Greatest Movie Series
Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
Beverly Hills Cop Films
Beverly Hills Cop (1984) | Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) | Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
|Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
d. Tony Scott, 100 minutes
Film Plot Summary
The film opened with leggy, white-garbed, statuesque blonde henchwoman Karla Fry (Brigitte Nielsen) arriving in a limousine at trendy jewelry store Adriano's in Beverly Hills, California. Wielding a gun, she entered the posh establishment and orchestrated a well-planned robbery with other masked accomplices, leaving her calling card - a monogrammed envelope with the letter A on it, and a pink rose.
During the credits to the tune of "Shakedown" (by Bob Seger), handsome and stylish Detroit Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) dressed for a day's work, and drove his expensive red Ferrari to the police department, to investigate a showy credit card fraud case. Back in Beverly Hills CA, Police Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox) phoned Axel, referring obliquely to how he was working on so-called "Alphabet Crimes" - he opened the monogrammed "A" envelope and studied a piece of paper with a series of cut-out numbers. His associates working alongside him, reprising their roles from the previous film, were Detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and Sgt. John Taggart (John Ashton). The new, brash Beverly Hills Police Chief Harold Lutz (Allen Garfield), only interested in impressing Mayor Ted Egan (Robert Ridgely) with his crime-fighting efforts, dressed down his officers - he called the "Alphabet Crimes" a local case (when he learned that Rosewood followed a hunch and called the FBI to help solve the case), and suspended commanding officer Bogomil for being an inept supervisor over his men. Lutz then placed both Taggart and Rosewood on traffic duty.
On his way home, Bogomil was followed by a black-wigged Karla Fry driving a Mercedes convertible, and then tricked to stop and assist with her car. She handed him a monogrammed "B" envelope (B for Bogomil): "What do you make of this, Andrew?" - and then both she and her accomplices in a drive-by car shot Bogomil, leaving him seriously wounded at the side of the road. When Foley heard the news report of the shooting on the radio, he phoned Bogomil's daughter Jan (Alice Adair) at the LA hospital and also spoke to Billy, learning that the "alphabet bandit" was probably responsible.
In order to leave Detroit while in the midst of the credit card fraud case, Foley asked "undercover" partner-colleague Jeffrey Friedman (Paul Reiser) to cover for him while he was out-of-town for a couple of days, by driving his $67,000 Ferrari, funded by the department. He assured his skeptical supervisor Inspector Douglas Todd (Gil Hill) (who asked: "Where are the bad guys at the end of this rainbow?") that he was close to solving his prolonged and expensive case, although was given only three days to wrap it up. Foley assured him: "I have to go deep undercover. I'm undercover deep now, this is deep, but I'm goin' deeper. I don't want no more money or nothin', but I'm goin' deep, deep deep, deep undercover." Todd authorized $1,000 in "flash money," used by Foley to travel to Beverly Hills, where he reunited with Rosewood and Taggart at the hospital. They informed him it was a "new ballgame" and that they weren't even assigned to the Alphabet case - when Foley asked to see the letters. However, they agreed to assist Axel, although they cautioned about the need to be careful since Lutz was eager to fire them.
After driving around Beverly Hills (to the tune of "Better Way" by James Ingram), Foley posed as a building inspector and shut down a remodeling job of a plush mansion, and then moved in for the week when the workers departed. At the police department while studying a shell casing from the jewelry store robbery, Police Chief Lutz appeared, and Foley quickly identified himself as Johnny Wishbone, a "psychic extraordinaire" from the island of St. Croix who was assisting. Afterwards, Foley convinced Rosewood and Taggart to reluctantly pursue the case ("low-profile" and "covert"), and vowed to help Bogomil, since two years earlier, "the man put his neck on the line for me."
At the exclusive Beverly Hills Shooting Club, Foley finagled his way with the receptionist into speaking with gun expert Russ Fielding (Tom Bower) about the unique, specially-designed shell casing, and was introduced to the club's suspicious assistant manager, Karla Fry. She reported to her boss, the alphabet bandit mastermind Maxwell Dent (Jurgen Prochnow), telling him that Fielding recognized the casing as one made for another henchman Charles Cain (Dean Stockwell), the club's manager, who had carried out the Adriano jewelry store robbery. Dent was worried that 'Foley' (presumably a cop) had made a connection between the club's guns and the crime, and ordered Cain to "kill him, burn him, blow him away." Foley falsely identified himself as Richard James, living at 1603 Hillcrest Road (the remodeled house) - the address to which Cain sent hitmen. Foley suspected the 6-foot blonde in the club as the one witnesses saw at the Adriano robbery.
At Jan Bogomil's place, Foley searched through her father's files, learning about a mysterious drop in oil stock prices, and a club called 385 North. He speculated that Bogomil was shot because he was on the right track in his investigation. He asked her to use her connections as an agent at her insurance company to learn about Dent's connections and dealings. He also found Bogomil's mud-covered jogging shoes, a possible clue.
Taggart, Rosewood, and Foley visited the 385 North club, a classy bar with two topless strippers dancing on stage (to the tune of "Love Hate" by Pebbles), where Foley discovered the owner was Nikos "Nick" Thomopolis (Paul Guilfoyle), "the biggest arms dealer on the West Coast." Cain's two assassins opened fire on them as they left the club, resulting in a shoot-out and a crashed car, but the two hitmen escaped. When confronted by the Beverly Hills police chief Lutz at the crash site, Detroit cop Foley (code-named Wishbone), explained how he was attached to a "multi-jurisdictional federal task force on organized crime" - the reason for his presence. Foley asked his Detroit partner Jeffrey Friedman to divert Inspector Todd from his office at around 9 am, so that Friedman could receive Lutz' phone call and back-up Foley's story.
