Hot Fuzz - Review
Review by Jack Foley
SIMON Pegg and Edgar Wright set out to prove that the English copper can be cool in spite of their sweaters in Hot Fuzz, a hilarious hybrid of English country murder-mystery and all-action Hollywood blockbuster.
Just as they did with comedy-horror homage Shaun of the Dead, Pegg and Wright have drawn from their extensive knowledge of film and delivered a smart, funny and reference-laden tribute to the films of Tony Scott, Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer – and the result is an absolute blast.
Pegg plays London cop Nicholas Angel who reluctantly finds himself posted to the country and partnered with witless rural officer Danny Butterman (Nick Frost).
But when a number of mysterious deaths rock the village, it’s up to Angel to convince his sceptical colleagues that a serial killer may be on the loose.
There’s so much fun to be had in watching Hot Fuzz that it’s easy to overlook the flaws.
Not every joke hits and there are times when the Pegg/Wright combo feels a little too smug and self-referential (such as the repetitive use of jump-cut editing or the sheer volume of references).
But viewers should be willing to forgive such over-indulgence because in all other respects Hot Fuzz hits every mark it aims at.
It’s populated by a cracking cast, brimming with hilarious one-liners, boasts enough imaginative deaths to give the Final Destination guys a run for their money and caps it all off with a gloriously OTT finale that actually outdoes Michael Bay for excess!
As with Shaun of the Dead, the central partnership between Pegg and Frost is on sparkling form (with Frost once again getting the biggest laughs), but there’s a number of excellent supporting performances to savour.
Timothy Dalton is excellent as a smarmy local supermarket owner, while Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall are simply superb as a couple of piss-taking detective-sergeants who refuse to give Angel any help (deliver arguably the film’s best line in “wanna be a big cop in a small town? Then fuck off to the model village!”).
But there’s equally scene-stealing turns from the likes of Billy Nighy, Martin Freeman and Steve Coogan early on, as well as Jim Broadbent, as Angel’s new boss, Olivia Colman, as a saucy colleague, Edward Woodward, as a neighbourhood watch supervisor, and Stephen Merchant, as a local swan owner.
The first half of the film is content to allow Angel to fit in with the locals, rescuing swans and eating cake at the station house, and pausing only to drop in the elaborate (and very gory) murders.
But once Angel becomes convinced of a wider conspiracy at work, it’s a thrilling countdown to the big, brash finale, as Angel and Butterman lay siege to the villains in Tony Scott-inspired style.
The town centre shoot-out and supermarket face/off are utterly brilliant and should leave cinema audiences screaming with delight.
It’s when Pegg, Frost and Wright successfully blow away any lingering doubts about the film’s failings and prove beyond doubt that in terms of delivering crowd-pleasing entertainment these men are on fire.
Running time: 2hrs 4mins