Eddie Murphy’s superstar-making role has him playing crafty Detroit cop Axel Foley, who travels to Beverly Hills in order to try to uncover the reasons behind the professional hit placed on an old friend (James Russo). His investigative tactics immediately draw the attention of the local law enforcement there, who put a tail on Foley to make sure that his story of being on vacation there holds up.
By-the-book detectives Taggart (John Ashton) and Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) are the cops assigned to staking out Foley, and Axel ends up dragging them both into the investigation through his charm, which ends up getting them into more and more hot water with the boss, Lt. Bogomil (Ronny Cox). With the cops on his case, his boss back in Detroit threatening his livelihood, and armed henchmen at every turn, Foley has a hard time trying to maintain focus on his intended prey, the wealthy art dealer, Victor Maitland (Stephen Berkoff).
Erratum: For some reason, I referred to Edward James Olmos as ‘James Edward Olmos’ when discussing “American Me”