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Film / Beverly Hills Cop III

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The second sequel to Beverly Hills Cop, released in 1994.

This time, Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is attempting to take down a car theft ring when the thieves well-armed clients shoot their way out, killing Inspector Todd (Gil Hill). To avenge his boss, Axel follows a lead to a Los Angeles theme park which is the front for a massive counterfeiting operation. Accused of the shooting of the park's owner, he enlists the help of Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and his new partner, Jon Flint (Héctor Elizondo), to prove his innocence and get revenge on the ringleader.

Beverly Hills Cop III provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: The two previous films were action comedies, leaning both in Eddie Murphy's comedic skills and action scenes. This sequel does away with some of the comedy and adds more action scenes.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety:
    • Agent Fulbright ejects the magazine from Axel's pistol before returning it to him, ignoring that there could still be a round in the chamber that Foley could shoot him with.
    • Averted when DeWald shoots Uncle Dave with Axel's gun, then ejects the magazine and clears the chamber before holding it out to him.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • The frame-up using faulty CCTV footage. Most judges would seriously doubt the authenticity of such poor quality video, and some police would immediately accuse DeWald of tampering with evidence.
    • The radio codes for when Axel breaks into Wonder World are either out of date or poorly researched. The (current) codes for what was happening are AT LEAST 10-71note  and 10-80note . There is no known use of a 12 prefix, and the other two are Return To Station and Condition Of Patient.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Annihilator 2000. It'd be a great weapon, if you can figure out how to use it properly. And that's not even getting into its more ridiculous attachments, such as CD player, phone and microwave oven. As it is, Axel has trouble even firing the damn thing because its operation is so convoluted, he keeps activating all the weapon's supplementary functions. Axel drops it for a simple revolver the first chance he gets.
  • BFG: The Annihilator 2000. With machine gun, grenade (or rocket) launcher, net launcher, compact disk player, radio, microwave, cell phone... "the ultimate in urban survival gear", indeed.
  • Bad Boss: DeWald responds to an injured henchman's plea for assistance by kicking him out of their speeding truck and underneath the wheels of Axel's car during the opening Chase Scene.
  • Berserk Button: Taunting Axel about his boss' death will make him forget his Bavarian Fire Drill skills and prompt him to go straight for the punch in the face.
  • Big Bad: Ellis DeWald.
  • Brand X: Wonder World, a Disneyland expy.
  • Break the Fake: Axel printing his own version of Wonder Dollars... on the seemingly legal tender paper stock.
  • The Bus Came Back: Serge is back, after being being absent from the second film.
  • The Cameo: Axel cuts in front of George Lucas to get on a park ride.
  • Captain Ersatz/Expy: Alan Young admitted his “Uncle" Dave Thornton character is loosely based on Scrooge McDuck and David Filby.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Annihilator 2000, which turns out to be complicated to operate.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The blinding light keychain Serge gives Axel.
    • The handwritten note given to Uncle Dave from his friend the day he disappeared from the park.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: While Taggart's absence is explained, Bogomil isn't even mentioned at all.
  • Corrupt Cop: Treasury Agent Fulbright.
  • Counterfeit Cash: The bad guys are using Wonder World as a cover to create massive amounts of counterfeit money using stolen U.S. mint paper.
  • Denser and Wackier: The first two were straightforward fish out of water action comedy. This one ups the zaniness, with a plot heavily featuring a theme park, and the comedy, while there's less of it, is wackier, and often integrated into improbable action sequences.
  • Ferris Wheel of Doom: The Spider goes completely bonkers when some Wonder World security guys tamper with the controls trying to bring Axel down. If not for Axel's brave actions, two kids would have been killed.
