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You know, you have a very big mouth, sir! Are you hiding something from me? Is that what you're doing? I bet you that is your Porsche that's parked outside, isn't it? Isn't that your Porsche? Is it? How would you like me to have the IRS come down here and crawl up your f**kin' ass with a microscope? 'Cause they'll do it! I've seen them do it! It's not a pretty sight! I want you to know something, pal! And I want all of y'all to know something! I can have twenty five agents down here in fifteen minutes to march in here, snatch your bond from underneath you and you guys'll be out of business, permanently, if I don't get some cooperation! Is that understood?
~ Axel Foley pretending to be a United States Customs Service agent.

Axel Foley is the main protagonist of the Beverly Hills Cop film series. The character has been praised by critics and audiences alike and it of ten ranked among the best movie heroes. He is ranked No. 78 on Empire magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. Axel Foley was originally going to be played by Sylvester Stallone or Mickey Rourke. Stallone left the project and used some of his script ideas to make another movie featuring a similar character. Other actors who were considered for the role of Axel Foley were Al Pacino and James Caan.

He is portrayed by Eddie Murphy. The role of Axel Foley catapulted Eddie into stardom.

Biography

Beverly Hills Cop

Axel Foley is delighted when he receives a surprise visit from his best friend Mikey Tandino, who lives in Beverly Hills, California. Unfortunately, Mikey is soon killed when Axel was bumped in the head by a man named Zack. Against the threat of charges for meddling in an investigation by his boss, Inspector Douglas Todd, Foley goes to Beverly Hills, California anyway, to find Mikey's assailant (since Mikey told Foley he had a job at an art gallery in Beverly Hills) where Beverly Hills Police Department Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil assigns Detective Billy Rosewood and Sergeant John Taggart to keep an eye on Foley. Foley visits his childhood friend Jeannette "Jenny" Summers, who works at the art gallery as the manager. With Jenny's help, Foley discovers that Zack works for Jenny's boss, Victor Maitland the man who owns the gallery. Maitland is a drug kingpin who is using the gallery as a front, and Maitland ordered Zack to kill Mikey after Maitland accused Mikey of stealing some of Maitland's German bearer bonds. Billy, Taggart, and Foley head to Maitland's mansion to apprehend Maitland. Foley and Bogomil simultaneously shoot and kill Maitland. For his cooperation in the investigation, Foley is cleared of charges and returns to Detroit.

Beverly Hills Cop II

Detroit cop Axel Foley is watching the news on TV when the reporter tells a story that Foley's friend, Beverly Hills Police Department Captain Andrew Bogomil, has been shot by a tall blonde woman. Foley heads out to Beverly Hills to visit Bogomil in the hospital, and this is where Foley is reunited with Bogomil's daughter, Jan Bogomil. Foley is also reunited with Detective Billy Rosewood and Sergeant John Taggart. Rosewood and Taggart decide to let Foley help them find the woman who tried to kill Bogomil, even though abusive police chief Harold Lutz has been deliberately trying to find an inexcusable reason to fire Rosewood and Taggart. Foley, Rosewood, and Taggart soon discover that the Alphabet Crimes, a series of robberies that have been going on in the area, are masterminded by weapons kingpin Maxwell Dent and Dent had sent his fiance Karla Fry to try to kill Bogomil because Bogomil had been after Dent. With this information, Foley, Rosewood, and Taggart try to find Dent and Karla. Karla appears and is about to shoot and kill Foley with a Desert Eagle, but is shot dead by Taggart. Just as the last thugs are about to flee, the police arrive upon the scene, along with Lutz and Mayor Ted Egan. Lutz tries to fire Rosewood and Taggart for their so-called "insubordination", and also tries to arrest Foley. However, both Taggart and Rosewood stand up to Lutz this time and prove that Dent was the real Alphabet Bandit. They are also able to convince Mayor Egan of Lutz's incompetence, and the Mayor personally fires Lutz because he is tired of his abusive attitude towards his own men, and for jeopardizing the investigation. Mayor Egan chooses Bogomil to replace Lutz as the new Police Chief. Foley returns to Detroit, but only after he gets chewed out by Inspector Todd over the phone, after Egan called Todd to congratulate him on allowing Foley to assist them on this case.

Beverly Hills Cop III

One night in Detroit, during a shoot-out at a chop shop, Axel Foley sees his boss, Inspector Douglas Todd, deliberately murdered by a man named Ellis De Wald. With his dying breath, Inspector Todd asks Axel "Axel, are you on a coffee break?" and tells him to "go and get that son of a bitch". The evidence at the scene points to Wonder World, a theme park in Beverly Hills, California. Foley does some looking around, and finds the killer's vehicle, which contains evidence of a suspected counterfeiting operation.

In Beverly Hills, Axel is reunited with his friend Billy Rosewood, who tells Axel that John Taggart is now retired and living in Phoenix, Arizona. Rosewood is now the Deputy Director of Operations for Joint Systems Interdepartmental Operational Command (DDOJSIOC). Billy also has a new partner named Jon Flint. Foley checks out Wonder World, which is owned by Dave "Uncle Dave" Thornton. At Wonder World, Foley rescues two kids who are stuck on a ride that broke down, and after this, Foley is taken to see the park's head of security, Ellis Dewald, and Foley recognizes Dewald as Inspector Todd's killer. Flint refuses to believe this, because Dewald is one of Flint's friends, but in actuality, Dewald runs a counterfeiting ring that uses the theme park as a front.

