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Film / Beverly Hills Cop II

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The first sequel to Beverly Hills Cop, released in 1987.

Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is back, this time prompted to return to Beverly Hills after Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox) is gunned down in cold blood as part of a serial crime rampage. Naturally, the local police chief, Lutz (Allen Garfield), wants nothing to do with him, so he invents an elaborate cover story, first as a psychic and then later as part of a mythical intercity task force on organized crime. He's up against the "Alphabet Bandit", a man who pulls off daring crimes in broad daylight and leaves behind only a cryptic clue in the form of a coded note. With the aid of Taggart (John Ashton) and the newly badass Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), he traces the bad guys all over the city, including a car chase involving a cement mixer, the Playboy Mansion, and finally a shootout at an international arms smuggling depot. The film features Jürgen Prochnow as Big Bad Maxwell Dent, Brigitte Nielsen as Karla Fry, The Dragon and Dean Stockwell as Charles “Chip” Caine.

Beverly Hills Cop II provides examples of:

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: When Rosewood blows up the arms truck with an M72 LAW.
    Rosewood: (holding the launcher on his lap and reading the instructions) ...Aim through here, push this.
    [whooosh... KABOOOM!]
    Taggart: Fuck Rambo.
  • Accidental Misnaming: As a Running Gag, Lutz can't remember Rosewood's name.
  • Alliterative Name: Charles "Chip" Caine.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: While investigating the gun club, Axel pulls his own gun at the Cinematic firing range, where everyone is practicing with blanks, and fires three live rounds at the screens, eliciting some confused looks. Additionally, he doesn't wear hearing protection while everyone else does.
  • Badass Longcoat: Rosewood carries one in the trunk of his car, waiting for an opportune moment to use it.
    Billy: I've been wanting to wear this for a while, Sarge.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: This is the one where the heroes confront the villains at the Playboy Mansion. So Women in bikinis playing volleyball is par for the course.
  • Big Bad: Maxwell Dent.
  • Big Badass Rig: Billy steals a cement truck in pursuit of a suspect.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Taggart gets to rescue Axel from Karla Fry, after he's just taken down Dent.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When Axel meets with Vinnie for the exchange of 2,000 credit cards towards the beginning of the movie, he tells him that he used to be a Muslim. At the end of their conversation, to prove that he was, he says "Allahu Akbar" which means "God is the Greatest" in Arabic.
  • Brick Joke: Sydney Bernstein bribes Axel with two hundred dollars in cash to make him go away, which annoys Taggart and Rosewood. At the end of the film, the Mayor of Beverly Hills says he's headed off to a charity ball. Axel hands him the two hundred dollars and requests to make a donation in the name of Sydney Bernstein, passing it off as an alias he uses for such occasions.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Chief Lutz has one who hasn't the slightest idea what's going on. For example, when he floats his theory that the cement mixer truck that Axel and Billy use to chase the villains was a ruse to aid in the villains' escape, Lutz tells him to submit himself for drug testing. Axel notes that the guy couldn't catch the Alphabet Bandit if he nuked the city.
  • Bunny Ears Cop: Rosewood is even odder in this film than in the first, having turned into an insane driver and a Gun Nut with a Wall of Weapons.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dent's henchman Charles Cain. He is used as the front man for his operations, but he's regarded as an incompetent idiot by Dent, Karla and even his own men.
  • Call-Back:
    • During the scene where Axel, Rosewood, Taggart and Chief Lutz are attempting to solve the Alphabet letters, you can see a neon sign in the background that says "SUPER COP". Axel refers to Rosewood and Taggart as "Super cops" in the first film when he explains to Lt. Bogomil how the robbery at the club was prevented by the duo.
    • Much to his surprise, it turns out that the goons who Axel was trying to bust undercover at the beginning of the first movie now work for the guy who Axel is trying to bust undercover at the beginning of this movie.
  • Calling Card: The so-called Alphabet Bandit leaves behind cryptic clues that leave the cops scrambling to decode them. In fact, the code was there to confuse the cops while the culprits were busy doing something else. The code from the "E" crime turns out to be a lot easier to break than the others and deliberately so in order to paint Cain as The Scapegoat.
