Beverly Hills Cop 4K Blu-ray Review

Eddie Murphy made his big-screen debut with 1982’s 48 Hrs., a “buddy cop” movie that launched his career as a movie star. Two years later, he continued that tradition with Beverly Hills Cop, another classic buddy cop film known for Murphy’s comedic talents, the theme music, and the banana in the tailpipe gag.

The movie has seen many home video treatments, and now it’s finally available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The 4K presentation and DTS-HD audio are pretty good for an ’80s product, and the film is an instant classic with performances by Murphy, Judge Reinhold and John Ashton, and the catchy music.

Beverly Hills Cop is the first in the Beverly Hills Cop series that continued to push Eddie Murphy’s popularity as a movie star. He plays Detroit undercover cop Axel Foley, who is on the hunt for the men responsible for the death of his childhood friend. This leads him to Beverly Hills, where he uncovers an illegal operation. He’ll have to reveal this plot while also dealing with the Beverly Hills cops, which operates strictly by the books.

The story is simple with the typical cop investigating a criminal operation front, and it’s the actors and setting that make the film entertaining. Murphy shines with his fast-talking and loose code, and Reinhold and Ashton are a welcome addition as the goody-two-shoes cops who get dragged along for the ride. It’s a nice blend of humor and action and a fun take on a fish out of water formula.

The music of Beverly Hills Cop has a soft spot in my heart, and the Axel F theme gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. It even spawned a popular remix of a frog singing ding dong. The film’s soundtrack is also another high note with “The Heat Is On” by Glenn Frey and “Neutron Dance” by The Pointer Sisters included in the mix.

Video Quality

It’s not the most impressive of 4K presentation, but for an ’80s film, it’s as good as you’re going to get since there are hardly any signs of artifacts and particles. However, the video is grainy and many of the scenes don’t really shine in Ultra HD resolution. The ones that do show off the power of 4K is the climactic battle at Victor Maitland’s house where you can see the details in the trees, plants and buildings. Dolby Vision HDR is included, but it didn’t blow us away with its colors and range.

4/5 Atoms

Audio Quality

There’s a lot of clanking and tinny sounds from car crashes and gunfire, but the audio is clear from the dialogue to the sputtering of the tailpipe getting clogged by bananas. The standout is the ’80s music and pop-synth score by Harold Faltermeyer. The soundtrack really puts the DTS-HD track to work with the bass, mids, and highs.

3.5/5 Atoms

Extras

The bulk of the extras are in the HD Blu-ray disc, with a few in the 4K disc. There’s a director’s commentary, few short interviews, a 30-minute documentary, a 10-minute casting process featurette, deleted scenes, a music featurette, a theatrical trailer and more.

The highlights are definitely the director’s commentary, the 30-minute documentary, and the music featurette with composer Faltermeyer. The behind-the-scenes content gives us some insight into the casting choice, including the original plan to hire Sylvestor Stallone as the main lead instead of Murphy.

Score: 3.5/5 Atoms

Final Reaction

Beverly Hills Cop is the film that started the series, and it’s a highly entertaining buddy cop film with fun performances by Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, and John Ashton. The 4K presentation and HD audio aren’t out of this world, but it’s a good transfer for an ’80s film. The extras aren’t as robust, but it’s adequate and gives viewers enough info behind the scenes of Beverly Hills Cop.

Final Score: 4/5 Atoms

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