Using a computer at police headquarters, fingerprints on the matchbook given to Foley's two assassins were identified - they belonged to Charles Cain, Dent's front man for his operations, who worked at the shooting club. However, Foley believed he wasn't the "master criminal" or Alphabet Bandit: "The dude is a weasel...This guy had nothing to do with Bogomil getting shot." At the shooting club later that night, the trio bypassed the alarm system (with Foley's bubble gum and foil trick), and found map coordinates in Cain's office desk. They pinpointed 9752 Gregory Way, the location of a Federal Reserve Bank depository (City Deposit) - the location of the next robbery. The attempted, intricate 3-minute heist, led by Karla Fry, was foiled by the arrival of Foley and Rosewood, who sounded the alarm, and then pursued the armored van in a cement mixer truck (to the tune of "Be There" by the Pointer Sisters), causing multiple car pileups. The two found the abandoned armored van and followed the tracks of its pick-up car to Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion (where the parking valet was Chris Rock in an early role).
Posing as the pool cleaner with his two Bd. of Health assistants, Foley gained entry to the backyard where a benefit was being held for Earthquake Relief, attended by black and white-bikinied Playmates engaged in a game of volleyball. At the event, Foley located Maxwell Dent who was accompanied by Karla. When Hugh Hefner (as Himself) arrived, Foley identified Thomopolis ("He's into guns and drugs") and Max ("Max kills cops for a living!") as common criminals to bust up the party. Dent whispered to Karla: "We'll go ahead as planned. Get Cain to prepare E." Foley had pickpocketed Dent, and from a business card learned the name of Dent's accountant - Sidney Bernstein (Gilbert Gottfried).
Foley was at the end of his three days' visit and realized time was running out. The trio tracked financial manager Bernstein to his office, where the crafty Foley used his computer (after accusing him of having 25 unpaid parking tickets) and learned that Dent and Karla were imminently traveling to Costa Rica. They were also found to be shipping 62 containers of oil field equipment there. After phoning Jan at her insurance company, Foley also learned that Dent had been the Cultural Attache to the East German Embassy in Honduras. He owned a racetrack, a shooting club, drilling rig companies, several oil companies - but his records indicated that he was in trouble. In the last six months, he let his insurance lapse on everything he owned except for one business - the racetrack (Empyrean Fields), which was heavily insured. Foley hypothesized that this was Dent's next target - Dent was robbing his own businesses for cash.
At the E. racetrack where they prepared for their next "alphabet" crime/heist (Dent was robbing his own businesses), Dent was frustrated by Cain's repeated failures (the bank robbery and the Foley hit). As the trio sped to the racetrack, Foley easily solved the "E" riddle - "Screw you cops, Signed Carlos" ["Carlos is Spanish for Charles"] -- it was deliberately made simple to implicate Charles Cain as the "alphabet robber" although Foley knew that the real mastermind was Dent. The robbery of the racetrack had already occurred when they arrived, and Cain had been killed by Karla with a gunshot to the head. At the crime scene, the police chief confidently announced that the "alphabet bandit" had been killed and the case was closed ("There will be no F crime").
Foley was still skeptical: "If Cain's the man, where's the money?" Adjoining the racetrack was Dent's Oil Field, covered with red mud - the same location where Bogomil had jogged and become suspicious. Foley surmised that Dent was going broke, so he planned numerous heists, framed Cain, then killed him in order to make it look like the case was over, as he escaped with all the profits - "Dent's not buying oil field equipment. He's buying guns from Thomopolis. Probably selling them to his contact, or some s--t like that, in Central America." The trio of Foley, Taggart, and Rosewood searched Dent's oil field trucks and found container-crates of weapons (grenades, bombs, guns), while Dent was making his final arms deal with Thomopolis inside the warehouse. After a massive shootout including the destruction of two loaded trucks with weapons, and the deaths (or surrender) of the bad guys as the police arrived on the scene, Dent attempted to escape in his car. The mastermind was shot dead through his windshield by Foley, causing his car to explode in flames as it plunged over a hill. As Karla threatened to kill Foley, Taggart shot her dead (exclaiming: "Women").
Police chief Lutz (with Mayor Egan) called the scene "a goddamn war zone," threatened federal agent imposter Foley with arrest, and told Taggart and Rosewood that he had already solved the case an hour earlier, and that they were fired. However, they were able to convince him that the "Alphabet Crimes" were about guns! Thomopolis sold guns that Dent had bought with stolen money from Adriano's and his own racetrack - and Dent was planning on escaping to Central America. After Billy stood up to Lutz and explained everything, Taggart accused the police chief of incompetence: "Chief Lutz doesn't have the guts to hear the truth from real cops. That's why we had to go undercover with Detective Foley to solve this case." The Mayor was fed up with Lutz' "abusive attitude" and promptly fired him.
After recovering, Bogomil was appointed the new Chief of Police by the Mayor. On the phone, the Mayor also thanked Foley's Detroit boss Todd for having him assist on the case. However, Todd chewed out his subordinate: "Now that you're done being a California hero, you better get your ass on back here to your real job." He was also scolded for having his "secret undercover partner" Friedman (seen with a cast on his leg) wreck his Ferrari. Foley left Beverly Hills to return to Detroit for "some good old-fashioned American street violence." As he drove off from the remodeled mansion, the real owners returned home, asking: "Who's that black guy?"
Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)
With one Academy Award Oscar nomination: Best Music, Original Song ("Shakedown", Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey for Music/Lyrics, Bob Seger for Lyrics).
Won one Razzie Award: Worst Original Song ("I Want Your Sex"), George Michael.
With a production budget of $28 million, and box-office gross receipts of $153 million (domestic) and $300 million (worldwide).
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