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Beverly Hills Cop III, or Cop III as it was promotionally known, is a 1994 action-comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and directed by John Landis, who had previously worked with Murphy on Trading Places and Coming to America. It is the third film in the Beverly Hills Cop series.

Murphy returns as Detroit cop Axel Foley, who once again returns to Beverly Hills, California to stop a gang of armored car dealers, responsible for the death of his boss. Foley teams up with his friend, Beverly Hills detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), and his investigation leads him to an amusement park known as Wonderworldmarker. The film features a number of cameo appearances by well-known film personalities including Robert B. Sherman, Arthur Hiller, John Singleton, Joe Dante, special effects legend Ray Harryhausen, and George Lucas as a ride patron.

Beverly Hills Cop III was released on May 25, 1994 and grossed US$44 million in the United States, and over $75 million in the foreign box office. The film was considered by critics and admittedly by Murphy himself as the most disappointing film in the series.


During an assignment in Detroit, Axel Foley's boss Inspector Todd gets killed, and certain evidence points towards an amusement park called "Wonderworldmarker". Axel Foley returns to Beverly Hills, California to search for Todd's killer. Upon arriving in Beverly Hills, Axel looks up his old friend, Billy Rosewood, who has attained the title of DDOJSIOC (Deputy Director of Joint Special Inter-Operational Command). Foley's investigation into Wonderworld reveals that the park's private security force is a murderous counterfeit ring, operating under the command of Todd's assassin, security boss Ellis DeWald (Timothy Carhart), and park manager Orrin Sanderson (John Saxon).

The dialogue in the film reveals that Sergeant Taggart has retired; a detective named Jon Flint (played by Hector Elizondo) is effectively Rosewood's partner in the movie. The whereabouts of Andrew Bogomil is not mentioned (promoted to Police Chief at the end of the last movie). In the first scene in Rosewood's office, a framed photograph of himself, Foley, Taggart and Bogomil can be seen; this is the same photograph glimpsed in Bogomil's home in Beverly Hills Cop II.


  • Initially, the plot for this film would have concerned Foley, Rosewood, and Taggart (John Ashton) going to London to rescue Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox) who was being held hostage by terrorists during a International Police Convention. However, numerous problems such as scripting issues and the budget, caused pre-production to drag out the point that both John Ashton and Ronny Cox had to drop out due to obligations to other pending film projects.

  • When John Ashton was unable to reprise his role of Taggart, his part was re-written as John Flint (Hector Elizondo) and dialog was inserted to explain that Taggart had retired.

  • The Alien Attack ride that Janice Perkins (Theresa Randle) demonstrates to Axel Foley when he first comes to Wonderworld is actually the Earthquake section of the Studio Tour at Universal Studios in Hollywood. The alien robots are similar to the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica (1978).

  • The Annihilator 2000 shown off by Serge at the security convention is actually a dressed up 5.56mm Colt M16, with extras.


Writer Steven E. de Souza originally wrote the story as more “Die Hard in a theme park”. He was told that each of the rides he had designed would cost about $10 million to build and the whole film would cost about $70 million. When box office results for The Distinguished Gentleman came in, Paramount ordered the budget to be cut to $55 million. Consequently the film became more about the investigation and less about the action.

Production was temporarily shut down to allow the Paramount top brass the chance to get to grips with the film's spiraling budget. Originally estimated at $55 million, it was soon in excess of US$70 million. Of that budget, $15 million was Eddie Murphy's paycheck.


The theme park featured in the movie was California's Great Americamarker, however some modifications were made to the Columbia Carousel and Vortex roller coaster. The park is in Santa Clara, Californiamarker and not Beverly Hills as portrayed in the movie. Most of the Sky Whirl Scene stunts were filmed in a studio. In this scene, George Lucas has a small part as the man Axel cuts in front of to get on the ride, also known as 'disappointed man' (this can be seen in the credits). The tunnels that supposedly ran under the park are a myth as well. No tunnels run under the park, as many thought after this was released. Many rides that were seen in the movie including Triple Play, the Sky Whirl (now a roller coaster) have since been removed. Also, the carousel at the back of the park (a single story one, not the Columbia Carousel) was altered. The single story one was removed for Drop Zone. The ride featured in the rescue scene at the park was Triple Wheel (formerly known as Sky Whirl). Since the movie was made, the ride has been demolished and scrapped.