  • Hate Sink: Ellis DeWald is a smug asshole that kills people (even his own men and most importantly Inspector Todd) and rubs their deaths on Axel's face without barely changing his demeanor. Other villains of the series were evil and attacked people close to Axel, but DeWald does everything to want you (and Axel) to punch him in the face.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Axel becomes one after DeWald frames him for the attempted murder of Uncle Dave.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: After being shot at from a theme park sky-gondola ride, Flint returns fire with an MP 5K, stitching a perfect line up the door (which is at most two feet wide) and bulls-eyeing the gunman with most if not all of his shots. Landing over a dozen fully-automatic shots on target at a range of at least 100ft with a lightweight SMG that has a 4.5 inch barrel really stretches the word "improbable."
  • It Was with You All Along: Uncle Dave gives Axel a cryptic note from his disappeared best friend. Axel can't figure out what the message on the note means until he looks closer at the paper and realizes it is a piece of the stolen mint paper, a fact DeWald doesn't hesitate to rub in his face: "So you had the evidence in your pocket the whole time, huh, Sherlock?"
  • Manipulative Editing: Done by DeWald several times to make it seem like Axel's actions were purely criminal in nature, abusing suspiciously poor quality recording equipment and the fact he's the head of security.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: A car theft ring were all murdered by members of what turned out to be a major counterfeiting operation.
  • Mr. Alt Disney: Uncle Dave is definitely this. He even creates a mascot based on Axel in thanks for saving him!
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Played for bittersweet laughs at Inspector Todd's funeral.
    Axel: Hey.
    Mrs. Todd: I understand that you were with him at the end.
    Axel: Yeah, his last words were about you.
    Mrs. Todd: That does not sound like my Douglas, Axel. Try again.
    Axel: Actually his last words were 'Axel are you on a coffee break, go and get that son of a bitch.' Those were his last words.
    Mrs. Todd: (In tears, smiling) That sounds like my Douglas.
    Axel: Yeah, sounds like a good idea, too.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Axel uses a dead henchman to trick the others where he fled.
  • Profane Last Words: Inspector Todd's last words after being shot by DeWald are looking at Axel and saying "Axel, are you on a coffee break? Go get that son of a bitch". Played for Laughs when Axel tries to confort Todd's wife at the funeral by telling her that he said he loved her, and she instantly figures out that those weren't Todd's real last words, so Axel says Todd's real last words.
    Todd's wife: (with a sad smile) That sounds like my Douglas.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The chopshop guys at the start. They don't carry guns, try not to hurt anybody, and sing along to the radio cheerfully. Even Axel didn't want to see them get hurt, and the Big Bad gunning them down is clearly supposed to make us hate him more.
  • Put on a Bus: Taggart, Bogomil, and Friedman are nowhere to be found in this movie. Taggart is mentioned as having retired and moved to Phoenix.
  • Rank Up: Billy is now a Sergeant who has a job with a ridiculously convoluted title.
  • Rummage Fail: When Axel tries to use the BFG.
  • Signature Style: John Landis likes to feature celebrity cameos. For instance, George Lucas is the tourist Axel cuts in front of at "The Spider".
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Wonder World theme continuously plays in the background as Axel is in a firefight with DeWald's mooks, as well as his attempts to use the Annihilator 2000. One of the weapon's add-ons is a radio, which blares "Luv 4 Dem Gangsta'z" by Eazy-E and shuts off when the mooks open fire on him. Then "North Dakota, South Dakota" by Jerry Lewis plays from the radio, and Axel finally gets the hang of the weapon and kills the mooks. Then back to the Wonder World theme. A little later on, after "Wild Bill" Rosewood is shot down, Flint arrives at the trashed park and is soon shot at from above by a mook before he manages to waste him, all while the Wonder World song continues to blare in the background. Flint is more than a little freaked out.
    Flint: Turn that fucking song off!
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Inspector Todd is murdered in the opening shootout by DeWald, instigating Axel's Roaring Rampage of Revenge for this film.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jon Flint is this to Taggart, who is mentioned by Billy to have retired from the police force and moved to Phoenix.
  • Swiss-Army Gun: The BFG again. It even has a microwave oven and CD player, for crying out loud!
  • Tempting Fate: Axel cancelling the SWAT backup purely since it's a simple carjacking operation. Lampshaded by his boss...
    Axel: Boss, I cancelled the SWAT team.
    Todd: You what? I wouldn't raid a church bingo game without SWAT.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: DeWald. This is why the Beverly Hills police has a hard time believing Foley's claims that he's killed his boss back in Detroit.