Hot Fuzz

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Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Nira Park
Simon Pegg as Nicholas, Nick Frost as Danny, Timothy Dalton as Simon
A top-notch London cop is tossed out to a small English village when his bosses decide that his superior nature is “making the rest of them look bad”. In the small town, the officer finds little to do with his advanced policing skills, until a number of people get killed over a few days and he starts to suspect…murder!! What ensues is a British spoof of American action movies laced with plenty of humor, blood and homages.
Yet another excellent mélange of movie genres from Britain’s team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this time featuring the “American action” genre mixed in with a ton of comedy, a sprinkle of horror, a touch of slasher, a dash of slapstick and plenty of homages for everyone, especially if you know your Michael Bay movies really well. I heard that watching both POINT BREAK (awesome flick!) and BAD BOYS 2 (fun, but with issues) before watching this pseudo-tribute would make it all go down even better, and I would add to that, repeated viewings, as this film has plenty of side gags and references that one might only pick up the second time around. I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, but I can’t say that it was perfect either (and considering that most of those over-the-top American action flicks are as well, maybe that too, was an homage?), including its somewhat slow pace at certain points, too many characters all around, a run-time that likely could have been cut by about 15-20 minutes without losing much story (maybe cut a few of those characters out?) and a significantly over-the-top resolution to the town murders that I just didn’t like (I would have preferred they kept it somewhat plausible and more mystery-based).

That said, those are small criticisms about a movie that lines everything else up under the positive banner including the very awesome directing by Edgar Wright, who not only utilizes every “action movie” editing technique known to man (and then some!), but also keeps things moving at a click, even when nothing much is going on. The film’s final action sequence (which probably takes up its entire last 30 minutes or so!!) is also a great example of Wright’s superb eye behind the camera, as he films everything like a true action movie and let me tell you, for any real fans of these types of movies…this movie’s finale will not disappoint! It’s a blast through and through and probably features more gunplay that I’ve seen in any film in some time. I guess you can say that the movie was a little uneven in that sense, as most of the time, there really isn’t all that much action (save for a couple of chases, a la POINT BREAK), but the film’s ending just takes it all to a whole other level. I also liked the film’s slasher angle, perhaps maybe an homage to SCREAM and all of its self-referential mannerisms, as well as the over-the-top blood and gore sequences. In fact, a couple of the murders in this movie are truly unforgettable.

Of course, we can’t forget the film’s humor, which despite being a little hard to decipher at times for a non-Englishman who still isn’t sure what to make of a man who likes to “smoke fags”, was a delicious time on its own, with the repartee between Pegg and Frost (much like in SHAUN OF THE DEAD) ringing true, as well as the many funny one-liners, non sequitur humor and the characters themselves, many of whom delivered fun performances of their own. Timothy Dalton, for one, came through as the devilish grocery store owner and the two dudes playing the local detectives were absolutely hilarious! Needless to say, just like in many of those “buddy cop movies”, the film also poked fun at their “unintentional” homosexual under/overtones. Setting it in a lovely small English village also helped differentiate it from the typical action big city gunfest, and what can you say about Pegg’s amazing lead performance, which in its serious and professional nature, helped keep the film grounded to some basis of reality. All in all, a jolly ol’ parody of a fun genre that comes through and does what it was meant to do: entertain. “Fascist! Hag!”

PS: Apparently both LOTR director Peter Jackson and actress extraordinare Cate Blanchett have cameos in this film, but apparently they’re both “masked cameos” to which I say: then what’s the point??

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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