  • The Cameo: Hugh Hefner appears when Axel, Billy and Taggart track the Big Bad to the Playboy Mansion.
  • Car Fu: Attempted by the Big Bad against Axel, which fails after he shoots Dent through the head. However, the collision puts Axel down long enough for Karla Fry to get the drop on him, allowing Taggart and Rosewood to play Big Damn Heroes.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Billy has a poster for Cobra in his apartment. Which also co-starred Brigitte Nielsen. Interestingly, Sylvester Stallone was considered for the role of Foley in the first film.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Axel's gum trick to enter a building with an alarm. Subverted when Billy tries it at Dent's oil field, and it doesn't work.
  • *Click* Hello: While sneaking around the oil field before the climax, Axel is greeted by this.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Taggart shoots Karla in the back before she can shoot Axel.
  • Cool Guns: Billy upgrades to a Smith and Wesson Model 29 after the shootout at the nightclub, reasoning that he needed more firepower. Axel responds that they need to talk.
  • Cool Shades: Billy and Taggart when they arrive at Axel's "uncle's" house.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Billy keeps three shotguns in the back of his car along with a Badass Longcoat in case he has to get into a climactic shootout.
  • Criminal Mind Games: Subverted, as the "alphabet crimes" are actually a Red Herring to cover up Dent's robbery of his own properties to finance his arms smuggling and frame Charles Caine as the mastermind.
  • Crooks Are Better Armed: In the final shootout at Dent's oilfield, Taggart and Rosewood at least start toting shotguns and, in Billy's case, a rocket launcher. Axel makes use of grenades as well as his pistol. The Mooks are all armed with assault rifles.
  • Da Chief: The incompetent and verbally abusive Chief Harold Lutz.
    • The first film's Chief, Inspector Todd, makes a few appearances here: at the start of the film, he confronts Axel about his use of department funds for suits, "flash money" and even a Ferrari (though Axel claims it's so he can remain undercover). Later, he's duped into playing a role in Axel's cover story about being part of a Detroit-Beverly Hills joint task force.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Getting into a pitched firefight in the middle of an arms depot. Good guys and bad guys alike are lucky to be alive after that one.
    • One of Dent's mooks choosing an Automag, whose empty shell casings lead the heroes to find the conspiracy.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Karla Fry survives Dent by about ten seconds of screentime.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Rosewood insists that a traffic light is green, while Taggart correctly points out that it's red. Axel, in the back seat, helpfully offers a compromise: "It was yellow!"
    • And during the chase with the cement mixer mentioned below:
      Axel (to Rosewood): Are you actually sure you know how to drive this thing, or you're, like, using The Force?
  • Everyone Has Standards: Lutz is a utterly incompetent, bullying jerk of a police chief, but when his idiot assistant tosses the idea that the cement truck that was part of the federal reserve chase (which was driven by Rosewood, but they don't know that) was an accomplice, Lutz gets angry at the poor guy, tells him to get himself checked for drugs, and agrees with Taggart when he insults the assistant's intelligence.
  • Gender Scoff: Taggart manages to turn this into a Bond One-Liner.
    Karla: Goodbye, Mr. Foley.
    Taggart: Heh. Women.
  • Guilt by Association Gag: Lutz's assistant is fired despite not really doing anything bad.
  • Going by the Matchbook: Axel recovers a matchbook from a failed hitman and is able to recover Cain's fingerprint. Oddly, though not the hitman's fingerprints, even though he was the last one to handle it and didn't have gloves.
  • Gun Nut: Billy has a lot of guns. Made especially funny because of his Cloud Cuckoolander ways, when he's stated that he's trying to create a 'stress-free' environment at home.
  • Gun Twirling: Axel does this twice - during the opening credits and in the shooting club.
  • Guns Akimbo: Billy, with dual pump-action shotguns, at the climactic shootout. Only fires that way once, though, demonstrating just how impractical it is to fire two pump shotguns with pistol grips.
  • Hand Cannon: Billy upgrades to one after the shootout at the nightclub, startling and impressing Axel.
    • The Auto Mag used in the Adriano's robbery, which leads the heroes to the gun club.
