There’s nothing like a 35th anniversary release of a movie from the 80s that makes me feel old, and BEVERLY HILLS COP II’s new 4k disc release is certainly no exception. I remember seeing this movie for the first time on a VHS tape rental and later buying a copy, playing it over and over again with the first movie, a hilarious cop comedy with a fish-out-of-water Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), a Detroit cop finding himself in the swanky Beverly Hills, California district and catching the bad guys that killed a friend of his, making friends with the Beverly Hills police department along the way. BEVERLY HILLS COP was a smash hit and pushed Eddie Murphy into A-list status and even a few more hit movies along the way until this 1987
In the sequel, he finds himself and his cop friends entangled in a series of robberies designed by the letters of the alphabet. When it comes across Beverly Hills Police Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox) being gunned down after snooping around, Foley drops his undercover work in Detroit and is back for more shenanigans with his officers Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and Taggart (John Ashton) that he befriended in the first adventure.
This movie has a completely different look and tone then Martin Brest’s 1984 smash hit. The first movie features a lot of quieter, dialogue heavy scenes that is a trademark of the filmmaker along with some brief action scenes and a lot of comedic scenes from Murphy. Here, Part II is directed by the late, great Tony Scott fresh off of his massive success of TOP GUN and together with his same cinematographer Jeffery Kimball makes it loud with a blazing soundtrack, tons of shootouts and car chases, and even Foley himself is more of a loudmouth who humiliates a lot of people he comes in contact with.
This definitely set critics and audiences apart back in the day, and yet watching it again I was still immensely entertained by all of it, flaws and all. I still laughed a lot, I was invested in the action and all of the bizarre comedy. This has never been a perfect film series, and there has been talk for YEARS about a possible fourth BEVERLY HILLS COP movie for a streamer like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
About the 4k disc:
In preparation to watching the sequel, I also ran my 4k copy of the classic 1984 BEVERLY HILLS COP as a double feature, as I haven’t seen either of these movies in a few years. I was a bit surprised to see a pretty weak 4k/HDR transfer in the first one with a lot of noise and softness and could clearly tell this was a far cry from how the movie looked originally in theatres.
PART II, however, is absolutely outstanding in its presentation and gave me a throwback to what the large format 70mm blowups would have looked like back in its very wide release in 1987. Earlier I mentioned that Tony Scott had directed the movie with DOP Kimball and a same team, so they all have their own unique design here. COP II was shot on 35mm in the Super 35 format with a lot more emphasis on warm colours, film grain and fast edits, and it is all gorgeously captured here. Kudos to Paramount who clearly did a bit of work here and restored this movie to how it originally looked.
The 5.1 soundtrack is quite loud in DTS Master Audio with a lot of shoot-outs and its thunderous soundtrack is a lot of fun throughout, along with the terrific rock and R&B soundtrack. The 80s kid in me still loves it. I played this one pretty loud and wish I was in a 1987 cinema listening to the six-track magnetic mix.
There are absolutely no special features to speak of on this release, even though there were some included on the original DVD release. There is also no backup Blu Ray with any features, but there IS an Apple TV digital code included that is also 4k and Dolby Vision. If you are looking for a Blu Ray disc, there is a release of the whole trilogy restored to pick up. I’m now curious if Paramount will release a 4k edition of the notorious 1994 PART III from John Landis and if so what we’re in for.
BEVERLY HILLS COP II is now available on 4k Blu Ray from Paramount. Our thanks to Paramount PR for sending along a copy for review.