“Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” proves that a film doesn’t have to be fantastic – just entertaining

Although “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” is by no means a contender for an award, it shows that films must, above all, be entertaining.

Praise the gods of laughter, for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Fwith Eddie Murphy as the irrepressible Axel Foley, is now available on Netflix. Murphy is not alone, however, as former stars of the series such as Judge Reinhold, John Ashton and Paul Reiser are also back. As expected, Axel F isn't a candidate for movie of the year and has already received a lot of “but why?” reactions from critics, but here you have to consider a different perspective. This film is an example of how franchises don't have to reinvent themselves with every entry. Instead, they just have to respect the past and entertain the fans. That's all.

In respect for the legacy of Axel Foley

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F pays tribute to the three films that preceded it through its clever nods to Axel Foley's past missions, the '80s soundtrack that brings back unmistakable memories of perms and spandex, and the people he met along the way – including the beloved and eccentric Serge (Bronson Pinchot). It doesn't change the formula too much either, keeping Axel as his personality as ever and continuing to present him as a witty cop who isn't afraid to break the rules to bring justice. The film didn't need to be a radical repackaging of the franchise either. After all, fans turn on an Eddie Murphy film expecting the traditional Eddie Murphy humor and subject matter. When Axel suddenly becomes a mopey, rule-abiding police detective in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Fpeople would feel cheated.

What the new film does well, however, is that it adds another small building block to the character's overall narrative. Thirty years have passed since Beverly Hills Cop IIISo a lot has happened in the canon since then, but director Mark Molloy doesn't focus on covering all the details. Instead, the film's core revolves around the turbulent relationship between Axel and his daughter Jane Saunders (Taylour Paige) and whether it can still be saved, while also exploring how the Axel everyone knows and loves can also be a crazy father who doesn't always do the right thing – even when his heart is in the right place.

Why it was important to tell the story correctly

If war of stars has taught us if it's that fans want new stories, but not really. There are certain cues and tried and tested tropes that franchises must follow and stick to; otherwise, audiences complain about the story being unfamiliar or deviating too far from expectations. Beverly Hills Cop was never Aaron Sorkin to begin with. It's a simple action comedy about a witty cop who bends the rules and isn't afraid to cause chaos for the greater good. But the simplicity also causes the filmmakers some trouble because the film is on a slippery slope, especially since critics and audiences accused the sequels of being too repetitive.

Speak with Blavity TVEddie Murphy admitted that Beverly Hills Cop III wasn't the best entry in the series and it kept him from making another film unless his special conditions were met. “After we made the third one, I thought to myself, 'I'm not making another one unless it's right. Unless everything is on paper and it feels good,'” he said. “And I'm always open to a sequel to a film if you can make it make sense to me. So I was open to it, but then the scripts just weren't right, it just didn't have everything there that should be, and I didn't want to make another mediocre film. So we just waited and waited. And it took 30 years to get it right.”

All things considered, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F won't win an Oscar for Best Screenplay, and one has to wonder if this really is the best story that could have been written in three decades. However, no one can deny that it manages the difficult balance of maintaining the successful formula from the past while giving audiences a new reason to care about the characters. It's not a genre-defining story that will pave the way for the next generation of action comedies, but who can deny the pure entertainment value here?

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F proves that streaming movies can be good

Streaming services, especially Netflix, have received criticism from fans over the past few months regarding their production. Films like Rebel Moon And Atlas have not been well received and many are seriously wondering whether streaming platforms are simply a dumping ground for films that traditional Hollywood studios do not want to release in theaters.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F redeems audiences' faith and shows that there is hope for streaming services after all. Judging by the glossy cinematography, the big stunts and the stars involved, there is no doubt that this film could have been released by Paramount Pictures – the studio responsible for the first three films – but it also feels like the right kind of film to enjoy both in the theater and in the comfort of your own home. It is also the latest blockbuster, in the same vein as Bad Boys: Ride or Diethat confirms what audiences have known for a long time but Hollywood doesn't seem to understand: Not every movie has to have 100% Rotten Tomatoes approval or be a groundbreaking production that changes the very existence of humanity forever. It just has to be entertaining. Sometimes we just want to sit back, eat popcorn and laugh while a cop steals a helicopter or makes fun of a hybrid squad car that looks like it's from a Fisher-Price catalog.