The Taking of Beverly Hills (1991)

Die Hard changed everything. EVERYTHING. Not only in the action film world, but in my brain as well. The series is one of my all-time favorites, but when the first one came out in 1988 and gave the world a vulnerable, human, fighting-for-what's-right hero that had little in common with the blow-em-up mega soldiers of years before. Unlike Arnold whose every bullet hit an enemy or something that can explode, John McClane had wits, little firepower and even less shoes. He made action relatable in a way few films could before it. So naturally, every studio wanted a guy in a tight scenario action movie: Under Siege, Speed, Passenger 57...The Taking of Beverly Hills.

I remember seeing this trailer as a kid on the pay-per-view trailers channel thinking it looked sooooooo bad ass. Boomer Hayes was THE MAN! Fast forward about twenty years to my actual viewing of the movie and my initial thought was...I'VE SEEN JOHN MCCLANE, JOHN MCCLANE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE, AND YOU SIR ARE NO JOHN MCCLANE! This movie is a complete stinker, shocking, I know. Examine my enhanced version of the imdb plot with your eyeballs below:

A chemical spill has caused the occupants of Beverly Hills to be forcibly evacuated. A retiring football player left behind in a hot tub after trying score some booty, finds that the toxic gas emulating from the spill is a bogus front for a heist set up by fired police officers out to plunder the city of all its valuables. He finds himself siding with a corrupt cop who was once apart of the plan until he discovered the city's mayor had just been blown away by one of the chief crooks in charge. Now both are on the run with no help in sight...both must do whatever they can to stop these murderous looters, including using tanks and homemade bombs and stuff.

Director Sidney J. Furie, the brains behind Superman IV and Ladybugs among others, leads a mostly sincere effort, but it really pales next to what it tries to be. I mean, this is a pure stinker, it's like Die Hard was put in a blender with the Pro Bowl, Bravo, and a bad sitcom. I think it might have even been written as a sequel to Die Hard, McClane now out in LA has to stop local terrorists from robbing the hell out of an entire town. I enjoyed it when they did that for Die Hard 3 after all. I you've ever read this site before, you must be thinking "what the hell, Marshall, you love everything that sucks, how can you be showing some sense of taste now by dismissing The Taking of Beverly Hills?" Well my little chickadees, to you I would say, back up out of face, homeboy! Admittedly, I did kind of enjoy this, but seriously, if I wanted to watch Die Hard, that's what I'd do. It's just so much better.

Funny enough though, I think everyone expected this to be a huge success; it starred Ken Wahl from the Wiseguy TV show, it was based on a recently successful formula and they even optioned a video game version. Yet it grossed just under a measly million buckaroos. The game looks worse than the movie, just look at this crap.

But if you'd like, it's free to download as abandonware.


  1. I remember seeing a preview for this movie when I was a kid! The trailer appealed to me at the time (explosions, hottubs, throwing flaming objects while on the flatbed of a pickup).

    I never got the chance to see it and over the years I forgot the title. Every once and a while something would remind me about trailer.

    Oh yeah, and the movie I saw this trailer? Suburban Commando!

    1. Oh God Yes! What I always remembered was the tagline: "There goes the neighborhood."

  2. Oh good call! I almost had forgotten I was planning a Hulk Hogan retrospective for the wrestling camp series...need to get back on that...

  3. Great write-up! Didn't know they made a video game version! That's awesome!

  4. I am a sucker for terrible video games based on ridiculous movies. So expect to see more!