Beverly Hills Cop II
Beverly Hills Cop II, originally released theatrically in 1987, was directed by Tony Scott and produced by the team of Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson. The film stars Eddie Murphy (Axel), Judge Reinhold (Billy Rosewood), John Ashton (Taggart), Ronny Cox (Bogomil), Jürgen Prochnow (Max), Brigitte Nielsen (Karla), and Dean Stockwell (Chip). Paul Reiser also pops by for a cameo, as does Hugh Hefner. Chris Rock also made his big screen acting debut here, as the Parking Valet. The film was followed by Beverly Hills Cop III in 1994.
In the two years after Cop I, Foley, Taggart, Rosewood, and Bogomil have all become friends. When Bogomil is gunned down, Foley flies to Beverly Hills. There, Taggart and Rosewood tell Axel about Bogomil's latest case involving the "Alphabet Crimes." They believe he was onto something and was silenced when he got too close. Determined to catch the crooks, they team up to solve the case.
While Beverly Hills Cop II, like most sequels, fails to top the original, it remains a fun movie. It is entertaining to see how the characters have evolved from Cop I, and the film certainly has more gloss than the first. However, much of the story is a bit thin and several parts feel too similar to Cop I. Scott does manage to keep up the action throughout, and with Murphy's humor, the film manages to entertain despite its shortcomings.
Beverly Hills Cop II is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer throughout is clean without any marks or nicks, though there is some grain, as well as some minor edge enhancement. Colors are vivid and free from bleeding, flesh tones are accurate and blacks are rich and detailed, with excellent contrast.
Beverly Hills Cop II is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 in English, and Dolby 2.0 Surround in English and French. Differences between the 5.1 and 2.0 tracks are slight, with few instances of surrounds until the film's climax. Imaging is strong throughout the film. Much like in Part I, the film's music greatly benefits from the 5.1 track and sounds terrific throughout. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand during the film, with no distortion. Optional subtitles and captions are available in English.
The main extra is the Beverly Hills Cop II: The Phenomenon Continues featurette, which runs about twenty minutes in length. The featurette contains new interviews with Reinhold, Ashton, Cox, Bruckheimer, and Scott. There are also some interview clips with Hefner and Murphy from the original production featurette. The participants talk about the evolution of the story, plots that never made it in the film, Scott's approach to filmmaking, character development, and that Cop II was almost not made in favor of a television series.
Next up is the original production featurette, which runs about seven minutes in length and features interviews with many of the principals. Most interesting were Scott's comparison of Cop I and 48 Hrs., as well as Hefner's explanation as to why parts of Cop II were filmed at the Playboy Mansion.
A deleted scene is included, which is an extension of the break-in scene of the Beverly Hills Gun Club. While nice to see, it's easy to see why it was cut. Also included is a music video featurette on "Shakedown", which runs about five minutes, and the film's trailer.
Beverly Hills Cop II, despite failing to top the original, is still a worthy sequel. While some more supplements would have been nice, just having the movie on DVD is a real treat. As with the first, Paramount has done a great job with the presentation and the disc is priced reasonably at $24.99, so there's no reason that fans should pass. Recommended!