The Alien Attack ride featured in the Wonderworld theme park was in fact the Earthquake: The Big One attraction from the Universal Studios Floridamarker theme park in Orlando, Floridamarker . The "aliens" featured in the ride are suited actors (and not animatronic as suggested in the film) which closely resembled the Cylons from the original Battlestar Galactica.

The film's director John Landis hired the Sherman Brothers to write the "Wonderworld Song" which appears throughout the second half of the movie. The song is a comedic take on their own signature song, "It's A Small World". Robert B. Sherman also makes a cameo in the film. In the film, he sits next to Arthur Hiller and Ray Harryhausen in a bar when they hear that "Uncle Dave" is shot. "Uncle Dave" is the owner of "Wonderworld" which is like Disneyland. Uncle Dave is a character modelled loosely after Walt Disney, the Sherman Brothers' mentor.


Even though Harold Faltermeyer did not return to scoring duties on Beverly Hills Cop III (instead, the task was handled by Nile Rodgers), his song co-producer from the previous franchise entries, Keith Forsey, did produce and co-write a new song. "Keep The Peace", performed by INXS was supposed to be in the vein of previous Faltermeyer/Forsey Beverly Hills Cop techno-pop stadium anthems such as "The Heat Is On" (performed by Glenn Frey) and "Shakedown" (performed by Bob Seger). Also, Rodgers honored Faltermeyer's theme including it in the film only with an orchestral arrangement. Eazy-E released a single called "Luv 4 Dem Gangsta'z" in 1994.


The film was criticized for many reasons. For one, fans of the series missed John Ashton (who portrayed John Taggart), Ronny Cox (Andrew Bogomil) and Paul Reiser (Jeffrey Friedman), who did not reprise their roles. Secondly, original producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer were not involved in the production as they were previously. Many critics felt the movie was a generic, formulaic action-comedy film. Critics also felt Eddie Murphy gave a somewhat routine performance as Axel Foley. In an 2005 interview, John Landis claimed that Eddie Murphy worked against the comedy of Beverly Hills Cop III. Landis said that the movie "was a very strange experience. The script was not any good, but I figured, “So what? I will make it funny with Eddie.” I mean, one of the worst scripts I ever read was [the original] Beverly Hills Cop. It was a piece of shit, that script. But the movie is very funny because Eddie Murphy and Martin Brest made it funny. And with Bronson Pinchot...that was all improvised. Everything funny in that movie is not in the screenplay, so I thought, “Well, we will do that.” But then I discovered on the first day when I started giving Eddie some shtick, he said, “You know, John...Axel Foley is an adult now. He is not a wise ass anymore.” I believe he was very jealous of Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes doing these [straight roles]. So, with Beverly Hills Cop III, I had this strange experience where he was very professional, but he just was not funny. I would try to put him in funny situations, and he would find a way to step around them. It is an odd movie. There are things in it I like, but it is an odd movie."[94015]

When Eddie Murphy appeared on the television show Inside the Actor's Studio (first airing on December 19, 2006), he claimed that he felt the third film was "atrocious" and such a disgrace that "the character was kind of banished for a while [from Hollywood]." He said he felt the third film did not reveal enough of the "edginess" of Axel that was present in the first two films. He also said he hopes to return the edgy qualities to the character for the fourth film, and is going to pay more attention to the development of the project and its quality.

Based on the criticism, the film was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards, for Landis as Worst Director and the film as Worst Remake or Sequel.

A fourth film

Beverly Hills Cop III was stated to be the last sequel of the series, but Steve Wilson on KOMO-TVmarker's First News at 4 Gossip section "The Buzz" mentioned that Eddie Murphy will return for Beverly Hills Cop IV. Murphy hopes it does better than Beverly Hills Cop III and continues the success of the first two films. In the DVD's special features of Beverly Hills Cop II, John Ashton says in an interview that he would like to reprise his character in Beverly Hills Cop IV, which strengthens the theory that he did not participate in Beverly Hills Cop III due to scheduling conflicts with another project. Rumors have circulated that Rosewood may die in this film.



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