The first thing that surprises you Super Detective and Hollywood: Axel F. It's its rhythm, very similar to any of the other films in the series it comes from. Which is strange, considering that the Netflix film is released exactly thirty years after the first one. But the production seems to ignore that small detail and opts to copy a style that was already a bit dated three decades ago. That is: an action-packed start that, with difficulty, leads to the conflict of the plot.

For the first few minutes, director Mark Molloy is busy exploiting what made the franchise famous in the first place. Namely, the good-natured, sarcastic charm of Axel Foley, once again played by Eddie Murphy. Indeed, the actor has the subtlety to imbue this new version of his well-known character with a layer of amiable good nature. Now, in Detroit, he's living a fun a model-looking police officer, far removed from his Californian counterpart.

But the script by Will Beall, Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten does not take advantage of the idea that its protagonist has been active for more than thirty years. In fact, if there is something missing in this film, with an uneven pace and which, very soon, seems too slow for its mocking dialogues, it is how little it takes into account where it comes from. In fact, this belated sequel seems more of a reunion of friends — which it is, in a way — than a solid story.

Super Detective and Hollywood: Axel F.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. tries – but fails – to revitalize the 1980s saga from which he comes. So he limits himself to repeating an outdated formula, which only becomes interesting when Eddie Murphy shows his comedic talent. But even that is not enough for a run-of-the-mill film that ends up being boring and tedious.

Score: 2 out of 5.

Nostalgia is not enough in
'Super Detective and Hollywood: Axel Axel F.'

So the spectacular explosions in the first installment are a bit of filler: they add very little to the plot. That is, beyond the premise that will extend to the rest of the plot. Namely: that Alex Foley is back and with a new mission. Also with all his contagious energy, wordplay and audacity when needed. But the plot has a hard time proposing anything beyond that. The only thing that is really new is that the boy from the first film is now a father. And that, of course, will be the reason for her return to golden Beverly Hills.

For the occasion, the film doesn't beat around the bush, nor does it hide the fact that it's a belated sequel to a bigger product. So Foley's return to California is accompanied by the usual shots of shops, beaches and bikini-clad women. After that, it's down to business: there's a group of corrupt detectives who threaten not only the life of his Jane (Taylour Paige) and soon after, that of the detective himself. But the plot is so hackneyed and predictable that the film has real difficulty adding anything to what seems like a series of formulaic sequences. Murphy tries hard — and in fact, it's the best thing about the film, to no one's surprise — and makes his character shine amidst the crazy conversations and chases.

But it's not enough, and it's not enough, because the movie feels like a hastily shot production, with little regard for what made the originals interesting. In fact, the film just goes back and forth, without much to add to either the saga or the story it tells. There are hints — and some genuinely funny ones — about Foley's age (Murphy is 63), but those flashes of wit fall short.

The way the film sets up the relationship between the policeman and his daughter is also very interesting, but the script again misses the opportunity to explore an interesting twist. Instead, it moves on to the next explosion, crashed helicopter, overturned snowplow, or exploding vehicle, with surprising and disappointing suddenness.

A fun soundtrack, jokes between friends and nothing else

If something distinguishes Super Detective and Hollywood: Axel that it takes the common points that unite it with the saga and exploits them to excess. That is why it spends a lot of time including all kinds of songs for Foley to sing, or to accompany him on his triumphal entrances.

There are also quick jokes in the style of the early Beverly Hills Cop films — one particularly hilarious one lovingly pokes fun at Wesley Snipes — and plenty of satire about privilege. There is also, of course, a hyper-realistic shootout that is almost the best part of the film. But these are all loose pieces, without much grace or that, separated by sequences with strange rhythms, lead nowhere. Of course, nostalgia is the predominant element.

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