Hot Fuzz

| April 18, 2007

I’m trying to be creative in my approach to writing this review. I’m trying to find the right words that explain my point of view of the new film from Edgar Wright, Hot Fuzz. It’s difficult because I don’t want to sound like I am giving too much, but the truth is, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are one of the finest filmmaking teams to come to the attention of the worldwide media in years. Shaun of the Dead was a great film on many levels. Please see my review of it, right here on Film Monthly, as well as my interview with the aforementioned Shaun of the Dead crew. The truth is, these crazy Brits are young cats in their early 30s, and they are already amazing filmmakers and have made another brilliant film, Hot Fuzz. Hot Fuzz is satisfying on so many levels, it’s no wonder it blew up the UK box office. I just hope American audiences catch on quick, because you’re missing out.
Hot Fuzz is a story about Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), the best damn cop in London, with an arrest record 400% higher than any other officer on the force. He makes all the other cops look really bad. As a result, his superiors send him to a town in the middle of nowhere called Sandford. Sandford is seemingly a crime-free village where everyone knows each other. Once Angel arrives, he is partnered with a naïve but well-meaning police officer named Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). Danny is the son of the police chief and a huge fan of action movies, especially Point Break and Bad Boys 2. Danny thinks his new big-city partner might just be a real-life version of his action movie hero’s and could finally give him his big chance at seeing some real danger up close. Angel ignores Danny’s child-like enthusiasm and focuses his energy on a series of horrific accidents that keep occurring in the town. Nicholas Angel is convinced that Sandford is not as wholesome and innocent as it seems. As his suspicion deepens, Danny’s dreams of high-octane car-chases, gunfights, and chasing down criminals come closer and closer to reality. When the mystery unravels, Angel shows the town why he is “one bad mutha” and dispenses justice on everyone, including former James Bond Timothy Dalton.
When Shaun of the Dead arrived in American theaters, it was pretty much hailed by critics but didn’t make the kind of box office dough it deserved. I think that many people discovered just how great Shaun of the Dead was during its DVD life. Shaun displayed the formula that Edgar Wright and crew retain throughout Hot Fuzz. In Shaun, they made a truly funny movie that also had all the elements of a truly scary horror film, especially during the third act, when Shaun becomes and outright gorefest, putting all the characters in danger. Hot Fuzz does the same thing to the action genre. In Hot Fuzz, we have a truly ingenious comedy, full of genuine laughs, and then, as the mystery unravels, the third act turns into an exciting action film with really great gun play and even a bruising car chase. This makes for an ending full of excitement and laughs that is about as satisfying as you’ll get from a film this year.
The thing about the Hot Fuzz crew is they are seriously fantastic filmmakers. Their craft and attention to character and detail makes this an amazing film. The chemistry on screen is genuine because Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have been working together for years. When I interviewed the Hot Fuzz guys a couple of weeks ago, they said they watched literally hundreds of action films while writing the script. They wanted Hot Fuzz to have all the elements of their favorite action films, with a cool ’70s-feeling title, and they succeeded on all fronts. I really believe that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost will be household names in America. It’s only a matter of time. What I think really made this film close to my heart is its love for Point Break. I, too, love Point Break. It inspired me, with its amazing and ridiculous skydiving sequence, to go sky diving myself. I went three times. Not many movies can claim they inspired you to jump out of an airplane, at least in a positive way. I mean, once on a flight, I was forced to watch The First Daughter starring Katie Holmes, and that did make me want to jump out of the plane, but it was for slightly different reasons. Listen up, on April 20th, all you cats celebrating the hippie holiday on Nick Frost’s advice: eat a fat burrito and go see Hot Fuzz with some buds. Don’t be the last one to discover this truly excellent film.

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