For, Aug. 8, 2014

Eddie Murphy's first movie was "48 HRS." in 1982, a buddy cop-and-con comedy-thriller in which he exploded on the screen as a major talent.

He then co-starred with Dan Aykroyd in "Trading Places" and with Dudley Moore in "Best Defense." (Actually, the latter was a Moore vehicle, but it tested so poorly that some unconnected scenes with Murphy were added at the last minute. It didn't help.)


But Murphy's first solo starring role was in "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984), which catapulted him to the A-list as he became one of the biggest comic movie stars in the world.

"Beverly Hills Cop" remains an uneasy mix of very funny sequences, and very violent and profane sequences. But there's no denying the laugh quotient.


   John Ashton, left, Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, 'Beverly Hills Cop'

Murphy plays a mouthy undercover police detective in Detroit who travels to Beverly Hills, Calif., in search of a killer. But the police aren't terribly cooperative, and their style, deferential and unfailingly polite, clashes dramatically with Murphy's aggressive, sometimes abrasive attitude. Eventually, he teams up with two detectives (John Ashton, Judge Reinhold) and gets the job done, but it is, as they say, the journey that is most rewarding.

The body count is staggering, especially in the bullet-ridden climax, and the f-word flies a little too fast and free, but the laughs — some of them hilarious — are frequent most of the way, and there are many memorable sequences.

Ashton, Reinhold and Ronny Cox (as their chief) are terrific foils for Murphy, along with Bronson Pinchot in a memorable cameo. Lisa Eilbacher co-stars and look quick for Paul Reiser and Damon Wayans.

You can catch "Beverly Hills Cop" on Sunday, Aug. 10, at 2 p.m., or Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 2 and 7 p.m., at various Cinemark Theaters around the state (and the nation).