Movie Reviews

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F Ending Explained

Warning: Major spoilers for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F below!


Summary

  • Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F explores Axel’s personal life, focusing on his relationship with his daughter, Jane.
  • In the finale, the evil Captain Grant is killed and Axel saves his old friend Billy Rosewood.
  • The movie sets up potential storylines for a fifth installment, including Axel considering retirement and what life would be like outside the force.


Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F breaks Eddie Murphy’s beloved character back to California for another misadventure, with the ending leaves the door open for more. Axel F catches up with Murphy’s titular detective 30 years on from the third entry, where he’s called back to Beverly Hills when his daughter Jane (Taylour Paige), a criminal defense attorney, is targeted for defending a supposed cop killer. She reluctantly works with her dad to uncover the truth, and they discover that BHPD Captain Grant (Kevin Bacon) is corrupt and in league with a drug cartel.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’s cast also includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Detective Bobby Abbott, Jane’s ex-boyfriend. The unlikely trio eventually unite to bring down Grant and find out what happened to Axel’s missing pal Billy (Judge Reinhold), a private detective also looking to bring down Grant. Like with every other Beverly Hills Cop movie, Axel F’s ending features a big shootout, where Foley and his crew kill the bad guys and expose the corruption within the police department.



Axel & The Gang Save Rosewood And Kill The Corrupt Grant

It just wouldn’t be Beverly Hills Cop without Billy Rosewood

Custom Image by Dalton Norman

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F Main Cast

Character

Eddie Murphy

Axel Foley

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Detective Bobby Abbott

Judge Reinhold

Billy Rosewood

John Ashton

John Taggart

Kevin Bacon

Captain Cade Grant

Taylour Paige

Jane Saunders

Paul Reiser

Jeffrey Friedman

Bronson Pinchot

Serge


While it’s great to see Judge Reinhold return for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, Billy only makes a small appearance. He’s the one who got Jane involved in his investigation into Captain Grant. After calling on Axel to come to Beverly Hills following the attack on Jane, Billy is soon kidnapped by the cartel after snooping on one of their shipments. A big chunk of Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F involves Axel and Jane trying to find him, and in the finale, Foley and Bobby rescue the captured Billy from a warehouse.

Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold are the only two actors to appear in every
Beverly Hills Cop
movie.


The trio then races to a mansion where Grant is holding Jane prisoner, planning to kill her to cover his tracks. Instead, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’s finale sees Axel and co (including Billy and John Ashton’s Taggart) killing the corrupt officers and cartel members, while Grant manages to wound Axel. It’s actually Detective Bobby who delivers the kill shot on Grant. In the aftermath, proof of Grant’s corruption helps Jane get her client Sam (Damien Diaz) off a murder charge that Grant’s men framed him for.

Axel Finally Admits His Mistakes And Apologizes To Jane

Axel F explores the human cost of being a supercop

Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) and Jane Saunders (Taylour Paige) walking outside the precinct in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F
Image via Netflix

Axel put his job before his family and while she may have pulled away from him, Jane still admonishes her father for not trying harder to stay in touch.


Eddie Murphy might look like he’s hardly aged since 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop 3, but the next entry acknowledges the passage of time. It appears Axel has barely changed either, since he’s still, as Grant states during an interrogation, “running and gunning” around Detroit. Foley lives for the action, regardless of how much the world has changed around him. Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F offers a more complex take on Foley, since viewers learn he really wasn’t a great father to Jane.

Axel put his job before his family and while she may have pulled away from him, Jane still admonishes her father for not trying harder to stay in touch. There are only so many gags Axel can use for distraction before he has to confront how much his actions hurt his daughter, while everyone from Jeffrey (Paul Reiser) to Bobby pushes him to confront his ego and apologize. Axel F closes with him and Jane in a restaurant, where he confesses his mistakes, and he and a tearful Jane make amends.


Do Bobby And Jane Get Back Together?

Axel F’s only romance ends on an ambiguous note

There isn’t much time for love in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, between all the car chases and shootouts. Still, a key subplot explores how a romance between Bobby and Jane fizzled because she didn’t want to get involved with a detective. Circumstances force them to work on the same case in Axel F, where their old chemistry starts flaring up. During an undercover operation, Jane even kisses “husband” Bobby to make their romance more convincing to onlookers.

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This results in a knowing smirk from Abbott, but by the time Axel F races to the finish line, this subplot is thrown to the side. It’s possible the case brought them back together – especially after Jane worked through some of her trust issues regarding her father – but if that’s the case, the movie’s ending leaves it up to viewers to decide if Jane and Bobby are a thing.

Taggart & Billy’s Estrangement Explained

How Beverly Hills Cop’s biggest bromance fell apart

One of the recurring elements of the Beverly Hills Cop series is the way Axel’s presence and commitment to doing the right thing rubs off on others. This extends to Rosewood and Taggart, who were two by-the-book detectives who were swayed by Foley’s unconventional crime-solving techniques. Taggart was missing entirely from the third installment, having retired shortly before it began. Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Freveals Taggart later became Chief of Police, just to avoid being around his wife all the time.


