5 Reasons You'd Want ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ Axel Foley in Your Unit

Eddie Murphy "Beverly Hills Cop"
Eddie Murphy stars as Axel Foley in "Beverly Hills Cop." (Paramount)

All three "Beverly Hills Cop" movies have been remastered and reissued in the "Beverly Hills Cop: 3 Movie Collection" Blu-ray box set, available for around $25.

The first two movies are as great as ever, and the third one has aged better than the negative reviews it got at the time. 1994's "Beverly Hills Cop" marked one of the last times that R-rated Eddie Murphy appeared onscreen before he took a 25-year, family-friendly turn ("Shrek," "Nutty Professor," "Doctor Dolittle") before the foul-mouthed (and funnier) version returned in 2019's "Dolemite Is My Name."

To review: Murphy plays Axel Foley, a Detroit cop who pursues a murder investigation lead to Los Angeles and gets tangled up with the Beverly Hills Police Department. That's the basic plot of all three movies, even though the reasons for getting him back to LA get harder to believe with each sequel.

Foley is a talented cop who just can't do things by the book. He drives his supervisors crazy and pisses off authority figures everywhere he goes. That got us to thinking: Whatever his problems with following orders, Axel has a lot of qualities that make him an excellent guy to have in your unit.

WARNING: Like many loyal and honorable military men, Foley and his fellow cops have a tendency to use colorful language. If such language upsets you, you'd be advised not to watch the video clips below.

1. He's an expert marksman.

Axel learned his trade on the streets of Detroit, a city that had the reputation of being an American war zone back in the '80s. He shows up at a Beverly Hills gun club and shows the amateurs how it's done.

2. He knows how to handle an ass-chewing.

After an undercover operation goes wrong, Foley's Inspector Todd (brilliantly played by real-life Detroit police detective Gilbert R. Hill) tears into Axel for his reckless behavior. Foley patiently takes his medicine, waiting for his boss to yell himself out. Who doesn't want to stand next to that guy?

Hill made only three movies during his lifetime: "Beverly Hills Cop," "Beverly Hills Cop 2" and "Beverly Hills Cop 3." He used his movie fame to run for Detroit mayor in 2001, but the power of inspector didn't carry him to victory. Still, Gil Hill is the R. Lee Ermey of police detectives and deserves to be recognized for his exceptional skills with profanity.

3. He has the patience to communicate with foreign nationals.

Back in Detroit, they sure don't have outrageous Eurotrash like Serge (Bronson Pinchot), but those guys are all over Beverly Hills. Axel has the patience and grace to listen to Serge and effectively communicate with a guy who even Hollywood types would find to be a real challenge.

His performance as Serge led to Pinchot's signature role as Balki in the television comedy "Perfect Strangers." That kept Serge out of "Beverly Hills Cop 2," but he was back for "Beverly Hills Cop 3."

4. He can take a beating.

As Foley investigates the murder of his childhood friend in "Beverly Hills Cop," he confronts the man he thinks is responsible for the death and gets roughed up by the bad guy's goon squad.

Axel doesn't flinch, doesn't whine and doesn't complain (much). He's got both the mental and physical toughness you want from a guy who needs to have your six.

5. He knows how to pack for a trip.

When Axel pulls up to a Beverly Hills hotel in his old beater of a Chevy Nova, the bellman asks if he can take his luggage. Foley directs him to the car's front seat and he pulls out … a laundry bag that bears a striking resemblance to a duffel bag. The man travels light and he's ready for action.

No matter what drama he creates, Axel Foley catches the bad guy and completes the mission. He even gets the Beverly Hills detectives (played by John Ashton and Judge Reinhold) to loosen up and learn that sometimes it's better not to do things by the book.

Wouldn't you want to serve with a guy like that?

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