Just the idea of Hot
Fuzz is so wonderfully whimsical that it could only be made by the
Sgt. Nicholas Angel (Simon
Pegg) is the ultimate London super-cop. Anyone who takes the law in
their own hands in the city -- thieves, killers, vandals, video pirates,
jaywalkers, anything -- find themselves on the receiving end of of a swift
lesson in justice.
When his job performance is
so overwhelming that the rest of the London police force looks bad, instead
of raising their own performance, the London PD farms him out to a tiny village in
the British countryside. Sandford is one of those idyllic villages
which you only see on Masterpiece Theater, the type of place where a
police emergency is a runaway swan. Angel, a completely
humorless man, is lost in a world where there is no serious
Feeling utterly at odds
with the town which he is now responsible for keeping watch over, Angel befriends PFC Danny Butterman, the buffoonish, hard-drinking, black-sheep son of the
local Constable. Butterman is slightly slow, a little goofy and
worships the films of Michael Bay and John Woo. He is awed by the big
As a man who is used to
finding the worst in people, Angel sees suspicious things behind every
corner, despite the sweet-tempered exuberance of the slightly eccentric
locals (including such Brit superstars as Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine,
Timothy Dalton, Billie Whitelaw and Edward Woodward.). When a series
of "accidents" starts killing the townspeople, Angel finds it nearly
impossible to convince anyone that foul play is afoot.
It's an interesting story,
though of course the plot itself is somewhat secondary.
What is even more important
is the Hot Fuzz has some of the most wonderfully demented punchlines
and comic situations of any film in the last few years. The team of
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright, who created the surprising zombie
comedy Shaun of the Dead a few years ago, are obviously film geeks of
the first order. Their passion for the styles and clichés of genre
filmmaking are catching.
Unfortunately, just like
Shaun of the Dead before it, the movie loses the plot a bit in the last act.
The cartoonish violence gets pumped up to such an extreme level that the
delicate balancing act that Pegg and Wright have been pulling off so
successfully gets completely steamrollered.
The gaffe certainly isn't
fatal. Hot Fuzz is still a very solid comedy. It just might
have been even better had they dialed it down just a bit at the end. (4/07)
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Posted: March 3, 2007.