Detective Axel Foley tells two smugglers he’s been waiting too long, he’s a businessman. One man gives him $2,000 in cash, not $5,000. Axel needs the full $5,000, pronouncing “five thousand dollars” in slow motion.
Cops arrive and the smuggler tells his partner to drive. More and more cops join the chase. Axel’s hanging onto chains in the back with boxes falling. Soon, the driver’s under arrest and the police recognise Axel.
Inspector Todd tells Axel he shouldn’t have gone undercover without authorisation. Axel’s a good cop with great potential, but he doesn’t know everything. One more stunt similar and Axel’s fired.
Axel finds his front door open. Mikey Tandino left prison six months before. Mikey presents some untraceable bearer bonds he stole. He was working as a security guard in California, a job he got through mutual friend Jenny Summers. She’s managing the world famous Hollis Benton Art Gallery. That evening, Axel’s knocked unconscious and Mikey is executed.
Axel shouts to Todd that they’re talking about a friend of his. Axel requests his vacation time. Todd threatens Axel with dismissal if he gets involved in the case.
Axel drives to the Beverly Palm Hotel. He claims to be a reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine there to interview Michael Jackson. He says he’s being mistreated because he’s black. He loudly details his intended publicising of this injustice until the manager offers him a full suite at the single-room rate.
Axel goes to the gallery. Jenny appears and they embrace. Axel says Mikey was killed in Detroit. Mikey said Jenny helped him get a job. His boss’s name’s Victor Maitland.
Axel takes a bouquet of flowers to Maitland’s office. Someone killed his friend Mikey some days ago in Detroit. Maitland says it sounds like something for the Detroit authorities.
Six men throw Axel through a window. The police arrive and they find his gun. Soon, Axel declares it’s the cleanest and nicest police car he’s ever been in. Sergeant Taggart asks why Axel didn’t identify himself as a police officer. Axel soon insults Taggart, who hits Axel in the stomach. Lieutenant Bogomil is appalled. Axel doesn’t want to file charges.
Bogomil just spoke with Inspector Todd. Axel’s an outstanding young detective, but he almost had to fire him for insubordination. Bogomil asks Axel what he’s doing in Beverly Hills. Axel says he’s on vacation. Bogomil says if he’s in California investigating the Tandino murder, he’ll be brought up on charges and fired.
Axel thinks Mikey stole a bag of German bearer bonds from whoever killed him. Jenny asks if he thinks Maitland’s connected to Mikey’s death. Victor Maitland’s one of the top art dealers in the US.
Taggart and Rosewood stakeout Axel’s hotel. Axel orders from the late supper menu and sends it down to the street. The waiter delivers the food, compliments of Mr Axel Foley.
Axel stuffs some bananas in Rosewood’s exhaust pipe. Jenny’s Mercedes appears and Axel waves at them. The cops try to follow, but the car soon conks out.
Jenny and Axel go to Maitland’s warehouse and Axel takes a sample of coffee grounds. Men open crates of bearer bonds, replace the lids and return the crates to their van.
Axel and Jenny follow the van to a bonded warehouse. Inside, Axel dupes a security supervisor into allowing him access to all their records.
Outside Maitland’s mansion, Axel bids Foster and McCabe good morning. Then, a car emerges from the compound. Axel drives after the car, losing the cops at the lights. Axel tails Maitland to the exclusive Harrow Country Club.
He effects an effeminate voice and says he’s looking for Victor Maitland. The maître d’ should tell Maitland that Ramon found out he has herpes simplex ten. Maitland should check himself out with his physician. The maître d says perhaps Axel should tell him. Axel approaches Maitland’s table, then throws Zack across the buffet table.
When Axel finds out for sure Maitland killed Mikey, he’s gonna mess up Maitland really badly. Maitland advises Axel to crawl back to Detroit before he gets squashed.
Bogomil asks why Axel’s bothering Maitland. Axel says Maitland had Mikey Tandino killed. Maitland’s a hotshot art dealer, but at his warehouse, Axel saw some guys unloading a crate of German bearer bonds.
Michael Tandino had similar bonds with him when he was killed. Maitland’s a smuggler of whatever. He pays to get his shipments out before they’re inspected. His guys take the drugs or bonds out of the crates and send them back before customs realises.
Axel’s witnessed everything except for the drugs. Bogomil wants Taggart to check it out with the LAPD, the FBI and the Customs Service. Chief Hubbard then asks to see Bogomil in private.
