Thursday, January 03, 2008

Beverly Hills Cop/Framing Blackness

Alex Foley, who is played by Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop is a Black police officer with an edge to him. Foley does not possess the typical qualities that an avergae cop does. What I mean is, the "white cops" portrayed in this movie are considered to act by the book and have a strict authoritarian role in regards to the police force. The white cops are somewhat old school whereas Foley has more of a freestyle way of speaking and acting, regardless of him being part of the law; he stays true to himself!
Foley's blackness is shown throughout the film mainly due to his past and his attitude. Foley was originally a hood from the streets who did not perform any admireable acts. Foley became a cop and basically transformed himself into a better person leaving his nasty past where it belongs. Throughout the film, Foley aims to achieve any goal he wants and does not let anything or anyone get in his way. His blackness could be presented and stood out by his bold attitude and his anti-authoratarian outlook.
In Ed Guerrero's Framing Blackness, he focuses on white domination and sheds light on how blacks appear as criminals in films. What is refreshing about Beverly Hills Cop is that you have a black man who lived up to the black stereotypes and then overruled it by becoming a man of the law, but still did not let his ethnicity or morals change him. Guerrero also focuses on Blaxploitation which is a type of film that rears towards the black audience by using mainly black actors within the film. Once again, this aspect of blackness is refreshing because in these types of films, black individuals usually take the main role, whereas back in the day, blacks were always the white man's sidekick.

Also, Foley's relaxed dress and attitude made him stand out not only as an individual, but as a black cop. Foley posessed "cocky interpertations of blackness on the dominant white social order" which made his blackness more apparent (Guerrero, p.132). Lastly, when Guerrero mentioned "blackness as a challenge to white exclusion" I felt that Foley's character lived up to this phrase and created a new outlook on black actors (p.132).


Blogger Vladigogo said...

Axel does challenge black exclusion throughout all his scenarios in BHC, in the Harrow club, in the art gallery, in the hotel, but he never becomes part of the social order. He is always an outsider, isn't he? While he might challenge it by his presence, he is constantly removed from those places he challenges, so is it really that successful on his part?

7:13 PM  

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