Great Uses of Songs in Movies: Shakedown by Bob Seger in “Beverly Hills Cop II”

Remember how Shakedown by Bob Seger was used in Beverly Hills Cop II? It was used more as an intro to the main part of the movie than anything but it still exemplified the movie and the manner in which Foley tended to enter anything he did. He was about to go undercover as he did in the first film, but this time it was bound to be something a lot more upscale since he’d donned a suit, borrowed a fancy car, and was looking pretty slick and ready to do some damage. All in all it was the same type of image that Foley had in the first movie, with just a little more window dressing. It’s even funnier since when he gets to the deal the guy from the first movie he was trying to do business with is there and Foley plays it off like the guy’s a cop, which only gets funnier since the guy is a genuine criminal and being called a cop is an insult.

More or less though the song is an intro piece, something to speak to the character of Foley, who’s about as loose cannon as it gets without being Dirty Harry. Foley is that fun kind of detective that skirts around the law and bends it like a flex straw without ever really breaking it if he can avoid it.  Of course he’s done some seriously messed up things in the movies that would have cops arresting him left and right if he did them in real life, but in the movie realm everything gets worked out somehow. If only the bad guys could be punished in various ways and the good guys could get away with it…..ah heck with that, we’d have anarchy.

Guys like Foley are the guys you root for in the movies because they’re willing to get in there and get their hands dirty while trying to serve justice, not themselves. But in the real world when people do this the law prevents them simply because criminals seem to have as many rights if not more at times than free citizens do. Yes that’s cynical because the moment a free citizen does anything wrong they become the criminal and are assured three meals and a place to lay their head each day. Free citizens aren’t even afforded that necessity unless they work their butts off providing for the economy and being a part of society. Foley and those that run with him in the movies are the guys that want to see justice done but also seem to always off the bad guy. But then the bad guys in the movies are just some of the worst people in existence. We never get to identify with them on any other level.

Do we want to though? We want to know about guys like Foley because he’s fun, smooth, and able to do things the rest of us can’t. But he’s also a guy that kind of does what he wants at times and that’s not always a good thing.

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