Hot Fuzz (2007)

March 30, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

How do you strike gold twice in a row? Bring back Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, aim your roaster at the buddy-cop genre, sharpen the satire, and throw in a scene with an old lady tastefully getting drop-kicked in the mug. Hot Fuzz is Edgar Wright’s wonderful follow-up film to the legendary Shaun of the Dead, and it’s a cool blaze of buddy-cop mayhem. Again, Pegg and Frost create a storm of comedy with their chemistry, and Wright improves on his direction from his previous flick, making Hot Fuzz an effort that’s off the fucking chain.

Utilizing his trade-mark slap-dash, crack-induced montages, and always clever transitions, Edgar Wright sits in the director’s chair with his creativity guns blazing. Wright also pays homage to the slow-motion hero shots of Michael Bay, and at times saturates the colors to make certain scenes look gritty and strained, for that gangbusters vibe. Wright always has a hyper-active camera, and he applies his style to this action-comedy with breathtaking ease. His style  works perfectly for the action scenes, as the camera is agile and quick, making the action hard-hitting with humorous touches. Surprisingly, there is also a good amount of gore, acting as the blood-drenched cherry-on-top.

Pegg plays the straight-laced super-cop, Nicholas Angel, flipping 180 degrees from his character of Shaun. Angel is a no-nonsense hot-shot cop from London that’s transferred to a small town because he’s stealing the thunder from the other cops. Pegg is the complete opposite of a slacker here; think of a British Robocop that’s not a robot, sporting a gruff voice when the shit hits the fan. Nick Frost plays Danny Butterman, the action film super-fan that wants to be a “real” cop, like those he sees in movies. Frost, as Danny, is a childish goofball, and plays off Pegg’s character very well. Eventually, with the help of Danny and his massive movie collection and the eerie secret of the small town, Angel morphs into a fiery beast of biblical badassery. There are two very notable stars that join the cast: Paddy Considine and Timothy Dalton. Considine plays one of the Andys, and he shows off his comedic chops rather well as the wise-cracking detective. In the role of the villain, Dalton, better known as James Bond, relishes in the evilness of his character nicely.

Shaun of the Dead is a hard act to follow, but Wright, Pegg and Frost match the quality of that cult classic, or at least come very close. Hot Fuzz is a action-parody that draws genuine laughs without sacrificing the plot or even character development: bravo. Along with Wright’s first feature film, this effort is also a re-watchable piece of filmmaking that never feels dull. It has an arresting comedic hold that gets you pumped. Having a dull day and a “beer me” just doesn’t hit the spot? Try a “Fuzz me” instead.

Potential Drawbacks:

If you didn’t like Shaun of the Dead, and don’t really enjoy action films, then this might not work very well. There are tons of action-film references that will fly over your head, and the experience will be different. Minor detail: the script isn’t as razor sharp as the one for Shaun of the Dead, and there are some parts that seem to drag just a tad, but these details are easily overlooked.

Film Recommendations:

Shaun of the Dead
Scott Pilgrim v. the World

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