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HOT FUZZ

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Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Hot Fuzz
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HOT FUZZ - 2007
Big Talk Productions / Studio Canal / Working Title Films
Rating: USA: PG-13

"Crusty Jugglers!"

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, the boys from SHAUN OF THE DEAD, want us to know that they are not only big Horror movie fans, but they are also big Action Cop movie fans. That said, HOT FUZZ is a gore fest and a half that carries over way too many Horror movie elements to be considered a straight Cop Action drama.

Simon Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, the best of the best of the best of the street cops in London, who is just so damn good at his job that the rest of his department feels inadequate, and so his Chief Inspector (Bill Nighy: UNDERWORLD, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST) sends him off to the sleepy little village of Sandford. The abrupt change finds Nicholas lost in a place where the letter of the law is replaced by lax laws for "The Greater Good". Everyone in Sandford knows each other and a laid back attitude is more than endured, its encouraged. It brings peace to their little village, which makes everyone happy, and so is for the greater good.

"The Greater Gooood!"

Nick Frost plays PC Danny Butterman, who spends his days as a cop doing nothing and spends his off duty evenings getting drunk at the local pub or getting drunk watching Cop Action dramas. Once he sees Nick Angel in action however, he's smitten by the cold TERMINATOR 2 efficiency of the man - his idol come to life - and follows him around like a dog. This gives no end of frustration to Nick, who would much rather find someone like himself than a drooling fanboy like Danny. The rest of the police station is no better. There are the two wise-cracking, yet dumb-ass detectives, DS Andy Wainright (Paddy Considine: DEAD MAN'S SHOES, BOSQUE DE SOMBRAS) and DC Andy Cartwright (Rafe Spall: SHAUN OF THE DEAD, DRACULA [TV - 2006]) who think they know more than everyone else, but have never solved a case. Nicholas' new Chief Inspector and Danny's Pop, Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent: SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW), and the rest of the crew who largely clock-in in the morning, and clock-out at night.

Soon after arriving, Nicholas' finely honed police sense tells him that Sandford is not as sundry as it seems. This leads him to butt right up against the rest of the force until Inspector Butterman tries to explain that Nicholas needs to relax. The last big city policeman they had in Sandford was the same way, so used to big city crime that he drove himself mad with paranoia, suspecting murderers around every corner.

And yet there is something wrong about all of the brutal "accidents" taking place in the village. And something damn sinister about that store owner, Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton: THE DOCTOR AND THE DEVILS, FLASH GORDON, POSSESSED [TV]), who seems to get a chuckle out of every death. If there is a mystery happening in the quiet hamlet of Sandford, then Nicholas has to try and make his fanboy, Danny, more like him in order to solve it. Danny would love to oblige, but is set in his ways and starting to rub off on Nicholas.

It isn't easy, writing this review and skirting around all of the hilarious things that happen. The jokes come at you with bullet speed and on automatic, yet are so endemic to the genre that to tell you anything would take a great deal of time, because the humor isn't merely a string of one liners, but a loving tribute to crap. The entire movie, in fact, is laid out in its pacing and tempo as one long homage to Cop Action dramas with a healthy dose of Horror thrown in. For example, Nicholas Angel finds himself on the trail of a slasher serial killer, who dresses in a dark robe a la SCREAM, and offs his victims in incredibly gory sequences. In fact, HOT FUZZ is more gory than many movies, including SAW. That said, there are moments where the movie slows way down, as typical in your Cop Actioneer, to elicit the sense of emotion, self-doubt, and defeat that our hero feels as befitting the time worn tropes of all Cop Action dramas. And of course, there is the moment of confidence restored, purpose in focus, and the hard-core explosive finale where the hero comes roaring back.

"Shit just got real!"

Oh, and a bit of GODZILLA thrown in. I kid you not.

It looks like the trio of Wright, Penn, and Frost had a great time making this movie, but not near as much as genre fans will have watching it. Though sometimes burdened under the weight of the very genre it satirizes, HOT FUZZ gets Four Shriek Girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, and Edgar Wright of HOT FUZZ
interviewed at AV Club.

 

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