Hot Fuzz Review
Country : United Kingdom
Running Time: 121 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures International
The makers of SHAUN OF THE DEAD return with a rollicking police romp that's sure to have you on edge with both hilarity and horror in this ingenious blend of crime and comedy....
Directed by Edgar Wright. Written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. Starring Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Stuart Wilson, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton and Paddy Considine.
Two years ago, I gave Shaun of the Dead praise, calling it "one of the funniest and scariest zombie movie of all time". Fortunately, while Hot Fuzz is just as silly and hilarious as it predecessor, it manages a more humorous edge. As a result, the follow up to Shaun is a lot funnier. Better than the actual film, however, are the number of 'in jokes' that only someone who had seen every action flick ever made (as the trailer states) would get. As soon as I got out of the theater, I loaded up my Netflix rental queue with Silent Rage, Invasion USA, Avenging Force, American Ninja, The Soldier, The Exterminator, Missing In Action etc... I even went as far as to buy some of these film on VHS because they have yet to be released on DVD.
What Shaun of the Dead did for Dawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz does for Bad Boys 2 and even some of the above mentioned action films of the 80s. Simon Pegg has bulked up impressively for this role and, he actually pulls off the whole tough cop, action hero look. I didn't think it was possible, but apparently, the guy can act. Then there's Nick Frost, here in a role that's obviously a send-up of several odd ball characters from other films all rolled into one. Of course, all he wants is some action, and by God he gets it.
Nicholas (Simon Pegg) Angel is the finest cop London has to offer, with an arrest record 400% higher than any other officer on the force. He's so good, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, Angel's superiors send him to a place where his talents won't be quite so embarrassing - the sleepy and seemingly crime-free village of Sandford. Once there, he is partnered with the well-meaning but overeager police officer Danny (Nick Frost) Butterman. The son of amiable Police Chief Frank Butterman, Danny is a huge action movie fan and believes his new big-city partner might just be a real-life "bad boy," and his chance to experience the life of gunfights and car chases he so longs for. Angel is quick to dismiss this as childish fantasy and Danny's puppy-like enthusiasm only adds to Angel's growing frustration. However, as a series of grisly accidents rocks the village, Angel is convinced that Sandford is not what it seems and as the intrigue deepens, Danny's dreams of explosive, high-octane, car-chasing, gunfighting, all-out action seem more and more like a reality. It's time for these small-town cops to break out some big-city justice.
Bad puns, double entendres, and hilarious sight gags abound (what else would you expect from Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright?). With as many as there are, it's only to be expected that quite a few are duds, but there aren't. Every joke nails it and the film had me rolling the entire time. The pacing is excellent, the direction is slick, and believe it or not, I think the gore quotient in this may be a little higher than Shaun. There are some sick murder scenes that could easily pass for 'giallo'. In fact, I was totally reminded of a Dario Argento film... from the look of the killer to the flowing robe and black gloves. We never see anything but the feet or hands. The boys did their homework yet again. Pegg and Frost wade through this film with gloriously deadpan expressions, playing it straight no matter how outlandish the story becomes. As is true of Leslie Nielsen in the Naked Gun pictures, this is one of the film's assets. Satire often works best when it's intentionally modelled after bad drama.
The verdict? Those who enjoyed Shaun of the Dead will be totally entertained by Hot Fuzz' if not more. It will certainly deliver what's expected of a comedy and a kick ass action film. I'd even go as far as saying it's one of the best action films ever made. 100% required Pit of Horror viewing.
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Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com