The Golden Child (1986) – Eddie Murphy

7/10 — A light-hearted 80s action comedy sci-fi with an oriental martial arts twist. Starring Eddie Murphy as the finder of missing children who is allegedly ‘the chosen one’ prophesised to find and rescue The Golden Child, a young Tibetan monk with magical powers who is destined to save the world but has been kidnapped by demons.

Mildly entertaining – nothing particularly wrong with it. It’s a bit nonchalant with the plot but Eddie does a decent job in the lead role, and the main supporting actors are not bad either. Namely Charlotte Lewis as the lead female – a Tibetan woman with martial arts skills and special powers who locates Eddie’s character near the start of the movie; Victor Wong as the mysterious beggar, and leader of the monks, and father of Charlotte’s character; plus Charles Dance who plays the main antagonist – a demon with special powers who can take human form; and actress J L Reate who plays The Golden Child.

Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – Eddie Murphy

7.5/10 — An oldie but goldie – if you’ve not seen this before, or not seen it in the last 10 years, get your popcorn ready now.

Before Kevin Hart, there was Chris Tucker. Before Chris Tucker, there was Eddie Murphy.

Eddie does a good job as the lead character in this story of an uncontrollable detective on holiday in another police force’s jurisdiction. He travelled to Beverly Hills to investigate the powerful businessmen who he suspects killed his friend. The local police aren’t happy about the trouble he’s causing, but he’s not worried about that.

Other cast members do a decent job too, but Eddie Murphy is the centre of attention in this movie – a role he carries very well.

The plot is far from over-complicated, but has just enough going on to make for an enjoyable experience. It’s not so much a martial arts movie, but it’s a light-hearted action-packed cop drama with plenty of shooting and a little bit of hand-to-hand combat as you would expect.

If you enjoyed this movie, consider also watching the two sequels from back in the day: Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) and Beverly Hills Cop III (1994). They are all on a similar level – maybe the first and the third are slightly better than the second. Plus, in the spirit of Matrix Resurrections, this classic trilogy has recently been revived with a fourth instalment – Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F (2024).

In its day

When televisions had only a few channels to choose from, a strong Eddie Murphy movie like Beverly Hills Cop coming on the TV was a big treat for the whole family to enjoy.

In the UK, most people had only four channels on their TV from 1982 (when Channel 4 came out) until 1997 (when Channel 5 was launched). Those who paid extra, for a satellite TV subscription, had only Sky One to enjoy from its launch in 1982, until it expanded to four channels in 1989. So for many years after its release, when this movie was scheduled to be aired on TV, it was something people often organised their day around.