Axel Foley

Axel Foley

    Beverly Hills Cop
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… in Motown, baby! A native Detroiter, Axel loves his city but can hardly afford to live there even with his salary as a cop. He drives a beat-up blue Chevy Nova, his apartment is a dump, and he can’t even pay his electrical bill.

Visiting… Beverly Hills. That’s where his buddy Mikey Tandino was working before he got killed. Axel’s got some vacation time coming, so he heads out west to do some casual investigating on Mikey’s murder and also visit his old friend Jenny Summers, who manages an art gallery out there.

Profession… Detroit police officer. It’s a better (though not necessarily safer) job than his former one – stealing cars with Mikey. Axel is a smart guy, and also a smart ass. His powers of observation are great and he takes his job seriously, but he can’t help himself from going rogue occasionally and invariably pissing off his boss, Inspector Todd. Todd has half a mind to fire Axel for insubordination after his latest gaffe. “You’re a good cop, you have great potential,” he tells Axel. “But you don’t know everything.”

Interests… pranking, clowning, and acting a fool.

Relationship Status… single. How Axel Foley is not yet wifed-up is one of the great mysteries of our time.

Challenge… getting to the bottom of the Mikey Tandino murder. Inspector Todd urges him to stay away from it, telling him “If you decide to butt into this case, it’ll be the longest vacation you’ve ever heard of.” But Axel has immense belief in himself, and he’s not leaving Beverly Hills until he solves the murder. That’s because he’s mule-headed, because he needs to prove to himself that he can do it, and because he believes Mikey deserves better. But things get sticky when Axel suspects his friend Jenny’s rich boss, Victor Maitland, might be involved.

Personality… clever, cheeky, and charming. Axel is a natural undercover cop because it fuses his goofball, playful side with his serious side. It also allows him to deploy his full cast of characters, with which he can engage in a bit of social engineering to get where he wants to go. And when he gets in a bind he has an ace in the hole, that delightfully weird belly laugh of his.


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