Archive for Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Posted in Action, Comedy with tags , , , on July 10, 2014 by The Confused Critic

(**** out of ****)

Hot Fuzz

(Originally written for The Boston College Heights on 4/23/2007)

What’s this? An original comedy that does not rely on crude humor and gross-out jokes? Where are Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn? Surely we are are not ready for a comedy without these overused actors, right? OK, enough smugness for now. Let’s take a closer look.

Hot Fuzz tells the story of Sergeant Nicolas Angel (Simon Pegg), one of the best cops in London. Unfortunately, his determination and success leads his jealous superiors to transfer him for being too good at his job, which had inadvertently made the rest of the force look bad. Angel is sent to Sandford, a small English village where everything is seemingly quiet and safe.

Upon arriving in Sandford, Angel immediately arrests the town drunk who attempts to drive home after a long night of celebrating life. The next morning, he learns that the man he arrested is none other than Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), his new partner, who also happens to be the son of Sandford’s police chief, Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent). Danny is an avid fan of films like Point Break and the Bad Boys movies and treasures the fact that he is finally getting to work with someone who has seen real action in the line of duty.

Initially, everything appears to be fairly dull and monotonous for Angel. Arresting underage drinkers and retrieving a local citizen’s goose is the extent of the action he sees. This boredom is suddenly interrupted by a series of grisly deaths. Angel is convinced that there is a serial killer on the loose, but the rest of the inept police force is comfortable with writing each death off as a common accident. As Angel and Butterman begin to investigate these crimes, a startlingly dark secret about the town of Sandford comes to surface.

Much like director Edgar Wright’s previous film, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz neglects to tie itself down to one particular genre. American buddy cop films, murder mysteries, and slasher flicks are all respectfully spoofed and effectively integrated into the plot of the film. Of particular interest is what director Edgar Wright describes as “hard R-rated deaths out of an Agatha Christie novel.” Without giving too much away, this film revels in its ridiculously gory deaths, which are more humorous than exploitative.

What makes Hot Fuzz work so well is the chemistry between the two leads. Friends for over a decade now, Pegg and Frost display a uniquely comfortable interaction on screen. The audience realizes how much fun the two are having together and can’t help but feel that they are part of the inside jokes. It is clear that this is a film made by a group of people who hold a legitimate respect and appreciation for the films that they are satirizing.

Perhaps one of the greatest things about the film is the substantial roles that the secondary characters play. Although Pegg and Frost could carry the movie alone if necessary, actors like Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, and Billie Whitelaw create equally funny characters that add an extra dimension to the film. Timothy Dalton, one of the less remembered actors to have portrayed James Bond, manages to steal several scenes with his perfect sense of comic timing and irony.

Hot Fuzz is one of the most enjoyable comedies since, well, Shaun of the Dead. Director Wright and co-stars Pegg and Frost have laid a solid foundation for the future of their respective careers. Collectively, the three recognize why they love certain genres of film and convey their elements so well that audiences remember why they enjoy going to the theater. Although it might be too early to tell, it is possible that the trio could become the Monty Python for today’s generation