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How do you describe a film like "Hot Fuzz" without sounding like a geek? How do you detail its excellence without sounding like a pimple-clad teenage fanboy? I don't know that you can, so I am really not even going to try very hard. "Hot Fuzz" kicks major ass. You heard me - it kicks ass in ways that most films only dream about. Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg are the team behind the enormously successful "Shaun of the Dead", and their follow up, "Hot Fuzz", does for action films what their previous film did for horror films. It's a parody, but a smart one. It's not like "The Naked Gun" or "Airplane!" - it's not that kind of parody. It doesn't rely on slapstick comedy or prop gags for yucks - it counts on well-crafted dialogue, low-key performances and balls to the wall blood and carnage. It's a parody that's smart enough to know that is shouldn't be a parody. "Hot Fuzz" was the most enjoyable cinematic experience I've had all year. It was absolutely hilarious, and I found myself crying towards the end of the film because I was laughing so hard.
Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is the best police officer in London, hands down. In order to reward him for his excellence, and to keep him from continuing to make the other officers look bad, his superiors (Bill Nighy, Steve Coogan, Martin Freeman) send him to the village of Sandford, a quiet place which has been named 'Best Village in England' for a while now. There hasn't been a reported murder in over twenty-years, and most of Nick's jobs range from capturing the escaped swan to making sure The Human Statue doesn't get too out of hand. Soon, however, people begin to die, via very odd circumstances. While everyone in Sandford believes these people to have been the victims of accidents, Nick thinks they were actually murdered and he starts to investigate, with the help of his bumbling partner, Danny (Nick Frost), who drinks too much and watches every single action film known to man, his favorites being "Point Break" and "Bad Boys II". As they start to uncover startling secrets about the town and its residents, they soon come face to face with an unexpected reality that threatens the very foundation on which their lives stand. Wow - how was that for a summation? Sounded like it could have been in an action film's trailer, huh?
This movie owned. Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg might be the best duo working in the business today and they are certainly showing no signs of losing steam. The dialogue here crackles and some of the film's biggest jokes are too clever for their own good, as when the film boils down to a climax in a model village. The last twenty minutes of this film conclude what the previous hour and forty minutes have so skillfully set up. The film reminded me of "Adaptation" in that it spends a lot of time with exposition just to deliver a pay off which is more than any of us could have ever dreamed of for ourselves. I loved how the team continued to use their quick-edit tactics throughout the film, as they did with "Shaun of the Dead", and I loved how they showed homage to proper British comedy and heritage, while still also showing an immense love of stupid action films - everything from the "Prime Suspect" and "Straw Dogs" references to the insertions of "Super Cop" and even a Chuck Norris picture. It all worked. I also loved how the characters were so over the top and so comedically refined, yet always worked and seemed believable. One of my favorite scenes was when the entire group is trapped in the local supermarket, reciting bad action movie dialogue like it's going out of style, with Nick Frost asking, "Did you say 'Cool Off' when you did it?"
The performances here are stellar and every single person in this film looks like they're having the time of their lives. Simon Pegg shows off his comic chops once more as Nick Angel, and he hits every single note. As his sidekick once more, Nick Frost does exactly what he did in "Shaun of the Dead", only he does it with a different theme. When his character mutters, "Motherfucka" towards the end of the film - once you see the situation, you will understand why I laughed so hard that my ribs hurt. Jim Broadbent is fantastic in his supporting role as the Chief Inspector, Timothy Dalton is hilarious as Skinner, and an assortment of other perfectly cast British thespians turn "Hot Fuzz" into possibly the best British comedy to come around...well...ever. This is what Monty Python tried to be - exclusionary comedy for a mainstream audience. They never really achieved it like they hoped they would. Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg have succeeded, by opening it up just a little and making it quite accessible for almost all audience. That's talent.
This was my favorite film of the year. This was the best film of the year. All of the others, no matter how many Oscar winners or big budget effects, are simply posers. "Hot Fuzz" made me laugh like I haven't laughed in a long time. It reminded me of what a great comedy was supposed to be, something I have been missing for a long time. Think about it. When's the last time you saw a comedy that you knew would go down as an immediate classic? "Shaun of the Dead"? That might be the last time for me too. "Hot Fuzz" did everything right and it gave the audience exactly what it wanted in the end, and parodied it in a way that was neither disrespectful or unappreciative. These guys love the films they are parodying. It's obvious. That makes it far more sweeter. I recommend this to anyone and everyone, but do warn that it is violent and probably not appropriate for small children. Too much language and blood. Wait a couple of years, then let them see it.
Let's just get this out of the way: Yes, Hot Fuzz is every bit as good as Shaun Of The Dead, you can stop holding your breath. What may really surprise you is that it might actually be better than everyone's favorite rom-zom-com, but we'll leave that one for you to decide.
Review by Vash
Added: April 20, 2007
Simon Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, London's top cop who, evidently, is doing his job a bit too well. His arrest rate is 400% above the rest of the precinct's, and thus his commanding officers (played wonderfully by Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy and Martin Freeman) decide he should be transferred to sunny Sandford, the safest place in all of England, as he's making the rest of the force look bad. Upon arrival, the supercop is met with intense boredom, and resorts to arresting teenagers for lack of better things to do.
