Entries Comments

Movie Review: Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz
Directed by Edgar Wright
Written by Wright and Simon Pegg

Of all the indie cult hits of this decade, Shaun of the Dead is one of the bigger breakthroughs. It had an unusual tone: it was a broad comedy that respected the zombie genre while it also made fun of it. And then, alarmingly, Shaun changed from straight-up comedy to bloodbath horror towards the end, ending up becoming the very genre in which it was making light. I didn’t really like the change; it was doing well just being a comedy and not becoming so overly ridiculous that the filmmakers seemed to be above it all, showing disdain, so I was puzzled at the intent.

Still, I was a fan of Shaun of the Dead and looked forward to Hot Fuzz, their same kind of revered take on hard-boiled cop movies. Sergeant Nicholas Angel (co-writer Pegg) is a badass London cop who is reassigned to a country berg because he’s so good, he’s making everyone on the force look bad. When he gets there, his hard edge is wasted on drunken teenagers, and even worse, his new team of officers seem content to be small-town lazy bastards, so much so that when Nicholas has reason to believe a string of murders is taking place, they scoff to the point of stupidity. Keeping these officers sated in their laziness is the chief inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent).

Partnering with Nicholas is Frank’s son Danny (Nick Frost), who longs to be as good as Nicholas, and owns every over-the-top action flick known to man. Out of sheer longing to be something more, he believes his partner. Nicholas suspects grocery store owner Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton) of foul play when he learns that Skinner could be a beneficiary in prime real estate due to the killings. Nicholas has to find the proof and be able to win over his listless team.

Once again, we have a comedy that changes its tone for the third act, becoming the genre rather than being its cheeky brother. But before it gets to that point, Hot Fuzz contains the same giddy camerawork and editing of Shaun of the Dead that made it much more than just a comedy: it’s a comedy made by someone who obviously respects film and wants to go beyond just punchlines for laughs.

But once it gets to the subwoofer-blowing action, the movie becomes a bit tedious and overlong. It manages to pop in some good jokes here and there, but I’m really curious as to the intent of all this. Both of Edgar Wright’s films have done this now, so I can only believe this is intentional. But you really can’t go wrong if you decide to watch Hot Fuzz: it’s funny and entertaining and that’s what counts.

Write a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.