Hot Fuzz is the highly anticipated movie from the team of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg that created “Shaun of the Dead.” Whereas Shaun twisted and made light of the zombie genre, Hot Fuzz pokes fun at the cop buddy movie made so famous by movies like “Lethal Weapon” and “Rush Hour.” All I can say is, it is about time!
Two words come to mind when I think about Hot Fuzz: Fucking funny. The plot is as simple as it can get which just adds to the humor. Due to jealousy at the London police force (400% arrest record over all others on the force), Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is exiled to the country town of Sandford where there is no real crime to speak of. Angel is befriended by a dumber than dirt constable Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), a guy who thinks police work is all gun fights and car chases. Within the first week or so of his new assignment, highly suspicious accidents begin to occur and Angel suddenly finds himself mired in a ridiculous situation. Ridiculous because he is surrounded by the Keystone Cops and a zany town folk led by the Neighborhood Watch Alliance or NWA for short (not Niggers With Attitude).
Aside from the silly plot, the next best aspect of the film is characters. Nicholas Angel is the human version of “Robocop.” He’s totally about his job and the letter of the law and can’t fathom why everyone around him shuns him like the plague. Butterman is a typical unmotivated fat kid in high school who fell into the job because of his father. His time is spent getting drunk as shit, eating cake and ice cream and living his life through cop movies — mostly “Bad Boys II” and “Point Break.” The town folk are equally absurd in their own ways. People like: Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton), the owner of the local food mart, is suave motherfucker obsessed with death and Tim Messenger (Adam Buxton) a local newspaper reporter who can’t even spell. Each and everyone of these people just add to the hell that Angel (or Angle — as Messenger typed) is in.
Another plus is just like “Shaun of the Dead,” Hot Fuzz does not at any time take itself seriously. The dialogue and one-liners are so cheesy, Kraft wants to learn the secret and patent it. The special effects, most notably the church and the mini town scenes, are pathetically unrealistic. This is obviously done on purpose, which just adds to the charm of the movie. And without a doubt the final face-off is a classic with enough gunfire to rival “The Killer” (who knew the deli counter is bullet proof?).
Anyways, enough with all the fluff. As with all batteries, there is always a negative and Hot Fuzz has one too. I felt the movie was a bit slow going. There are many periods of filler — scenes with small gags and/or funny conversations and observations — between the action. It would be safe to say half of these moments could have been left on the cutting room floor without any harm coming to the movie. And even though the movie is only 120 minutes long, it can at times seem like it’s been on for hours. It wouldn’t have been a problem had the movie been made in the similar vein as “Airplane!,” where the bulk of the comedy is captured within these types of moments.
Conclusion? Anyone who needs a laugh should see Hot Fuzz. The good aspects of the film greatly outweigh the bad. Even though the movie won’t make a bundle at the box office, it manages to successfully jab the Hollywood juggernaut in the eye. It’s times like these that is fun to pretend to be a movie critic – the other times it’s a time consuming chore. Here’s to hoping that Wright and Pegg have another movie under their sleeve.