Angel reluctantly slips into the small town mindset after meeting his partner, Danny (Frost). The two dully give speeding tickets and reprimand shoplifters before Angel stumbles upon a string of murders seemingly involving the town's smiling supermarket owner, Simon Skinner (Dalton). Of course, there's much more going on than this, but going any further would ruin the experience.
And what an experience it is. Where Shaun Of The Dead was a straight-faced homage to zombie films, Hot Fuzz is a completely straight-faced homage to both English murder mysteries and American action movies, both of which are subtly and not-so-subtly referenced throughout the film. The first two acts work to set up the mystery, which although somewhat transparent, is still fairly amusing.
During the first chunk of the movie, you're introduced to the folks in Sandford, who in my opinion make this movie as great as it is. There's the genial Inspector Butterman, who euphemizes every little event in the town and whose remedy for everything is some sort of dessert. There's his son, Danny, who is lovable in his simple nature and provides some of the best lines in the film. There's the foul-mouthed female officer, the gibberish-sputtering elder sergeant and, the highlight of the film, The Andy's; two chain-smoking detectives with matching leather jackets and mustaches. The way each supporting character interacts with Angel and one another makes Sandford's picture-perfect setting all the more believable, and this broad scope with such a large cast of characters makes the more subtle, high-concept gags that much more satisfying to experience.
The real meat of the film - and the biggest laughs - comes from the third act, which kicks into high gear and becomes a full-fledged action flick, equal parts tongue-in-cheek humour and loving tribute. What makes it work, though, is that you will bust a gut regardless of whether you're familiar with movies like Bad Boys or Point Break. Wright and Pegg have made a script that fires on all cylinders, so even if you don't get the note-perfect references, you can still enjoy watching an old woman get drop-kicked in the face.
It isn't all visual gags, though, as the dialogue is what makes Hot Fuzz a top notch comedy. Danny constantly quizzing Angel on cop films is hysterical, The Andy's provide line after line of quotable dialogue. It's the kind of movie you could watch a dozen times and still find something new with each viewing, and that is what makes it stand head and shoulders above most other recent comedies.
It's always hard to compare the follow-up to a great movie with its beloved predecessor, and often people hold movies so high in regard that they simply can't be surpassed in their minds. That being said, it's hard to imagine fans of Shaun Of The Dead not instantly falling in love with Hot Fuzz, as it contains the perfect mix of killer writing, great acting and spot-on direction that made the former a modern classic. Instead of worrying over which film is better or worse, fans should simply be happy they get to enjoy another incredible movie by one of the best comedy teams of our time. 9/10.
- added 04/20/2007, 03:36 PM
Great movie. I caught this one the other day.
There's even a few subtle nods to "SotD" as well.
("Whats the matter? Never taken a shortcut
before?" *turns and leaps over a fence*)
- added 04/20/2007, 07:37 PM
Well they did it. They made a movie equal to, and
better than Shaun of the Dead. I saw this in a
theater with maybe 8 people in it, which goes to
show how unappreciated these boys are. What is
wrong with the world? I'm sure when that stupid
Epic Movie opened, the stupid teenagers flocked to
go and see it. It's a mystery to me how things
like this happen. Back to the movie. Absolutely
amazing, hysterical, violent, gorey, and some of
the visual references to newer American action
movies were hilarious. 10/10
- added 06/12/2007, 09:43 PM
What made this movie so perfect for me is that it
was a brilliant mix of action parody and subtle
humour. Little bits like Nick and Danny diving
with guns blazing were only made better with the
over-the-top editing. The ending was the big
payoff, and the whole thing felt like a modern day
Wicker Man. Only, you know, funny. Simon and Nick
give great performances again, with Simon showing
a lot more energy in this than SotD. Then again,
he does have a lot more to do. Overall, one of the
best comedies, or even films, of the year. Smart,
funny, and one of the only action movies deserving
of that title. They pull it off so well, from the
murders to the chase scenes and gunfights, nothing
seems forced because it's just done so well. 9/10
- added 10/04/2007, 02:47 AM
I appear to have watched a different movie. I
found it very slow, most of the jokes predictable,
and the action scenes not that great. I was
disappointed when all the scenes I saw from
commercials and trailers were pulled from about 10
minutes of the actual movie. I give it a 6.5/10.
- added 10/04/2007, 10:46 AM
That's usually how they do it with trailers. Pull
the scenes from the movie. What did you expect?
They made scenes up just for a trailer?
- added 10/04/2007, 04:59 PM
Trailer scenes are pulled from some of the best
scenes in a movie. If you can make a trailer with
scenes from all parts of a movie, it means the
whole movie is good. When nearly the entire
trailer for this movie was pulled from a small
section of the movie, I viewed that as a negative
indication of the quality as a whole (which
coincided with my opinion of the movie, trailer or
- added 10/04/2007, 06:12 PM
But you didn't enjoy the clever assembly and
hillariously dry British humor? This is one of the
few perfect comedies I've ever seen. 10/10
- added 04/26/2009, 01:56 PM
The greatest action film ever. 10/10