Monday, January 07, 2008

Beverly Hills Cop

Nick Capezzera

A black rogue cop from Detroit, how do you become more streetwise. This is very apparent when Axel Foley travels to Beverly Hills to find the man that is responsible for the murder of his partner. Eddie Murphy is definitely put into the role of the black hero against the white oppressive enemies. This contrast of good and bad creates a more standout role for Foley as the black man.

The role of Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop is created as a one dimensional character that many black comedian action heroes often play. Hollywood has shaped Foley into what the majority of mostly white consumers want to see. Instead of staying in his broken down area of the city of Detroit he travels out to Beverly Hills. The California city is supremely opposite to his normal stomping grounds everyone is exclusively white, wealthy, pretentious, and seems to be a place that a man of his stature would never fit in. This would lead me to believe that it may also be a matter of class as well as race.

Another play upon his blackness is the characters he conjures up in order to slip into these exclusively white clubs. Guerroro’s example of Foley’s interpretation of a herpes ridden drug addict is a mocking the very stigmas that early black actors were trying to shy away from. Which, are roles in which the actor focuses not on his blackness, but what the consumer would like to see character do.

Along with the blackness that Murphy portrays, comes two white cops from the LA area that seem unqualified for law enforcement according to Foley’s standards. Taggart and Rosewood, the two cops, must learn from the Axel’s street knowledge in order to be successful.


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