Hot Fuzz

  • 2007-07-18
  • By Tim Osher
"Hot Fuzz" is from the same team behind the brilliant "Shaun of the Dead" and is every bit as inventive, irreverent and downright funny. It manages to simultaneously spoof Hollywood cop movies, British murder-mysteries and even throws in a nod to the slasher flick. The story revolves around Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), a London police sergeant whose superiors reassign him because they feel that he's making them all "look bad" with his relentless over-achieving. They pack him off to the sleepy and picturesque town of Sandford which has the lowest crime rate in the country. 

Angel pairs up with PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), a wonderfully naive local who is in awe of the cosmopolitan newcomer simply for having fired a gun. A series of gruesome deaths soon occurs which ostensibly appear to be accidents but Angel starts to suspect that local supermarket owner Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton) has a hand in them. 
"Hot Fuzz" brilliantly blends and bends genres all the way through. It starts out as a sort of quaint whodunit and ends up turning into a brash and exuberantly over-the-top spoof of films like "Bad Boys." It's not as subtle as "Shaun of the Dead," but then it's virtually impossible to be subtle when you're parodying a film like "Bad Boys." Director Edgar Wright uses the fast-paced action to glorious effect and clearly relishes the absurdity of transposing Hollywood-style action to a parochial English town. 

The real joy of the film, however, lies in the inspired pairing of Pegg and Frost. The friendship that develops between them is genuinely touching and totally transcends the buddy-buddy tradition the movie is satirizing. There's a wonderful scene in which, after getting drunk at the local pub, they go back to Butterman's flat and watch "Bad Boys II." The scene perfectly mocks that film's overblown machismo with a deliberately suggestive homoeroticism as the two friends sit side by side on the sofa. 

The dialogue in "Hot Fuzz" is knowingly and referentially filmic in the way it's almost entirely constructed out of a range of filmic cliches which are then brilliantly altered by their ironic context to seem fresh and at times painfully funny. But the reason that "Hot Fuzz" works so well as a film in its own right is because of the wonderful attention to character. It's a credit to the filmmakers that they managed to pull off such an ambitious idea with real warmth and wit. 


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