Following up greatness is hardly an easy task, but there was enough about Beverly Hills Cop II to suggest that Eddie Murphy’s return as Axel Foley could match the success of its predecessor, which went down as the biggest hit of 1984, helped launch the leading man into the Hollywood stratosphere, and became an instant action comedy classic.
For one thing, Murphy was still one of the most popular and bankable stars in the industry, one who could put butts in seats based on his name alone, while Tony Scott stepped in to replace Martin Brest behind the camera in what was the director’s first feature since Top Gun had taken everyone’s breath away the previous summer.
In the end, though, Beverly Hills Cop II earned less money and scored weaker reviews than its predecessor, while there’s a glaring lack of freshness on display throughout. Foley returns to Los Angeles from Detroit (again), and ends up helping detectives Rosewood and Taggart (again) investigate a criminal conspiracy that puts all of their lives in danger (again), one that has surprising ties to many of the key characters (again).
Familiarity didn’t quite breed contempt in this instance, as evidenced by a $300 million box office haul, but it was a huge disappointment compared to the original, even if it was markedly superior to the third film. Nonetheless, following in the footsteps of the opening chapter, Beverly Hills Cop II has become the latest entry in the franchise to point and shoot on the Paramount Plus charts, as per FlixPatrol.