The Pitch: Beverly Hills Cop 4
The purpose of this column/series is to emulate how a meeting would go between a studio executive and a person, a passionate person, with an idea (pitch) for a movie. In this case, or every case for that matter with regards to this series, yours truly is that aforementioned passionate person.
Now that was the polite way of putting it.
In reality, the uninspired suited gatekeepers, who hold all the green light power, need a blunt kick to their out-of-touch bloody skulls! Yeah, they say you get more with honey (being nice). And in order for some these over-paid clowns to buy into a cinematic concept, and then move forward with funding the production, being nice can be the ideal approach. But since the world, specifically the realm of Hollywood, is already fake enough with people constantly masquerading with tactical kindness, let’s just cut the crap and, ironically, have a black-and-white old-school chat.
It’s not that Hollywood fucks it up all the time, but they sure do miss golden opportunities that can be quite baffling to the fans.
And that brings me to this week’s pitch/bitch: Beverly Hills Cop 4.
Paramount Pictures…? Making this should be as easy as bagging an tagging a wannabe actress attending an L.A. movie premiere.
If there’s even an inkling of trying to dilute this to a PG-13 rating, you might as well just take $70 million – ball-parking what the production budget would be – and invest it in remaining Blockbuster Video stores.
R-rated action-comedies are all the rage right now. Problem is, the majority of studios can’t wire them up-to-code in the efforts to properly blend the two genres and make the flick enticingly fun and semi-dramatic. What the three Beverly Hills Cop flicks did from 1984-1994 was lay a gritty blueprint for how to smoothly enact this now over-exposed genre marriage.
Yeah, I see the eye-roll about including the third one; but if you watch that sucker enough times, it rides fairly well. And we’ve all repeated the classic lines (“What line?” “I control the green lines.” “Nice little kid.” “Will someone please turn that fucking song off!”).
So back to the point, everything is already laid out right there for you ass-scratchers. Nostalgia will get people to the theater and probably give this a shot at making cash during its theatrical run. But what will make this a bona fide hit as parts I and II were, DON’T DEVIATE FROM THE SOURCE (delivery pattern)!
LOCKED AND TONED
First must-to-do: sign the trio that made this charismatically balanced. Eddie Murphy, a no-holds barred Eddie Murphy that is, must be ready to go hardcore. Judge Reinhold, whose face is starting to resemble a Stan Winston creature mask, will obviously be onboard. And if he is, this is the only place where CGI needs to be used (see: face remark). Now the tricky part is getting good old Taggart (John Ashton) back in the mix. The rumor back in 1994 when Part III was shooting is that he had “scheduling conflicts” as the production was constantly delayed. Other fixtures, specifically Ronny Cox (Captain Bogomil), said they just thought the script was subpar compared to the first two outings.
Well, now that plenty of time has passed and there seems to be genuine buzz about getting this back on the big screen, break out the checkbooks boys and girls and let’s lock in this threesome in. Or, don’t even bother with the foreplay (pre-production). Also, someone pull Bronson Pinchot (Serge) out of the “Where are they now?” realm and plop him back into this as well. I’m sure the women of whatever city he resides in will appreciate the break from his obnoxious advances. The downside is that the sexual arcades that rely on his business will take a hit in that burg for a couple months.
The only other thing to be mindful of when presenting all four of these integral parts the script is that it cannot be a masturbatory, campy, overdone-with-explosions rocket. Time must be taken, for its predecessors were delivered with engaging detective work that was followed by well-choreographed skits blessed with perfectly timed reactive dialogue between the three leads. Trying to put a modern-spin on this – although seeing the now fossil-like detectives struggling with today’s technology to communicate and perform their job duties will lead to hilarious sequences – needs to be monitored, for pacing this in an old-school manner is also a must. That being said, the at times aloof “Billy” character should be up-to-speed on the gadgets which will open up opportunities for “Foley” and “Taggart” to rip on him, simply with their patent facial expressions alone.
Yes, I’ve studied this franchise with my cousins at every Italian family gathering. I’d heed my words.
Savvy audiences and die-hard fans will know if the magic is back within the first 20 minutes, so you have to live up to the hype early. Granted, that’s something you guys constantly bomb at, but the anal Eddie Murphy will surely keep you in check or he’ll happily walkout (yet why didn’t during A Thousand Words or The Adventures of Pluto Nash is the counterargument to that notion).
Let’s have the patent opening where we see Billy Rosewood in his lofty office, bored to tears, since crime in his city has been cleaned up just like a Beverly Hills socialite’ facial-wrinkles. Although that’s what he wants, the adventurous Rosewood misses the action. Naturally an elaborate crime is committed and the elusive mastermind is one step ahead of the police department blah, blah, blah…
To ensure the mastermind (try not to hire the over-played Mark Strong in this role, Oliver Obviousness) keeps the cops off their ass, he makes threats to Billy’s celebrity wife (get that hot piece from Fast & Furious 6, Gal Gadot to play the role). From there we cut to a golf course in Detroit…
Yes, you read those last four words correctly…
Foley is wildly missing on the driving range, where a cameo Paul Reiser rips on him. Foley explains he’s doing this for a very good friend, who is walking towards them (off-camera) and proceeds to tear him a new one. We then hear a familiar voice fire back and camera cuts to Taggart. Banter ensues for a minute or two and then they all hit the club house where Taggart picks up the paper, and Reiser pokes fun at them for not reading the news on their phone or tablet. They see the headline about Billy and immediately leave the one nice area of Detroit (that will be shot in Southern California) and head off for another serious and playful adventure.
Clichéd, formulaic, and just want everyone wants. The gang is back together! You guys didn’t sell out! And I can have fresh chats with my cousins at the next loud ‘n obnoxious family reunion.
That’s really all you need to do to set this up just right. As for someone to helm this, call Brad Bird to join up with writers he’s worked with before on Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and get a producer who knows how to balance a budget. May I suggest Emmett/Furla Films (2 Guns, End of Watch) – who will be assets in the action/crime detecting sequences while the director, writers, and seasoned performers are more than capable in handling the comedic rapid firing.
Oh, and P.S. DON’T ALTER THE THEME MUSIC AT ALL OR FACE MY GRANDMOTHER, WHO WILL BE UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE HER HOMEMADE SAUCE.