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United Kingdom 2007
Directed by
Edgar Wright
121 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Andrew Lee
3 stars

Hot Fuzz

Synopsis: In a comic riff on police action flicks, an embarrassingly high-performing cop Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is transferred from his beloved London Met to the sleepy village of Sandford, where he meets a friendly bobby (Nick Frost) and ends up in a climactic gun battle with the local identities.

Hot Fuzz is a different kind of star vehicle/genre spoof. In comparison to other star vehicles the ‘stars’ have a much smaller profile, but a passionate (dare I say, cult) following from lovers of the TV series Spaced (1999-2001) and the more recent film, Shaun Of The Dead (2004), both directed by Wright. But similarly to the big star vehicles, Hot Fuzz probably would be a bit of cold turkey without Pegg and Frost. It almost totally relies on their remarkably warm and engaging screen presence. These are lads your mum would like.

In comparison to genre spoofs, such as the Scary Movie franchise the Hot Fuzz experience is more a comic homage to the likes of Point Break and Bad Boys 2,  the makers clearly have a genuine affection for their source material. And the film references are subtle, rather than a string of sight gags that beat you about the head. But you will find nods to Quentin Tarantino, John Woo, The Shining, Star Wars, Die Hard, Straw Dogs and many others which will probably slip under the radar if you don’t watch as many cult films as Pegg and Frost.

References aside, Hot Fuzz is generally a reasonably coherent and entertaining story of a big city cop trying to make good in a sleepy village beset by graphic blood-spurting ‘accidents’. It is notable for montages of rapid editing, pop-cultural humour, and some surreal moments. The cops are supported by many funny and familiar faces, including  Timothy Dalton, fellow comedian Bill Bailey, Jim Broadbent, Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy and many others

The film’s biggest hurdle is that the typical finale of the average police action movie really isn’t all that amusing, and Hot Fuzz struggles to find enough humour in it to be entirely successful. Either that, or given the two hour running time, a slight fatigue sets in. Despite the need for a few more slashes of the editor’s knife, Hot Fuzz is good-hearted entertainment, particularly after a few beers down the pub.




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