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Beverly Hills Cop II [4K UHD]
Released three years after the box office success of 1984's Beverly Hills Cop, director Tony Scott's 1987 sequel, Beverly Hills Cop II, maybe not so surprisingly takes place in Beverly Hills, California. Here, a rash of high profile jewelry thefts carried out by a gang called Alphabet Crimes has the cops working overtime to try and put a stop to the crime spree. Unfortunately for the cops and the citizens they are to serve and protect, they aren't really getting anywhere.
Detectives Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) are assigned to the case but are found out of line by their superior officers when they try and bring in the F.B.I. to help out. Oops, the top brass isn't happy about that and so they assign Rosewood and Taggart down to traffic duty, removing them from the case. Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox) takes the lead and starts to make some progress on the thefts but when he gets to close, he's shot down in the line of duty. With things starting to heat up and get even more out of hand, Detroit's own Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) makes the trip west to Los Angeles' fanciest neighborhood to work covertly with friends Rosewood and Taggart to crack the case, and in doing so soon find that there's a lot more to all of this than just some random jewelry thefts.
Fast paced, exciting and often times very funny, Beverly Hills Cop II holds its own against the best of the eighties cop comedies that were doing well at the box office of its day. Director Tony Scott, who tragically passed away back in 2012, shows off the knack he'd already made a name for himself with for combining action and interesting characters with pictures like Top Gun, made a year prior in 1986, and shows a great ability to control the more comedic aspects of this particular film's script as well. It certainly didn't hurt to have a pretty big budget behind it and to be able to work with some very talented people behind the camera as well, as the action set pieces are really impressive in their staging and execution and the film has production value to spare.
Of course, the performances obviously matter a lot and the film scores high marks there as well. Murphy, at what would have to have been the height of his popularity, does a great job reprising his role as Axel Foley. He's perfect for the part, cocky and self-assured but also very quick witted. He also handles the action set pieces that he's involved in pretty nicely, and Scott is able to get a lot out of him. Murphy once again shares solid chemistry with Reinhold and Ashton, who are also in very fine form here. They made a great team in the original film and are just as good here. Ronny Cox is his reliably surly self in his role, and the movie features some fun and memorable turns from supporting players like Jürgen Prochnow, Brigitte Nielsen, Dean Stockwell, Paul Reiser and even the late Gilbert Gottfried, making this a veritable who's who of eighties players.
Overall, it works really well. Aspects of the story are a bit on the predictable side and there are some obvious clichés at work here, but the action and humor and quirky, memorable characters all really gel and wind up producing one of the better blockbuster sequels that came out of the eighties and a rare follow up film that rivals the original in terms of entertainment value.
Paramount presents Beverly Hills Cop II in HEVC encoded 2160p framed in its proper 2.35.1 widescreen aspect ratio on a 100GB disc with a very high bit rate with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 enhancement. Picture quality is pretty much perfect. We get truly excellent detail from start to finish and loads of depth and texture here. The colors look absolutely perfect: bright an bold and replicating the film's garish eighties color scheme without ever appearing to be artificially boosted. Black levels are nice and deep but the transfer avoids any obvious crush or compression artifacts. Skin tones look great and the image always appears naturally filmic, retaining the expected amount of natural grain without any noticeable print damage, dirt or debris.
Audio options are provided in the same 24-bit DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix we've heard before but also in Japanese and Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound options and German, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo options, with subtitles provided in English, English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Polish and Russian. It would have been nice to get an Atmos or TrueHD mix but the 5.1 track here really is rock solid. Bass response is tight and strong but doesn't overpower the other elements in the mix. There's fantastic rear channel activity during most of the action set pieces and plenty of ambient background noise to fill in the soundscape even during the film's few quieter moments. Dialogue is always clean, clear and easy to follow and there isn't even a trace of hiss, distortion or sibilance. Clarity is always top notch and the track delivers.
Extra features are limited to an insert containing a download code redeemable for a digital HD version of the movie and a slipcover. That's it, there's nothing else here, which doesn't make it much of a ‘35th Anniversary Edition' as touted on the cover art.
Beverly Hills Cop II is a solid follow up to the original film and a whole lot of fun. While Paramount has, surprisingly, released this edition without any actual extra content, the presentation is excellent and the new transfer really shines making this recommended to those who don't need their releases to be loaded with supplemental material.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.