The Heat Is On With Eddie Murphy in “Beverly Hills Cop”

As true this Memorial Day weekend as it is in the dead of winter, the heat is on with Beverly Hills Cop! One of the biggest hits of all time, Beverly Hills Cop is a superb blend of comedy and action that defined 1980s films. Eddie Murphy delivers a career-best performance as maverick Detroit detective Axel Foley, whose search for his friend’s killer leads him to Southern California where he clashes, not only with the crooks, but also with the by-the-book local cops who are stuck in their ways.

With this weekend being considered the official starting point of summer movie season (even though blockbusters have been released pretty-much non stop for well over a month at this point), my mind turns to thoughts of what movies I used to idle away the lazy, school-free months of my youth with. And Beverly Hills Cop was definitely one of these flicks. There are so many classic moments in the film — the opening truck heist, the banana in the tailpipe, Serge, Rosewood nagging Taggart about his red meat ingestion, the strip club holdup sequence, and on and on and on — that it welcomes multiple viewings.

Also helping with the movie’s endless charm is a truly smart and funny script that manages to effortlessly blend big comedic moments with action, a supporting cast that includes memorable performances from Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, and a scene-stealing Bronson Pinchot. (“Do you want it with a lemon twist?”)

Another aspect of Beverly Hills Cop that the film doesn’t get too much credit for these days is how it helped usher in the era of 1980s pop-driven soundtracks, a trend that also impacted Footloose, Top Gun, and other blockbusters of the era. From a 2017 point of view, it’s easy to throw on the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia and just give in to the retro charms of tunes like “The Heat Is On,” “Neutron Dance” and Harold Faltermeyer’s synthy and sensational “Axel-F.” But the fact is that these songs are just great, and as entertaining today as they were all those years ago.

So if you are looking for another movie to watch this long weekend, allow me to humbly suggest Beverly Hills Cop. It’s the perfect 1980s movie, and a great example of how mainstream cinema can be a work of art in its own right.

What’s your favorite moment from this cop comedy? Let us know in the comments below.

We originally ran this post last year and are reprinting it as part of our Memorial Day weekend celebrations