    • Karla holds up Axel with a Desert Eagle at the end.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Dent's goons are unable to hit the heroes despite shooting at them on full auto at a range of less than 100 feet. Nor do they appear to have any grasp of tactics, such as suppression and flanking. Nor do they get the idea to pick up any of the heavy weapons that are close to hand.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Chief Lutz is verbally abusive to everyone, including his own assistant, and he refuses to listen to his own officers about the Alphabet Crimes (that it's a cover up for gunrunning scheme). After Taggart, Rosewood, and Foley stop the bad guys and gather a shitload of evidence in the form of literal truckloads of illegal guns and Lutz starts being a dick to them, the Mayor gets fed up with Lutz's jerkass behavior to his own men and his obvious incompetence and fires him (and his aid for some reason).
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Billy fires a LAW rocket while holding it loosely in front of himself sideways as he reads the directions. "Extend here. Press here." click-Whoosh! It is correctly shown with very little recoil.
  • Mock Millionaire:
    • Part of Axel's undercover operation at the start of the film is to be seen to be a wealthy gangster by wearing expensive suits and driving around in a Ferrari. Inspector Todd chews him out for this, as he's not making much progress on the case.
    • It turns out that Dent is broke and the entire Alphabet Bandit crime spree is part of a larger insurance scam mixed with some arms dealing.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: A minor Running Gag is that Billy keeps upgrading to increasingly larger firearms as the film goes on, starting out with a standard snubnose revolver and later carrying a Hand Cannon. Culminates in him wielding dual shotguns and a rocket launcher in the climax.
    Taggart: Billy, we need to talk.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: A serial crime spree leads Axel to uncover an international arms smuggling ring.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Every time a police officer comes anywhere near his operation, Dent’s response is to try to have them killed.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite the incredulous look on his face when Billy reveals that he carries three shotguns in his car at all times, Taggart decides to take one of them along for the final shootout.
  • Odd Friendship: Apparently middle-aged family man Bogomil and young streetwise Cowboy Cop Axel have become best of pals between the first and second movie.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Lutz ends up getting fired by the Mayor of Beverly Hills after publicly botching the Alphabet Bandit investigation, trying to push the blame onto his subordinates and his abusive attitude towards them.
  • Overly-Nervous Flop Sweat: Invoked by Axel Foley when he's pretending to deliver "sound seeking projectiles" to try to bluff his way into a gun club run by the Big Bad. He splashes water on his face making it look like he's sweating buckets.
  • Phrase Catcher: Billy becomes this. Every time he pulls out a new gun, either Axel or Taggart remark, "Billy, we really need to talk."
  • Police Are Useless: Obviously averted by Taggart, Rosewood, and Foley, but played straight with Chief Lutz who refuses to listen to them and treats them horribly.
  • Rank Up: Since the last film, Bogomil has moved from Lieutenant to Captain. At the end of the film, he's made Chief of Police.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After being insulted by Lutz one time too many at the film's resolution, Rosewood finally loses it and rants what Dent's scheme was really about (Insurance Fraud, followed by using the money to finance gun-running), and insults Lutz to boot. Even more unfortunately for Lutz, the Mayor of Beverly Hills happens to be right there with them, and he gets angry at Lutz's incompetence and abusive attitude.
    Police Chief Harold Lutz: What the hell have you done here? Looks like a goddamn war zone. What in the hell have you done, Taggart? Tell me.
    Detective Billy Rosewood: We solved the Alphabet Crimes.
    Police Chief Harold Lutz: You shut up! Who the hell is talking to you? I personally solved the Alphabet case up in a body bag over an hour ago. And you, I don't give a goddamn what agency you say you're working for, You're in jail, buddy.
    Detective Billy Rosewood: Chief, wait a...
    Police Chief Harold Lutz: SHUT UP! What the hell do you think you're doing, bringing a fire fight in the middle of my city? You're out of the cop business for good, forever!
    Detective Billy Rosewood: Will you just listen a minute?
    Police Chief Harold Lutz: Shut up! You shut your mouth once and for all!
    Detective Billy Rosewood: NO GODDAMN IT, YOU SHUT UP!! This is what the Alphabet Crimes are all about... [picks up M-16] guns!
