Showing posts with label Eddie Murphy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eddie Murphy. Show all posts

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Trading Places

Just a couple of days ago I mentioned in my Beverly Hills Cop review that I hadn’t seen any of Eddie Murphy’s early films. I realised afterwards that this was incorrect as years ago I’d seen an even earlier movie, Trading Places. It just so happened that I’d recorded that very same movie a few weeks ago and watched it again yesterday. Trading Places is a satirical comedy in which two very wealthy commodities brokers mess with the lives of an employee and a homeless man for their own amusement. Their nature vs. nurture argument leads to a bet that they can turn a poor, uneducated black man (Eddie Murphy) into a wealthy broker while simultaneously turning their suave and successful employee (Dan Aykroyd) into a bum who turns to crime.

Despite its liberal message Trading Places is all over the place morally and much of the humour is derived from racist or offensive material. It’s not a particularly funny film in general but is well made and despite the inherent moral problems with the story, the plot is engaging and thought provoking. The film opens with a montage which sites the differences between Philadelphia’s rich and poor. In the inner city kids are seen playing in littered streets and men huddled round burning drums while in more upmarket areas, people are waited on by butlers and enjoy fine cuisine. This difference is then extended to the introduction of the central characters.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Beverly Hills Cop

People of my generation, born in the mid 1980s have a problem when it comes to Eddie Murphy. To many of us born too late to enjoy his 80s heyday the first time around, he’s that annoying guy who pops up every couple of years to play every character in an awful movie. This is a shame because recently I saw a film which changed my opinion of the Spice Girl bothering, fat suit wearing funny man. That film was Beverly Hills Cop. I’d recorded the film when it was on T.V. so long ago that trailers for Django Unchained were running in the ad breaks but don’t know why I did. I can’t ever remember enjoying an Eddie Murphy performance and never expected to. Well, now I have.

Alex Foley (Murphy) is a wisecracking, talented but reckless young cop from Detroit. When his friend is murdered in front of him, against the express orders of his superiors, he tracks the case to Beverly Hills where he begins to investigate the murder while getting under the noses of the Beverly Hills P.D., especially Sergeant John Taggart (John Ashton) and Detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold). Slowly Foley uncovers a major smuggling operation and gets his more conservative and by the book colleagues on side as he does so.