Eddie Murphy returns in 'Beverly Hills Cop' sequel

VALERIE MACON/ AFP

After more than a decade of superheroes saving the world on the movie screen, Eddie Murphy is bringing back the character he describes as "every man".

Murphy returns as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, a new installment in the action comedy franchise that debuted 40 years ago in 1984. The movie lands on Netflix on Wednesday.

"For 10-15 years, everything was CG (computer-generated), big visual effects and superheroes and people saving the day wearing capes and tight suits," Murphy said in an interview.

"I knew eventually it would have to get back to this," he added. "It used to be stuff was character-driven and story-driven and that's going to always work."

In the new film, the wise-cracking Foley is working as a detective in Detroit when he learns his estranged daughter is in danger in Beverly Hills. He returns to the city to reconnect with her and help solve a case.

Foley "is not Superman" Murphy said. "He's every man, every guy who doesn't play by the rules. He's the kind of guy you want to have a beer with."

The movie - the fourth in the franchise and the first since 1994 - aims to capture the look and feel of the original without modern special effects. The action takes place through real-life stunts such as a harrowing helicopter chase across Los Angeles.

"What was more difficult was all the physical stuff," Murphy said. "I'm in my 60s now and I did the first one (at) 21 years old, so you can imagine the differences."

Previous stars Judge Reinhold and John Ashton reprise their roles in the film. Newcomers include Kevin Bacon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Bacon said he liked the old-school stunts in the new movie, saying he believed it was hard to impress today's audiences with computer-generated effects.

"If you put a truck driving and it knocks the door off a cop car, and you see Joe in the middle saying 'there's no seatbelt', that's like, to me, that's a wow," Bacon said.

"That's much more satisfying, I think, for people now because I think we're just kind of numb to all the other stuff."

Murphy said there had been attempts over the years to resurrect the franchise but none of the scripts had the "emotional hook" of the storyline between Foley and his now-adult daughter.

"The movie is really about this father reconciling with his daughter," Murphy said. "Once we added that to it, everything just fell into place. That's the glue that holds the whole movie together."

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