    Police Chief Harold Lutz: Guns?
    Detective Billy Rosewood: [points to Nikos Thomopolis, who is being arrested] That guy sold them, and Dent bought 'em with stolen money from Adriano's and his own racetrack. He was on his way to Central America. And if you bothered to take your head out of your ass, YOU'D SEE WE SOLVED THE WHOLE GODDAMN THING!
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Bogomil and Axel appear to have become quite good friends since the last movie; getting him out of the way is necessary both to motivate Axel and so that Lutz can come in and portray the Jerkass boss.
    • The Mayor of Beverly Hills also seems like a nice, reasonable guy. He fires Lutz because of his mistreatment of his subordinates (not to mention his bungling of the Alphabet Case).
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Billy keeps at least three in the back of his car and Dual Wields two of them. Taggart is smart enough to take one with him.
  • Shout-Out: At the gun club, Axel introduces himself as Richard James.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Karla Fry, portrayed by Brigitte Nielsen. This is called out by all the protagonists, and her presence at one of the robberies is a plot point, as everyone remembers the "tall blonde".
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The truly spectacular explosion of the Big Bad's shipment of illicit weapons, aboard a truck that Billy manages to destroy with Accidental Aiming Skills.
  • Stupid Crooks: The Alphabet Crimes gunmen bring alone rare guns like a .44 Automag to their heists, which becomes the thread that blows the case wide open for Axel and his friends.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Subverted. It looks like Bogomil is going this way, but he manages to survive and is recovering by the end.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: The protagonists describe Karla as the "tall blonde". However, six foot tall blonde women grow on trees in Southern California.
  • That Poor Car: After arriving in Beverly Hills, Axel passes two kids on roller skates setting off alarms by hitting parked cars with rolled up newspapers.
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: As if they needed more evidence to implicate Charles Cain, the last "Alphabet Thief" letter is a So Long, Suckers! gloat signed "Carlos" — which we are reminded twice is Spanish for "Charles". The Chief completely falls for it.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: 5'9" Eddie Murphy and 6'0" Brigitte Nielsen. It's often Played for Laughs.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Billy was inspired by Axel after the first film to become a gun nut. He's still not all that effective at being a badass, but at least he tries.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the first movie, Axel mostly lied and stole to get around obstacles in the murder case. This time around, he frequently tricks random bystanders, purely for his own benefit.
  • Truth in Television:
    • At one point, Axel uses superglue fumes to get a fingerprint from a matchbook. Using superglue fumes to detect otherwise invisible trace fingerprints is something that has been done in real life forensics investigations.
    • Using cut down .308 Winchester cases to make .44 Automag cartridges. This is a real reloading technique used to handload the increasingly rare cartridge, and was how the round was developed.
  • Tuckerization: The cement truck that Billy drives has a sticker saying DS/JB Construction Company. DS and JB stand for the film's producers, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: A chase scene in the middle act of the film has Cowboy Cops Foley and Rosewood going after an armored truck driven by the villains with a cement mixer, wrecking several bystander's cars (and one Jerkass cop's, if we take Rosewood's word) in the process.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Lutz. Instead of apologizing to Rosewood and Taggart and commending them for their work, Lutz fires them just to be spiteful, but this only proves to be the final straw for Mayor Egan, who fires Lutz for his abusive attitude and incompetence which had jeopardized the investigation.
  • Wall of Weapons: Both Billy's house and his car are loaded with weapons. Apparently, this all happened after the first movie, when Axel inspired him to badassery.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Subverted. Dialog indicates that Chief Hubbard is no longer with the BHPD and Chief Lutz has fired and/or forced out all the prior police officers seen in the first movie, except for Bogomil, Rosewood and Taggart.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Charles Cain is killed by Karla during the horse track heist and one guard takes credit for the assassination by saying he shot Cain as he tried to get away. This, and the fact the letters the "Alphabet Thief" leaves behind taunting the cops are signed "Carlos" (Spanish for "Charles") and a visa to go to Costa Rica was filed to Cain's name shortly before the heist means that Dent was able to frame Cain as the Alphabet Crimes mastermind... at least until the aftermath of the final battle, that is.