this series has been resurrected, 30 years after the last entry.

“All involved have done a solid job in executing what most fans likely want from a very belated Beverly Hills Cop sequel,” says Empire’s 3-star review.

The Roger Ebert website gave the film a strong 3/4 review: “it reminds viewers just how charming Murphy can be in the right material by giving him talented supporting players to bounce his comic timing off.”

CNN also liked Axel F, saying “as breezy escapism goes, those armed with the proper attitude might find themselves doing the neutron dance, or a version of it, all over again.”

The Chicago Sun-Times is a bit more tentatively positive: "the very definition of passable, comfort-viewing, nostalgia-tinged entertainment… It’s just a shame they got the band together after three decades, only to have them perform by-the-book renditions of the same old songs.”

This touches on the source for the more negative reviews, of which there are plenty. Some may find Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F a bit tired, a bit old-fashioned, and lacking the bite of the original classic. But 40 years on, this doesn’t seem a bad result for a retread of old ground.