Hot Fuzz: Big Cops. Small Town. Moderate Violence. (2007)

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Action, Comedy, Mystery

Nicholas Angel is the best police officer in London…so good that his department has transferred his assignment to the small town of Sandford. In his new surroundings, everything seems slow and backward. The police spend more time having desserts than actually taking care of crime, even with the low levels of concern. Inspector Butterman has Angel and his partner Danny focus on chasing down a runaway swan, even though there seem to be some brutal murders happening. While Angel continues to seek out the motive and person responsible, Danny tries to lighten him up and introduce him to some of the most iconic action films of all time. As he gets ever closer to discovering the truth about the town, Angel must also prepare for the fight of his life.

Starring: Simon Pegg (Nicholas Angel), Nick Frost (Danny Butterman), Rafe Spall (Andy Cartwright), Rory McCann (Michael Armstrong), Timothy Dalton (Simon Skinner), Jim Broadbent (Inspector Frank Butterman), Bill Nighy (Met Chief Inspector), Paddy Considine (Andy Wainwright), Kevin Eldon (Tony Fisher), Olivia Colman (Doris Thatcher), Edward Woodward (Tom Weaver), Anne Reid (Leslie Tiller), Lucy Punch (Eve Draper), Adam Buxton (Tim Messenger), Ron Cook (George Merchant), Cate Blanchett (Janine – uncredited)

This is one of the several spoofs that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have acted in together. Pegg has emerged as a breakout comedic actor, appearing in some of these cult classics like Shaun of the Dead and popping into some more widely-released hits like How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. In this film, he maintains a clean cut persona and does not allow all of the pop culture influences to affect him until he realizes the usefulness of their teachings. He uses his serious nature to project a wittier comedic delivery more common with British films. Nick Frost serves as the supporting, more slapstick-style relief who provides the influence to open up his partner to new possibilities. Bill Nighy only appears in the beginning of the film but does more with his 3 minutes of dialogue than more short, supporting characters of other films.

Just as Pegg and Frost have served in several films together, Edgar Wright has been a part of their introduction to the movies and paved the way for a refreshing theme of comedy. Hot Fuzz serves up a combination of both physical comedy and witty dialogue that makes it difficult not to enjoy the film. The first half of the movie is much more focused on the conversations, from the abuse Angel takes with the new police department to the banter he has with the matron of the inn. As the movie progresses and the murders become more common, the film allowed the influence of other great action films to start filtering into the story. In particular, Point Break and Bad Boys II are both referenced and integrated into the action toward the end. As Angel goes through the transformation from straight-laced cop to thrill-seeking rouge agent, the violence factor greatly increases and the town’s quiet residents become ruthless in their attempt to maintain their image of the best town in England. This makes for a significantly hilarious set of entanglements, from farmers loaded with shotguns to pistol-wielding bike riders.

I could not contain myself when I saw this film in the theater. I nearly fell out of my seat. It has some great connections with Shaun of the Dead and makes great connections between early movie elements to later comedic references.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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