First Hit #1: August 1, 1987
Personally, I didn’t think Beverly Hills Cop II was a great movie. It operated under the principle that just shoving Eddie Murphy into situations where he could improvise would automatically create comedic gold, and in all honesty he didn’t really have anyone that held their own against him. It was frequently funny, but as a movie it wasn’t great – I’ll take a Murphy stand-up special over it any day.
In spite of that, it had a pretty perfect opening. Eddie Murphy driving around Detroit in a Ferrari 328 listening to Shakedown. The 328 is far from the best Ferrari, but it’s a looker, and that’s the point. We’ve got a cool song – it’s even about cops, so thematically appropriate! – a cool car, and a cool person driving it, and combined they compliment each other’s sense of style in order to make a whole that is undeniably impressive. None of these elements have the same stature now as they did at the time – Murphy’s career has suffered some serious setbacks, such as appearing in Norbit, the Ferrari 328 has less power than a sensible V6 Chevrolet Impala, and Shakedown definitely sounds of the era – but that doesn’t matter. All of this stuff was cool, and while cool is fickle, at the time you had a perfect combination. Watching the opening credits of Beverly Hills Cop II again, you are immediately transported to a specific time and place, and also reminded what you liked about it at the time.