Beverley Hills Cop III Review

In the last part of the trilogy Axl Foley is out to find the killer of his boss. After predictably teaming up with his regular partner (Reinhold), they follow him to Wonder World where they discover he and his lackeys have been hiding out. Cue lots of gunfights and explosions.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1994

Running Time:

104 minutes



Original Title:

Beverley Hills Cop III

When Beverley Hills Cop II came out in 1987, an Eddie Murphy Movie meant an automatic box office smash. After some career set-backs and serious box-office failures this was a pretty desperate measure on Mr. M's part to grind out another follow-up to his 1984 smash. Stranger still, this project involves a reunion with John Landis, even though Murphy once said Landis had a better chance of working again with Vic Morrow.

Throw in a budget that could underwrite the invasion of Brazil, and you have a recipe for a huge opening weekend and a gradual tail-off into oblivion. As an afterthought, the film tries to come up with a story, borrowing Hitchcock's cherished idea of setting a murder mystery in Disneyland but doing nothing with it apart from wreck expensive sets.

A raid on a chop shop in Detroit goes wrong when the cops come up against unexpectedly well-armed bad guys led by Timothy Carhart, an especially creepy suit with a sideline in killing people, including Axel Foley's (Murphy) loveable boss. After this setup, Axel traces Carhart to Wonder World, a Disneyland lookalike, and between visits to Beverly Hills to rope in series regular Reinhold, keeps going back to the theme park to shoot it out with suited villains on various Universal Tour rides in messy, spectacular but deeply uninvolving action scenes.

Landis yokes in Joe Dante, Ray Harryhausen, Arthur Hiller, George Lucas and other worthies for a numbing series of pointless cameos, but otherwise puts his talent on hold to crank out a soulless, faceless, worthless dud.

It's now become Hollywood gospel that if a high concept film is reasonably successful, then make a sequel and if that raises any interest at all, then, hey why not try one more. It's a shame that here the studios just don't know when to stop with this episode ruining the name of what was once an enjoyable franchise.
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