Beverly Hills Cop III
1994, R, 104 min. Directed by John Landis. Starring Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Hector Elizondo, Theresa Randle, Bronson Pinchot, Timothy Carhart, John Saxon.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., May 27, 1994
I was wondering what it would take for me to fondly remember Eddie Murphy's recent flops, Boomerang and The Distinguished Gentleman. Now I know. Beverly Hills Cop III is made with so little spark, humor, and internal logic that it makes me better appreciate these other recent Murphy movies where the actor/comedian at least stretched his persona and attempted something apart from the action comedy mold. Ten years ago, the original Cop raked in some seriously big bucks and three years later Cop II tried to do it again. Cop III is clearly going for the same groove. This is the third pairing of director John Landis and Murphy, who previously worked together on Trading Places and Coming to America. But nothing fresh is going on here although lots of stuff gets blown up big-time, and lots more people get blown away. Few of these action sequences, however, are staged excitingly with any snap or coherence or tension. Shots continue longer than necessary, faceless villains fire randomly from all directions, and physical logic and continuity are ignored wantonly. So, at least it's funny, you're thinking. Wrong. Murphy's trademarked clowning and mugging seem stale and underworked. Once in a while, like when he looks over his shoulder with an “oops” expression on his face at a body his car just ran over or when he dons a dopey elephant suit at Wonder World, does the movie come to life. Judge Reinhold's character is revived from the original Cop picture (and we all know what a funny guy Reinhold is), as is Bronson Pinchot's language-mangling Serge. Serge's pointless presence in the story is a good example of how this movie is cobbled together with bits and pieces of things that have no reason to be there other than the fact that they worked once before somewhere else. It is not a recommendable way to make a movie. Inexplicably punctuating Cop III are cameos by numerous Hollywood directors like George Lucas, Martha Coolidge, John Singleton, Barbet Schroeder, Arthur Hiller, and more. Murphy is supposedly working on a remake of Jerry Lewis' The Nutty Professor and I promise I'll be one of the first in line to see that. In the meantime, call 911 on this cop disaster.