Sunday, January 06, 2008

Beverly Hills Cop and Framing Blackness

“Beverly Hills Cop” and “Framing Blackness”

Axel Foley is anything other than what would be considered the “prototypical” cop. Rather than going by the book, he goes in the complete opposite direction. Foley uses his instincts, like the scene in the strip club for example, rather than following the instructions or commands of the people above him. When Foley leaves his hometown of Detroit, to visit the largely white area of Beverley Hills, his differences become very apparent. He not only stands out because of the color of his skin, but also because of the way he talks, dresses, the car he drives and the way he acts. The movie does not focus on his blackness, or create black jokes, except for one scene that stands out to me: while trying to get a room at a nice hotel, he tries to use his race as an issue by shouting that “no n*ggers are allowed” in this place.
Guerrero talks about how when one black actor is cast with a predominantly white cast, the film portrays this one black person as the stereotype for all black people. This is largely the case in “Beverly Hills Cop”, in that Foley is the only black character who receives any significant screen time throughout the movie. The script of the movie does not spend a significant amount of time pointing out the he is the lone black man, but because of the events which take place, this movie could be viewed as framing black men as people who, whether with good or bad intentions, go against the rules and customs of the area which they are in, in order to maintain their identity and uniqueness.


Blogger Vladigogo said...

I think your final comment is quite interesting about the nature of how Axel goes against the rules. What does the film say then about white rules vs. black rules?

5:48 PM  

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