Review: ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’ Is The Perfect Summer Action-Comedy

By Ricky Valero
Published: July 3, 2024
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F Review - A Nostalgic Action-Comedy
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F | Image via Netflix


Eddie Murphy returns to the iconic role of Axel Foley and brings his A game. Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is the perfect action comedy for the summer.

Forty years after the debut of Axel Foley, Eddie Murphy returns to the iconic character in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, streaming on Netflix. The moment this was announced, I was equally excited and scared because I wasn’t sure if they would try to tame Axel Foley in a modern way.

In a summer filled with nostalgia, which kicked off with Bad Boys: Ride or Die, Murphy teams with old friends Judge Reinhold and John Ashton to continue the trend.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F sees our favorite back-talking, no-nonsense, do-what-he-wants Detective Axel Foley returning and teaming up with old and new faces to hunt down the people trying to kill his daughter.

As always, Axel Foley marches to the beat of his own drum, and we see Foley at a hockey game, where he is ready to take down a crime group and rob the entire arena. Like many of his previous missions, he is able to apprehend the suspects, but not before making a mess of the city again. After the case is over, an old friend, Lt. Rosewood, calls Foley to inform him his daughter was almost murdered by some local henchmen trying to keep the murder of a cop under wraps.

My biggest fear heading into this movie was whether or not they would try to rein in Axel Foley and modernize him in any way. Had they done this, the entire purpose of Foley and his hilarious character would have been useless. However, I am happy to report that Eddie Murphy not only didn’t allow that, but he brought the Foley we all loved forty years ago back on our screen — he’s funnier than ever. Murphy is comedic royalty and stepped up and proved why he is the goat of all goats when it comes to comedy.

Unpacking Foley’s layers isn’t something we always did early on in the franchise, but adding an aspect of him fighting for his daughter is a touch we haven’t seen from his character yet. When you watch Murphy in this film, you feel this sense of urgency behind wanting to bring Foley back in a way only he could. He knows this is a sacred character and wants to do it justice, and he does.

The writers of Axel F do a great job of blending nostalgia with the introduction of the new pivotal characters. Foley’s relationship with Taggart and Rosewood is as funny as ever, and the added touch of bringing back Serge was perfect. Kevin Bacon is our main antagonist and is incredibly easy to hate. Taylour Paige is electric, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt reminds the world how great he can be.

If you are walking into Axel F with the expectations of things falling in place perfectly, you are out of your mind. The story is somewhat cut and dry, but it is a good one. Foley wanders about the city, does what he wants, and can escape every sticky situation. Does it make sense? No. Is it amazing to watch unfold? 100%.

In each of the first three movies, the composers always did a great job of tying in that little whimsical beat familiar with the franchise within the score. Composer Lorne Balfe, who also composed Bad Boys: Ride or Die, ensured that nostalgic feeling was there for audiences while also tying together his own touch. Also, Lil Nas X’s “Here We Go,” featured in the film, is pretty great.

Ultimately, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F was everything I wanted it to be and more. We have the return of an iconic character in Axel Foley, who makes us laugh, creates some chaos, and takes us for a ride of nostalgia. Come for the callbacks, but stay for the fun new twists and turns that will make you feel like you are in Wonderworld all over again.

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