Beverly Hills Cop:
Until the other day I had never seen any of these movies, but now I've seen them all. The first flick is a fun slice of 1980s action comedy - there's a sense of something big starting to it all, Murphy's career, the Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer juggernaut, and the theme tune that overloaded a million keyboards. A bit tame by today's standards both in terms of comedy and action, but even coming to it fresh so many years after it was released, it's a good fun time.
Beverly Hills Cop 2:
The same as the first, but everything's bigger. Respective careers were sky rocketing, the action is tougher and punchier, the comedy is a bit broader, and Judge Reinhold is properly used this time around. Another good fun time.
Beverly Hills Cop 3:
Good God, what the hell is this shit?! The thing with sequels is that there is an established style and approach to the franchise - a film like Die Hard 4 lives up to the established vibe, but BHC3 takes the formula and sucks all the style and intelligence out of it. The opening action sequence flips wildly from stupid 'comedy' (the two blokes dancing at the camera) to sudden-gear-change 'drama' when Foley's boss gets killed.
The park ride action sequence is pointless, the key criminals are boring and toothless, that stupid gigantic gun (with a microwave and CD player attached) is beyond inappropriately dumb, the constant call backs to the previous two movies feel tacked on at best, and halting at worst (e.g. Serj turning up for useless exposition about the art gallery and setting up the key chain flash bomb and the aforementioned huge-and-stupid gun), and generally speaking it just feels cringe worthy.
You can sense Murphy's career beginning to stall and go into self-parody and dim-witted mugging-to-camera ... the fat suits aren't far away at this point. Reinhold is relegated to pointless side character territory (a shame considering his entertaining turn in the second movie) and everything just feels like one big disaster. It's cheesy - in a bad way - it's boring, dull, unfunny and the action lacks any sense of punch.
I'd only heard bad things about BHC3, so my sights were set very low - but even that wasn't low enough. A truly awful movie. If we ever get a fourth movie I do hope they fully recognise just how piss poor the third one was.