Alex Foley, the smart-talking Detroit cop, returns to Beverly Hills when he discovers his friend Captain Andrew Bogomil has been shot and injured. There he teams up with former partners detectives Rosewood and Taggart to solve a series of alphabet robber
Sensibly made within touching distance of the original hit, with Murphy’s growing influence according him the right to conceptualise the story for the sequel, this is a suitably pumped, fish-back-out-of-water facsimile of what came before. Although, getting big gun director Tony Scott to take up where Martin Brest let drop, puts the emphasis on a darker shade of violence, which sits uneasily with the flip dialogue and localised satire.
The new badguys, and such is their hammy scowling they might as well wear t-shirts exclaiming “evil gun runner and family,” are populated by the stiff-jawed trio of Jurgen Prochnow, Dean Stockwell and giantess Brigette Nielsen, but their labyrinthine schemes are damn near incomprehensible. Once again, that isn’t really the point. Scott’s slick camera must rest on the exuberant fizzog of Mr. Murphy, rapping out his foul-mouthed jive to the general irritation of the stiff locals and inept police department. And being an outta-towner, our loveable wag gets to play pretend as a Caribbean psychic, a blabbering building inspector and the man in charge of Hugh Hefner’s pool maintenance. Shamefully, as trite and mechanical as all this blather most certainly is, it works. Murphy, for a decade, nestled happily in the exalted glow of superstardom – as long as he plied his energised shtick.
Scott does get to have some fun with the set pieces, concocting heady chases, shot with the luxuriant sheen that was the trademark of uber-producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. They, of all people, knew the sequel should do more.
The second sequel left things far too late, coming seven years later with John Landis at the helm. Murphy seemed drained of fizz and the plot a clunky and cheap-looking riff on Die Hard set in a theme park. They had forgotten that when it comes to the ready gloss of the action-comedy, God is in the padding.
Action sequel that stands up for itself...Murphy was back and just as charming.