Axel Foley is a fictional character, portrayed by Eddie Murphy, and is the main protagonist of the Beverly Hills Cop film franchise. He is ranked number 78 on Empire Magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. Sly Stallone was originally intended to be Axel Foley.
Foley is a Detroit native and small-time juvenile hoodlum who fictionally attended the Mumford High School. After a few years in which he was unemployed, Foley joined the Detroit Police Department in 1983. A talented policeman, Axel is also known to bend the rules, which annoys his boss, Inspector Todd, who was killed in a shoot-out in 1994. Foley is an only child with no close relatives except his parents.
Foley is delighted when he receives a surprise visit from his best friend Mikey Tandino, who lives in California. Unfortunately, Mikey is soon killed when Axel was bumped in the head, by a man named Zack. Foley goes to Beverly Hills, California, 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 Rosewood's partner, Sergeant John Taggart, to keep an eye on Foley. Foley visits his childhood friend Jenny Summers, who works at the art gallery. 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 bonds. Billy, Taggart, and Foley head to Maitland's mansion to apprehend Maitland. Foley and Bogomil simultaneously shoot and kill Maitland.
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 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 a reason to fire Billy and Taggart. Foley, Rosewood, and Taggart soon discover that the alphabet robberies, 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.
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