The most interesting thing to come out of Brett Ratner’s MTV interview about his upcoming comedy Tower Heist wasn’t that the director has spoken to his star Eddie Murphy about a possible fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie. (“Oh yeah, believe me,” Ratner told MTV. “I’m all over it.”) No, the most curious part of the interview centered around Ratner’s insistence that Axel Foley is Murphy’s most iconic character: “I don’t think he goes anywhere in the world where someone doesn’t say, you know, they’re not going ‘Yo, Eddie Murphy!’ They’re like, ‘Yo, Axel Foley!’ I mean, wherever he goes in the world. So it’s his Clark Kent. It’s his, you know, it’s his Darth Vader, whatever. It’s like his albatross.” So, just to be clear, Axel Foley is Eddie Murphy’s mild-mannered alter-ego Sith Lord ungainly oceanic bird?
Anyhoo, perhaps it’s because I was a fetus when the film came out in 1984 — I was, however, plenty old enough when I caught the movie over and over and over (and, yes, over) again on television years later — but I don’t immediately associate Murphy with Axel Foley. Maybe that’s because, you know, the guy has played as many iconic characters as Foley has played banana-in-the-tailpipe pranks on Detectives Foster and McCabe. I’d even say, “Yo, Gumby (dammit)!” before I’d say, “Yo, Axel Foley!” (Though I am partial to Prince Akeem. Mostly because I think of garbage a lot.) So, your turn: Tell us, if you saw Eddie Murphy on the street, what would you say? (Be nice, kids.) And check out the interview with Ratner after the jump.