Sunday, January 06, 2008

Beverly Hills Cop

In Ed Guerrero’s book Framing Blackness: The African American Image in Film, he focuses on the ongoing black stereotype in the cinema today. All though progress has been made towards removing racism, the drug-pushing, unemployed, criminal black character is unfortunately still commonly seen. In the movie Beverly Hills Cop this idea is seen in Eddie Murphy’s role as Detective Axel Foley. From the start of the film Murphy goes undercover as a criminal trying to illegally sell cigarettes and to accurately play the part he uses improper grammar and tries to make himself seem dumb. Although Murphy’s character, Axel Foley’s, real demeanor is actually a very quick witted and knowledgeable police officer, he is repeatedly seen through out the movie, what seems almost sarcastically, playing the exact opposite person. Such scenes as when Foley first arrives at The Palms Hotel and he pulls up in his old ratty car and his only luggage is a dirty old bag while in the background you can see he is surrounded by beautiful rich people. Using only his own wit and intuition Foley solves the murder of his friend, but instead of ending the film with Foley leaving heroically he instead makes a comment about how he stole three bathrobes from the hotel and is then escorted out of of Beverly Hills by the cops. After seeing this movie is was very easy to see why Guerro chose to discuss it in his book. Murphy’s character is everything that Guerro’s describes and it is not an uncommon role to be seen today.


Blogger Vladigogo said...

You raise a good point about Axel. He does use his wits and he is smart, but that is lost amidst the roles that he plays and the fact that he plays the clown. Consider his smarts and contrast it with Virgil's.

9:30 PM  

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