New York Times - 12/05/1984
"...Murphy doing what he does best: playing the shrewdest, hippest, fastest-talking underdog in a rich man's world....He wins at every turn."
USA Today - 06/24/1994
"...Murphy is in exceptional form here..."
Total Film - 04/01/2004
"A Simpson/Bruckheimer production that made the mould for the uber-producers' violent action-comedies..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/20/2011
"Martin Brest's brash fish-out-of-water comedy is the ideal showcase for Murphy's hip, lightning-quick genius." -- Grade: B
Eddie Murphy rose to stardom as Axel Foley, a streetwise and brash young Detroit cop in this comic blockbuster that combined frenetic action, hysterical rough-edged comedy, and a chart-topping rock & roll soundtrack. When his best friend is murdered, Axel heads off to Beverly Hills in an effort to track down the killer. The resulting culture shock is only one of his difficulties: Often operating just outside the law in his determination to capture the murderer, he finds himself repeatedly clashing with the local authorities as well as his supervisor back home. With the help of Beverly Hills detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and his partner, Sergeant Taggart (John Ashton), Axel is able to track down the killer, who turns out to be Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff), a wealthy, powerful, and respected member of the California community. It is up to Axel to outsmart the evil British criminal, who is protected inside his fortresslike mansion. Featuring hysterical supporting performances from Bronson Pinchot as Serge--an effeminate, thickly accented art gallery clerk--and comedian Damon Wayans, among others, the film is one of the funniest comedies of the 1980s.
After a friend of his is murdered, a big city cop from the east travels to Beverly Hills, California, to hunt down the killer; the cop's streetwise approach gets surprising results.
The film grossed more than $230 million at the box office.
Director's cameo: Martin Brest appears as a hotel checkout clerk.
Sylvester Stallone was originally targeted for the role of Axel Foley. When he failed to show interest in the project, the producers cast young Eddie Murphy in the part. This choice, of course, changed the emphasis of the film from action to comedy, and the role consolidated Murphy's status as a superstar.