Billy and Taggart reunite in
Axel F’s
final gunfight, mirroring the showdown from the first film. While Billy is still angry over what happened, he and Taggart hug it out and renew their bromance.

Billy and Taggart were best friends in the first two movies, but in Axel F, they fell out over a case involving Captain Grant. Billy believed Grant falsified evidence to get cartel members off a drug charge; when Taggart backed Grant, Billy quit in protest and became a P.I. instead. Bill and Taggart reunite in Axel F’s final gunfight, mirroring the showdown from the first film. While Billy is still angry over what happened, he and Taggart hug it out and renew their bromance.

Why Axel Sent His Ex-Wife & Jane Away From Detroit

Axel should have left with them

Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley with his hands up surrounded by a crowd holding phones up in Beverly Hills Cop 4


Axel’s estrangement from Jane is the key storyline in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, and they spend the film working through it. Axel reveals he sent Jane and her mother away from Detroit when the 12th Street Mafia threatened to hurt them; fearing for their safety, he pushed them away. In the aftermath, Jane’s mother divorced Axel and the bond between him and Jane gradually withered away.

Jane accepts Axel did what he did to keep them safe, but questions why he stayed in Detroit instead of being with them. Beverly Hills Cop 4 underlines that Axel loves Detroit and his job, so the idea of leaving probably never occurred to him. This also speaks to the toll the job can take, with Grant later putting it to Axel that being a detective has cost him everything. Unlike Grant, Foley doesn’t believe this entitles him to anything though.


Who Was Jane’s Mother?

It’s NOT Axel’s Beverly Hills Cop 3 love interest

Eddie Murphy and Theresa Randle in the final scene of Beverly Hills Cop 3

The only entry with a romance subplot for Axel is Beverly Hills Cop 3, where he and Wonder World employee Janice Perkins (Theresa Randle) had some spark going. Axel F confirms Janice is not Jane’s mother, however, with her mother’s surname being Saunders. Jane was also born prior to the third film. Sadly, there’s little information on Jane’s mother outside her surname; her face is never shown and all that’s known about the marriage is that it ended badly. Perhaps a potential Beverly Hills Cop 5 could explore this in more detail.

Why Captain Grant Is Working With The Cartel

Axel F’s villain is the moral opposite of it’s hero

Joseph Gordon Levitt Kevin Bacon and Eddie Murphy in Beverly Cop Axel F
Custom Image by Simone Ashmoore


Kevin Bacon is clearly having fun hamming it up in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, playing the head of a narcotics task force in league with a cartel. Foley quickly notices Grant’s expensive clothes and watch, and deduces there’s something off about him. Taggart also believes Grant is trustworthy, but while this was once the case, decades on the job wore down Grant’s morals. An injury that nearly cost him a leg was rewarded with a pat on the back and a ribbon, while his job cost him his marriage.

Grant decided he was owed for his sacrifices, so he decided to get rich working with a cartel. Grant and Foley mirror each other in many ways, but the big difference is that Axel never lost his belief in right and wrong. Grant wants to wear expensive clothes and experience the nice things in life, while Beverly Hills Cop’s protagonist is content with his Detroit Lions jacket, his friends and the satisfaction of doing the right thing.


Why Jeffrey Sacrificed His Career To Save Axel’s

Paul Reiser’s Jeffrey is also back for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Paul Reiser as Jeffrey Friedman in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F
Image via Netflix

Several actors were dropped from the third Beverly Hills Cop due to budget cuts, including Paul Reiser as Jeffrey, Axel’s dweeby partner. In Axel F, Jeffrey has replaced the late Inspector Todd (Gil Hill) as Axel’s boss in Detroit. The sequel opens with Axel chasing thieves through Detroit in a snow plow, causing much property damage along the way. After Axel gets his traditional chewing out, Jeffrey reveals he handed in his retirement papers to save Axel’s job.

The other cast members dropped from
Beverly Hills Cop 3
were John Ashton (Taggart) and Ronny Cox (Chief Bogomil).


At first, Jeffrey states he’s tired and wants to spend time with his family, but Axel believes there’s more to it. Jeffrey admits he worries about Axel, and how, after so long patroling the streets, that work is all he has left in his life. That’s one of Foley’s key realizations as Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F unfolds, since being a cop can’t be his only identity. This is why he works so hard to reconnect with Jane.

How Axel F Sets Up Beverly Hills Cop 5

A fifth Beverly Hills Cop is already in development

Reviews for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F have been largely positive, and it’s tough to picture it not being a hit for Netflix. Murphy has stated Beverly Hills Cop 5 is already being discussed, though Axel F doesn’t directly set one up. That said, since Jane lives in Beverly Hills and they both vowed to stay in touch, Axel has a good excuse to visit more often.


Jeffrey’s retirement and the sequel’s talk of making a life outside the job could set up a fifth outing where Axel considers retirement. He’s already considered past his prime in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F and his shelf life as a cop patrolling the streets is limited. Beverly Hills Ex-Cop sounds like a natural progression of the fourth entry’s themes, and it might be nice for one more installment to send Foley into the sunset.

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