The cliché holds true for Beverly Hills Cop. They really don’t make them like this anymore. Watch Cop again if you haven’t seen it recently. Everything works like clockwork in the greatest cop comedy of all time. Think even Harold Faltermeyer’s synth score is dated? It’s still perfectly matched to the material and these actors, who are as hilarious now as they were in 1984, when Cop ruled the box office charts and Eddie Murphy was the biggest movie star in Hollywood.
Try watching without bopping along to “Neutron Dance” by the Pointer Sisters and the underrated “Stir It Up” by Patti LaBelle. Try not to laugh when Eddie’s wisecracking Detroit cop and Bronson Pinchot's indecipherable assistant Serge banter back and forth about his $130k sale of some ridiculous post modern art piece. Stifle your giggles when Damon Wayans cameos and offers Eddie some bananas. Be a curmudgeon as Judge Reinhold and John Ashton’s old married couple routine transforms into comic gold before your very eyes.
It’s impossible. Beverly Hills Cop works on the 4th time or the 400th. Watching it in Hollywood at the historic Mann Chinese theater with my friends, a full crowd and an introduction by not just Eddie, but also Judge Reinhold, John Ashton and director Martin Brest? It was pure moviewatching nirvana.
The first time I saw Cop was as a 12 year-old babysitting the neighbors’ kids. They were asleep, and I was ecstatic sneaking a peek at an R-rated VHS tape. Another time I watched it, I was a 19-year-old sophomore at USC, completing my 24 hour movie marathon bet, and grateful for a fresh blast of energized, sunny cinema (Eddie’s antics and the So Cal cinematography worked more wonders for my faltering eyesight than 2.5 hours of James Cameron’s The Abyss). The last shot, a freeze frame of Eddie’s bug eyes, says everything. You laugh and enjoy and hope for more experiences like this. If you can’t find them, simply “Stir It Up” again.