• Craig Hunter

80's Cop Movies

Oh boy.

Let's take a look at three 80's cop movies that I was really looking forward to revisiting.  WAS really looking forward to revisiting...then I watched them...

First up is Beverly Hills Cop (1984), with Eddie Murphy, playing a character inexplicably named Axel Foley.  Also starring the inexplicably named Judge Reinhold, Seinfeld's "The Close Talker", and Ronnie Cox, "Dick Jones" from Robocop, and Steven Birkhoff, Quark's cousin Galia's boss from Deep Space Nine.

Next up we tackle 48 Hours (1982), starring, again, Eddie Murphy--and Gary Busey impersonator--Nick Nolte.  Why do I always confuse these guys...apparently it's not just me.

Lastly, Cobra (1986), with Sylvester Stallone as Cobra and Brian Thompson, the Alien Bounty Hunter from the X-Files.

Let's dive right in.

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Axel Foley is an arrogant cop who puts himself in danger and doesn't follow the rules because he thinks he knows better than his superiors and--more then anything else--he wants to catch bad guys.  When a dodgy old friend comes into town and is killed, Axel travels to Beverly Hills to track down the killers, and a fish out of water flick ensues.

When I rewatched this film I hadn't seen it since I was a kid and I really wanted to like it...then I watched it.

The opening scene is a lot of fun.  It captures the feel of casual prejudice that was present in the 80's as a black man, Eddie Murphy, tries to sell stolen goods to two mob like Italian gents and their plan is foiled by two white cops who unknowingly stumble onto the scene.  A long and slow truck chase with lots of property damage ensues culminating in Axel emerging from a pile of stolen cigarettes and the cops realizing that it was just Axel undercover again.

Like a lot of 80's movies, the music is incredible: "The Heat is On", "Neutron Dance", "Stir It Up", "Do You Really (Want My Love)", "New Attitude".  But that's where it ends.  As soon as Axel leaves Detroit for Beverly Hills, the movie tanked.  It wasn't funny, on purpose or otherwise--save for Balki Bartokomous from Perfect Strangers asking to make Axel an Espresso.

One thing I did enjoy was the names.  You name a cop from Detroit after a car part, a blond white girl gets the whitest name you can think of, Jenny Summers, and Detective Rosewood...I think that's a penis reference.

Check out Beverly Hills Cop on Amazon

48 Hrs. (1982)

It's spelled "Hrs." not "Hours"...seriously.

Listen, if you don't have time to type the "ou" in "hours" then you don't have time to make the film.  And that's not such a bad thing.  This is another film that started out as a promising 80's cop movie with the chain gang and the obvious escape attempt that the guards somehow missed and then the criminals on the run.  It's at the point that Eddie Murphy enters the movie that things start to go downhill.  The tension between Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy is contrived, and boring.  I don't even

remember how the movie ended.

There were some things that I did like.  Annette O'Toole, Margot Rose, and Denise Crosby looked really 80's sexy.  I liked Nick Nolte's camel coloured blazer.  I liked Billy from Predator...he has a really unique voice.

If you really love Eddie Murphy or Nick Nolte and you just have to collect all of their movies, then Check out 48 HRS on Amazon

Cobra (1986)

I loved this movie when I was young.  I was probably 10 or 11 years old when I used to watch it and you can see how the pointless violence and the casual coolness of Stallone would be like a wet dream for a kid too young to be watching this type of movie.

Revisiting this movie as an adult is a dreadful experience.  I felt nothing for any of the characters.  There is no humour in the film.  Brigitte Nielsen is completely unappealing to me.  The plot was lost on me.  I didn't really understand why the cult group was killing people or what they wanted to achieve.  I didn't really get why Stallone's character was so motivated to get bad-guys in a reckless fashion.

Stay away from this film.

If you must own it, check out Cobra on Amazon

Better yet, check out this double feature of Cobra and Tango & Cash on Amazon.com