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Film / The Taking of Beverly Hills

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The Taking of Beverly Hills is a 1991 heist film directed by Sidney J. Furie and starring Ken Wahl.

A gang of crooked ex-cops decide to loot Beverly Hills. Because it is exorbitantly expensive to live in Beverly Hills, all of its police, even the chief, live somewhere outside of the city. So if they can trap the on-duty police in the station, and cause a few road blocks to prevent the off-duty cops from getting into the city, he can basically hit any place he wants. They do just that by engineering a fake chemical spill, forcing all of Beverly Hills to evacuate. Thus, their valuables will be theirs for the taking.


But David "Boomer" Hayes, aging football star, got left behind in the evacuation. Together with Ed Kelvin, who was one of the robbers until he turned good, Boomer takes on the crooks and their ringleader, Robert "Bat" Masterson.

This film provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: When he finds Laura sneaking around his operations, Bat goes after her and uses a stun gun on her. He apologizes for what he had to do and treats her well while he holds her captive (Laura was a former Love Interest to Bat who rejected him). And despite not getting along with Boomer, Bat does give him a chance to stop interfering with his plans, but Boomer refuses. Bat steers into Faux Affably Evil at the end of the film when he tries to force Laura to marry him (since spouses can't testify) or he'll have to kill her.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: the SWAT Team "tank" ridden by The Dragon.
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  • Big Bad: Robert ‘Bat’ Masterson.
  • Chase Scene: Multiple scenes, including one where The Dragon rams his APC through multiple walls and backyard fences to get to Boomer and Kelvin and one inside of a multiple-level parking lot (where both the heroes and The Dragon get crazy with attempting to Kill It with Fire, the heroes with Molotov Cocktails and a can of gasoline and The Dragon with a flamethrower).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ed is a prime source of sarcastic quips.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Die Hard with the whole of Beverly Hills as a battleground.
  • Dirty Cop: A whole platoon of them, pretty pissed at feeling swindled by having to look after so many rich people.
  • The Dragon: Benitez and Varney share this role.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Boomer and Ed as the night goes on.
  • Foreshadowing: Ed snarks toward a snooty store owner who is trying to shoo away a few homeless people staring at the display, showing he’s a genuinely good man and making his Heel–Face Turn more believable.
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  • Green-Eyed Monster: Masterson toward Boomer regarding Laura.
  • Handicapped Badass: Hayes was forced to retire from football after getting a busted knee, and this only affects him very early on before he applies a cortisone injection to said knee.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ed Kelvin, formerly one of the robbers, joins Hayes to fight off the rest when he grows disgusted at the robbers' tactics (among other things, they kill the mayor of Beverly Hills, after they told Kelvin that there would be no killing).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Happens to Varney, one of the henchmen of the Big Bad, when he leaves a bomb intended to blow up Boomer and Kelvin. As he makes his leave, Boomer recovers and throws his bomb into his truck. Varney notices and screams Boomer's name before getting blown up.
  • Insurance Fraud: The Big Bad's final objective of the heist is to have the robbers steal a priceless mural embedded on his house's wall and bury it alongside other high-priced arts that were also there, so he can collect the insurance.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Hayes' experience as a football player (although one that now has a bad knee, which forced him to retire) provides him with the physical skills necessary to survive a "Die Hard" on an X situation (like being able to throw things very hard and precisely—like a shrunken star through a moving car window and straight into a Dirty Cop's throat).
  • It Came from Beverly Hills: The Opening Monologue-slash-montage (by Kelvin) even mentions how much apart from the rest of Los Angeles Beverly Hills is, with its own police force and major and all.
  • Lovable Jock: Boomer, am ex-football player, Nice Guy and The Hero.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Happens to "Boomer" Hayes (an ex-football player who was relaxing on his date's house up until the crooks came a-calling).


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