Foley is also falling in love with Janice Perkins, who works at the park. When Dave gets shot by Dewald in the chest with his gun, Foley is accused of being the man who shot Dave after rushing him to the hospital. But Dave then tells the entire town it was not Foley who shot him, but it was their idol Dewald. With the - rather reluctant - help of Billy, Foley sets out to prove his innocence and get revenge on Dewald and Sanderson. This results in a chase and shootout with Sanderson and Dewald's security men all across the theme park.

Finally, in the park's prehistoric world ride, Foley manages to kill Dewald and avenges Todd, but gets shot himself. As he sits down to recover, Agent Steve Fulbright of the Secret Service, who had been seemingly helping Foley suddenly shows up after he killed Sanderson. Foley reveals that he has come to suspect that Fulbright is also involved in the counterfeit scheme. His suspicions turned out to be true, but just as the corrupt agent prepares to shoot him, Foley jumps him, and in the ensuing tussle, Fulbright is shot and killed with his own gun when it is fired. One of the shots, however, over penetrates and nicks Flint, who has just arrived having received a call and discovering Dewald's treachery and him who shot Dave; both are eventually joined by Rosewood, who has been seriously wounded by the security men.

In the end, Flint, Rosewood and Foley are all injured, and Janice invites Foley to an upcoming Tunnel of Love Ride, but not before the latest character of the theme park has been introduced—Axel Fox and Dave thanks Foley for bringing Dewald to justice.

Characteristics

Axel Foley began his career as an unemployed small-time juvenile delinquent before straightening himself out and joining the police force. A talented policeman, Axel is also known to bend the rules, which annoys his boss, Inspector Todd. The character is mainly comedic, but Eddie Murphy saw the potential with the character and wanted to have a more serious action hero in the third film. The movie, however, bombed and this was criticized. Murphy said that Beverly Hills Cop III is "different from the trilogy's first installment because Axel is more mature and no longer the wisecracking rookie cop." He also himself considers it the weakest film in the series. Director John Landis claimed that Eddie Murphy worked against the comedy of Beverly Hills Cop III. Landis said that the film "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 wiseass 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." In an interview with The A.V. Club in 2009, Bronson Pinchot claimed that Eddie Murphy "was really depressed" at the time Beverly Hills Cop III was being filmed: "Eddie was going through his period at the time of doing movies that were not hits, and he was very low-spirited, low-energy. I said to him, "All anyone ever wants to know when they meet me is what you're like." And he said, "I bet they don't ask that anymore." And then when we did a scene, we were shooting, and he was so low-energy that John Landis sent him upstairs and said, "Just rest, Eddie, and I'll do the scene with Bronson." So whenever you see my face in the movie, I'm not really talking to Eddie, I'm talking to John Landis. And I can understand it, he was just having a bad stretch. I don't know what started the funk, but it lasted a chunk of time, and that was in the belly of the funk, and he was just really sad and low-energy and I basically did the scene without him there." Eddie Murphy first said he thought "Beverly Hills Cop III was infinitely better than Beverly Hills Cop II." He later claimed during an interview in 2006 on Inside the Actors Studio 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 when he reprises the role next time, and is going to pay more attention to the development of the project and its quality. Talks of a fourth film have been going on for the past few years.

Trivia

  • In an early draft, Axel Foley was originally named Elly Axel and was a cop from Pittsburgh.
  • In the Sylvester Stallone draft before Eddie Murphy was cast, Axel was originally named Axel Cobretti, Jenny Somners was his love interest, and Mike Tandino was his brother.

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Movies
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley
Top Gun: Peter "Maverick" Mitchell | Nick "Goose" Bradshaw | Tom "Iceman" Kazansky | Jester
Beverly Hills Cop II: Axel Foley
Bad Boys: Marcus Burnett | Mike Lowrey
The Rock: Stanley Goodspeed | General Hummel
Con Air: Cameron Poe
Gone in Sixty Seconds: Randall Raines
Bad Boys II: Marcus Burnett | Mike Lowrey
Kangaroo Jack: Charlie Carbone | Kangaroo Jack
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl: Captain Jack Sparrow | Joshamee Gibbs | Will Turner | Elizabeth Swann
National Treasure: Ben Gates | Abigail Chase
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead's Man Chest: Captain Jack Sparrow | Joshamee Gibbs | Will Turner | Elizabeth Swann | James Norrington | Pintel & Ragetti | Hector Barbossa
National Treasure: Book of Secrets: Ben Gates | Abigail Chase
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Captain Jack Sparrow | Joshamee Gibbs | Will Turner | Elizabeth Swann | James Norrington | Pintel & Ragetti | Hector Barbossa
G-Force: Darwin (G-Force)
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Dave Stutler | Becky Barnes | Balthazar Blake | Balthazar's Eagle | Veronica Gorloisen | Prime Merlinean | Merlin
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: Captain Jack Sparrow | Joshamee Gibbs | Will Turner | Elizabeth Swann | Syrena | Hector Barbossa
The Lone Ranger: The Lone Ranger | Tonto
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Captain Jack Sparrow | Joshamee Gibbs | Will Turner | Elizabeth Swann | Henry Turner | Carina Smyth | Hector Barbossa
Gemini Man: Henry Brogan | Junior | Danielle Zakarewski | Baron
Bad Boys for Life: Marcus Burnett | Mike Lowrey | Armando Armas
Top Gun: Maverick: Peter "Maverick" Mitchell | Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw | Penny Benjamin | Jack "Hangman" Seresin | Tom "Iceman" Kazansky

See Also
Beverly Hills Cop Heroes | Buena Vista International Heroes | Disney Heroes | Paramount Heroes | Pirates of the Caribbean Heroes | Sony Pictures Heroes | Warner Bros. Heroes

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Axel Foley | Billy Rosewood | John Taggart | Andrew Bogomil

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