Rosewood’s told to escort Axel to the city limits. If he returns to Beverly Hills, he’ll be charged with disturbing the peace and fully prosecuted.
Maitland greets Jenny asking about Axel Foley and Michael Tandino’s murder. Maitland wondered if Jenny knew Axel. Jenny says they grew up together. He came in the previous day and told her Mikey was dead.
Axel says Maitland’s expecting a drugs shipment. Rosewood asks why Axel didn’t tell Bogomil. Rosewood says all they asked him to do was drive Axel out of town. They drive to Maitland’s gallery. Axel wants to get back inside the warehouse. Jenny also wants to check it out.
At the warehouse, Rosewood should sit and observe from the car. Axel will find evidence and alert him. Axel levers open a crate filled with cocaine packages in loose coffee grounds. Then, a gun is put to his head.
Rosewood watches Maitland leave one of two cars. Maitland tells Jenny he’s disappointed in her. Rosewood sees Jenny put into Maitland’s car. Zack gets very close to Axel’s face and taunts him, hitting him several times. Rosewood sees Maitland leaving, then goes in. He sees Axel, there’s a gunfight and Axel thanks Rosewood.
Rosewood radios Taggart to check out the warehouse and pleads with him not to tell Bogomil. Rosewood’s heading north on Palm Canyon Road. Taggart tells Foster and McCabe to check out the warehouse.
Axel’s trying to open one of Maitland’s gates. Taggart arrives and Rosewood tells him everything Axel said about Maitland is right. Axel breaks the lock and enters. Taggart gets his shotgun.
There’s machinegun fire and Axel shoots the man. Another man starts shooting. Rosewood kills him. A third machine gunner opens fire and all three cops dive over a wall.
Despatch reports shots fired at 609 Palm Canyon Road. Bogomil says despatch should put out a 998 officers need assistance. Undercovers on scene. Bogomil wants all north and south end units to roll.
Inside the house, Zack starts firing at Axel with a shotgun. Marked cars rapidly arrive. Axel shoots Zack three times, then Maitland shoots Axel in the arm.
Maitland holds Jenny hostage. Bogomil appears behind Axel and says freeze. Jenny elbows Maitland and ducks. Bogomil and Axel then both unload on Maitland.
Four armed officers appear outside and make the two machine gunners surrender their weapons. Rosewood stands and tells them they’re all under arrest.
Afterwards, Hubbard asks what Axel’s doing there, wondering why he isn’t wearing cuffs. Hubbard tells Rosewood to place him in custody. Bogomil suggests Hubbard would like to hear his report first. Hubbard’s surprised Bogomil can explain everything.
Miss Jeanette Summers accidentally discovered what she suspected was cocaine in the art gallery’s warehouse. She told Detective Axel Foley who was cooperating in a joint Beverly Hills-Detroit investigation.
Detectives Foley and Rosewood proceeded to the warehouse where Rosewood discovered approximately eighty kilos of cocaine. Rosewood called for back up and Bogomil despatched their officers. Sergeant Taggart was first on the scene.
Sergeant Taggart joined Rosewood with Detective Foley present as an observer, and proceeded to enter the grounds. In self-defence, they shot several suspects including Mr Maitland.
Taggart confirms it happened just like the lieutenant said. Hubbard says congratulations are in order. Axel asks Bogomil if he could call Inspector Todd and straighten things out for him in Detroit. Bogomil is happy to.
With his wounded arm, Axel checks out. He’s surprised when Taggart and Rosewood arrive. Bogomil ordered them to make sure Axel left town. Taggart says the Beverly Hills Police Department is paying Axel’s bill. At $95 each, Axel puts two Beverly Palm bathrobes on his tab.
Axel gives Rosewood a robe for saving his life. Taggart takes Axel’s bag. Axel gives the other robe to Taggart. Taggart says Axel should keep it as a souvenir. Axel confesses he already has three in his bag.
Rosewood’s surprised Axel isn’t saying goodbye. Axel figures they’re tailing him to the city limits anyway. He asks if they’ll join him for drink. Rosewood says they’re on duty. Taggart says one drink won’t kill them. Axel tells Rosewood to listen to Taggart and lighten up.
Starring Eddie Murphy. Judge Reinhold. John Ashton. Rated 15. Dir Martin Brest. Released in the UK 1984. Runtime 1hr 45mins