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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

From Detroit to Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills Cop (1984) on IMDb

Plot Overview

The camera pans around the seedy side of black Detroit until we come to a truck in an alley loaded with contra­band cigarettes bearing the federal tax stamp, an inter­rupted deal, and a furious car chase. Detroit cop Axel “Foley, I should have known it was you” (Eddie Murphy) is reprimanded by his boss Inspector Douglas Todd (Gil Hill) for his independent action. The other cops taunt him with, “Hey Axel, got a cigarette?”

After that hard day at work, Axel returns to his apartment to find an intruder … his child­hood friend Mikey Tandino (James Russo) who wants to relive old times (“Let's steal a car.”) This provides another worry for the police when they've got:

  1. a hoodlum killed
  2. a professional hit
  3. in a cop's apartment

Foley takes two weeks' vacation and goes to Beverly Hills in his “crappy blue Chevy Nova” to look up their mutual friend Jean­nette ‘Jenny’ Summers (Lisa Eilbacher) who'd referred “Mikey, he's dead” to his last job providing security for art gallery owner Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff) who, it turns out, had branched out into smuggling German bearer bonds and cocaine. Local cops Det. William ‘Billy’ Rose­wood (Judge Reinhold) and his partner Sgt. Taggart (John Ashton) want Axel off their turf. They tail him around swank Beverly Hills as he shakes things up, ultimately leading to a shootout.


Lieutenant Bogomil (Ronny Cox) tells Axel, “Here in Beverly Hills, we do everything by the book.” Not Axel's style, and while BHC wouldn't make a good training film for police cadets, we the audience with our God's eye view can be forgiving of his methods and tolerant of his short­cuts, à la (Prov. 26:2) “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse cause­less shall not come.” Though he's technically often at fault regarding proper police procedure, our complaints won't settle on him, no more than would a bird that flies off or the cigarette crooks making their escape.

(Song 1:6) “Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vine­yards; but mine own vine­yard have I not kept.” Axel is given police duties (“keeper of the vineyards”) but not permitted to attend to his duty to his dead friend (“mine own vineyard have I not kept.”) Although he self-describes him­self as a “nigger” the movie doesn't paint him as an uppity one as he seeks neither gain nor recognition. We pretty much ignore his black skin on account of his "Mr. Sunshine" optimism pursuing his goals.

(Song 1:7) “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” When King Solomon disguised as an ordinary shepherd courted the beautiful black Shulamite maiden whom his hunting party had earlier surprised on their procession, she was curious about where his sheep­fold was. Solomon replied with some misdirection, (Song 1:8) “If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the foot­steps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.” Axel uses misdirection all over the place in this movie.

The big box truck packed with cigarettes in the beginning reminds me of one (famous) boat built like a box: Noah's ark, a floating barge. For that matter the truck was packed with diverse cigarettes as was the ark filled with animals, and they both took off on a bumpy ride when the judgment of God (cops, flood) appeared. It was sudden like (Luke 17:27), “Like­wise also as it was in the days of Lot: … they bought, they sold” (Luke 17:28) as were the negotiations for the fags in the back of the truck ongoing when the fuzz arrived.

Now, Noah had three sons, (Gen. 5:32) “And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” A curious incident takes place after they have settled in the revived world, which will define human occupation hence­forth. Gen. 9:20-22, Noah got drunk on wine and was exposed in all his glory to his son Ham who brazenly viewed him so. Noah's other two sons, Shem and Japheth, covered him up, Gen. 9:23. Ham had violated him in some way that Noah sniffed out upon awakening, Gen. 9:24. Noah's curse puts Ham's youngest son Canaan in a position of servitude, Gen. 9:25. Noah's other two sons Shem, Gen. 9:26, and Japheth, Gen. 9:27, were blessed by Noah. The blessing of Shem was shared by Japheth who was to dwell in the tents of Shem.

From Shem come the Semites, of course. Writer Bodie Hodge holds forth on Japheth what is common knowledge to biblical scholars about Japheth's son Tiras (Gen. 10:2). “Tiras … moved north and west … . Numerous people in south­eastern Europe came from him. His descendants moved westward and even settled in central portions of Italy” (174). The blessing of the Semites passed to Tiras (Japheth), i.e. the Italians. Japheth means enlarge. This blessing is enlarged to include other whites of Tiras (Japheth), to dwell ultimately in the tents of Shem.

In BHC the city Beverly Hills displays a lot of Jewish wealth come from Noah's blessing on the Semites, passed along through Jenny Summers's job reference to her child­hood friend Mikey Tandino who by his surname is of Italian origin.

The servitude of Ham as passing to his youngest son Canaan also encompassed his son Cush, see Gen. 10:6. Cush is Hebrew for black, whose descendants settled in Africa. Axel through­out the movie was the servant of justice, what­ever else he was. Further­more, his penchant for stealing robes from the Harrow Hotel and inviting Det. Rose­wood and Sgt. Taggart to Nasty Girl strip clubs harks back to the naked and drunken Noah incident described above.

Production Values

Fast paced “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984) was directed by Martin Brest. It was written by Daniel Petrie Jr. and Danilo Bach. It stars Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, and John Ashton. Murphy carried it by dint of personality, upstaging all the rest.

It's rated R. Harold Faltermeyer's Beverly Hills Cop theme and his bebop synth score helped move the action right along. The laughs come nonstop and most of the lines are ad-libbed.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

The humor was novel—even shocking—in 1984, but it hasn't aged well. What was cutting edge is now so-so. Still, I'm going to give it a solid ‘C’; it's not that out of date.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall product rating: three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.