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An insanely violent action classic made almost entirely out of spite exterminates the competition on streaming


via Warner Bros.

Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop ended up as the highest-grossing movie of 1984, launched its Golden Globe-nominated star’s career into the stratosphere, and gave rise to a franchise that’s poised for a return 40 years down the line. And yet, the history of the entire buddy cop genre could have turned out markedly different had Sylvester Stallone gotten his way, with Cobra also caught up in the crossfire.

Like the majority of the Rocky and Rambo legend’s output during the most prolific period of his career, the 1986 shoot ’em up wasn’t exactly dripping in critical acclaim, with the result being six Razzie nominations. However, the ludicrous leather-clad actioner did earn $160 million at the box office, and has endured as a gratuitously violent cult favorite ever since.

via Warner Bros.

Even today, Cobra continues to enhance its reputation as one of the most wildly exaggerated and preposterously over-the-top examples of straight-faced cinematic excess that somehow isn’t a parody, with FlixPatrol outlining that the longtime favorite has executed the competition to emerge as one of the Top 10 most-watched films among HBO Max subscribers in the United States.

And yet, it would have never existed at all had Stallone gotten his way, with the actor initially being lined up to headline Beverly Hills Cop. He took it upon himself to rework the script almost entirely to take things in a grittier and more visceral direction, only to be overruled and cast out by the studio in favor of Murphy’s instantly-iconic Axel Foley.

Instead, the Academy Award nominee repurposed most of his abandoned suggestions into the basic outline for Cobra, and the result is bullet-riddled history.

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