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4K Ultra HD Review: Beverly Hills Cop II: 35th Anniversary (1987)

May 17, 2022

By John Corrado

In honour of the film’s 35th anniversary this year, Paramount Home Entertainment is releasing the 1987 action comedy sequel Beverly Hills Cop II for the first time on 4K Ultra HD this week.

This follow up to the 1984 smash hit Beverly Hills Cop sees rough and tumble Detroit cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) returning to Beverly Hills, and re-teaming with the buddy cop duo Taggart (John Ashton) and Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) to stop an organized crime ring that is committing a series of crimes corresponding to the letters of the alphabet.

While the first one (which received its own 4K upgrade in 2020) remains the better movie, I had forgotten how well this film still holds up. The plot gets a bit muddled at times, and is somewhat of a rehashing of the first one, but Beverly Hills Cop II delivers a series of strong set-pieces, matched by precise editing and another propulsive synth score by Harold Faltermeyer.

Directed by the late Tony Scott (who was hot off the massive success of Top Gun a year earlier), taking over from the original’s Martin Brest, Beverly Hills Cop II is a more purely action-oriented film. This is evident right off the bat from the opening jewellery store heist, with its quick cuts setting the rhythm for the film (the sequel also notably plays out in widescreen at 2.39:1, a marked difference from the first’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio). Though Murphy’s motor-mouthed delivery, and the deadpan supporting roles of Ashton and Reinhold, still ensure that there are laughs throughout (the late, great Gilbert Gottfried also leaves his mark in a brief appearance).

Despite receiving mixed reviews at the time, with many critics comparing it unfavourably to the much better received first film, Beverly Hills Cop II still became one of the highest grossing movies of 1987, and received an Oscar nomination for the song “Shakedown.” It may not quite reach the heights of the first one, but works in its own right as a slick and very entertaining Tony Scott action movie.

The 4K retains a nice filmic look to it, while adding increased definition. The colours pop, including the shine of Axel’s red Ferrari in the opening credits sequence, and there is great clarity in terms of skin tones and texture, especially in close-ups on Taggart and Rosewood’s faces in the car. It’s all around a very fine upgrade, that provides a visually pleasing viewing experience.

Bonus Features (4K Ultra HD):

The disc includes no bonus features. But a code for a digital copy is included in the package, which ships with a slipcover.

Beverly Hills Cop II: 35th Anniversary is a Paramount Home Entertainment release. It’s 102 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: May 17th, 2022

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