Archive for the ‘Hot Fuzz’ Category

340 – Hot Fuzz

August 14, 2007

Some might say that if you liked Shaun of the Dead, you’ll like Hot Fuzz, since they have the same director, writer, and stars (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). But while Shaun was a more-or-less tongue-in-cheeky-cheek look at zombie movies, Fuzz is a little more straightforward, going for an action-comedy vibe rather than a horror-comedy vibe. This isn’t to say Hot Fuzz fails to meet expectations, it’s just that you sort of have to make sure your expectations are calibrated efficiently.

Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is a straight-arrow London bobby who is extremely good at his job. Crime declines considerably when he’s on the beat, much to the dismay of his superiors, who feel he’s making the rest of them look bad. As a punishment for his good deeds, Angel is transferred to the hinterlands of England, specifically a small village called Sandford, where he proceeds to lock up half the town in his first night on such reckless crimes as underage drinking and urinating in public. Oops, turns out the criminal of the second crime is his new partner – cue wacky soundtrack – who’s also the son (Frost) of the police chief (Jim Broadbent). Off to a bad start already, Angel is chagrined to learn that the police force in the sleepy town doesn’t really care a lot about crimestopping, instead electing to eat, drink, loaf, that sort of thing. Then people start to die in mysterious and gruesome ways, and only Angel believes they’re all connected. The deaths, not the people themselves, although that’s also possible. He smells a conspiracy, is what I’m trying to say here. But no one believes him – cue wacky soundtrack again.

Now, this might have come off as a one-note, dumb action movie if it weren’t for the grim determination of Pegg to essay a character of some depth. He’s not simply a righteous cop out to save the world, he’s a nice guy who has ultimate respect for the law and is devastated when others don’t. Pegg’s performance is perfectly sincere, and although he seems unassuming and even vague – witness his Shaun of the Dead – he is commanding, taciturn, and an utter delight as the seemingly humorless, single-minded cop. He’s fantastic, and because his character is so emotionless, the other actors by contrast seem even funnier, particularly Frost as a doofus who’d love to be more than what he is, if only there weren’t so much work involved. Broadbent, Stuart Wilson, Paddy Considine, and a wolfish Timothy Dalton round out a pitch-perfect cast.

Hot Fuzz is splendid, a genial change from Shaun of the Dead, as it maintains all the soul and equilibrium of that minor classic without feeling stodgy, stilted, or dull. Pegg in particular – good thing, since he’s the lead – manages to elevate the proceedings magnificently. Oh, and watch for Peter Jackson and Cate Blanchett in cameos (hint: it’ll be tough to spot Blanchett).