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Overall Rating
4.46

Awesome61.18%
Worth A Look: 25.88%
Just Average: 10.59%
Pretty Crappy: 2.35%
Sucks: 0%

8 reviews, 37 user ratings


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Hot Fuzz
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Peter Sobczynski

"100% Pure Comedy Adrenaline!"
5 stars

The idea of making a film mocking the conventions of action-packed contemporary cop thrillers may sound like an obvious concept on the surface but if you think about it, successfully pulling off such an idea is probably a lot harder to do than it sounds. For starters, most of those films are already so ridiculous that they are already teetering towards self-parody. In addition, anyone hoping to pull off such a project would have to approximate the over-the-top car chases and gun battles that are a regular feature of such films and unless you are really good, the line between a straightforward exploding fireball and an ironically conceived one is a thin one indeed. Despite those obvious pitfalls, Brits Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the creators of the brilliant zombie comedy “Shaun of the Dead,” have decided to attempt just such a film–an even riskier proposition when you consider that England, though experts at quirky mysteries and tough crime dramas, doesn’t exactly have a long tradition of slam-bang spectacles of this type (as anyone who saw “The Young Americans” can attest)–and have come up with the absolutely hilarious “Hot Fuzz,” a spot-on genre goof that may well be the most consistently funny film to come along since. . .well, since “Shaun of the Dead.”

In a 180-degree reversal of the unambitious loaf that he portrayed in “Shaun of the Dead,” Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a London supercop that even Ice-T could get behind–he is fair, decent, just, hyper-competent and has an arrest record that is 400% above those of his fellow policemen. He is so good, in fact, that his skills are beginning to embarrass the rest of the department and as the film opens, his superiors inform him that for the good of the rest of the department, he is being transferred Sandford, a quiet little burg that proudly claims to be the nicest town in all of England. Too quiet for Nick, as it turns out–on his first night in town (even before officially reporting for duty), he is unable to downshift his supercop noggin and spends the evening taking people in on a variety of minor charges. One of those that he arrests is Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) and when Nicholas arrives at work the next morning, he discovers that Danny is both the son of police chief Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent) and his new partner.

After only a few days, Nicholas’s boredom begins to drive him over the edge and the overly cheerful presence of Danny–who just assumes that police work in the big city is just as action-packed as the movies make it seem (“Have you ever leapt through the air whilst firing two guns at the same time?”)–isn’t helping matters either. Just when Nicholas has about hit the breaking point, some townspeople begin to turn up dead–a lawyer and his mistress perish in a car crash, a land developer is blown up inside his eyesore of a house and what happens to the nosey editor of the local paper needs to be seen to be believed. Although Chief Butterman and the rest of the force is willing to write these incidents off as nothing more than bizarre accidents, Nicholas’s instincts kick into overdrive and he, along with the ever-eager Danny, tries to find a connection between all of the deaths that will prove that the victims met with foul play. To reveal what happens from this point on would be to spoil a few intricate plot twists and many jokes but it is probably not giving away too much to say that the extended finale does indeed find Nicholas and Danny leaping through the air whilst firing two guns at the same time–and much more–in order to bring two-fisted justice to the streets of Sandford.

The problem in reviewing most contemporary comedies is that they tend to be nothing more than one joke after another and since it is considered bad form to blow punchlines in a review, critics are often at a loss for anything else to discuss. One of the great things about “Hot Fuzz” is there is more going on in the film than just a relentless string of gags. For starters, there is the ingeniously conceived screenplay by Pegg and Wright that, like “Shaun of the Dead,” fuses together two seemingly incompatible genres–the more-is-more American-style spectaculars like “Tango & Cash,” “Point Break” and virtually anything featuring the names Jerry Bruckheimer or Joel Silver and the kind of quirky British mysteries best exemplified on the big screen by “The Wicker Man” and on the small screen by “Prime Suspect” or “Midsomer Murders”–in a manner that allows each to complement the other in unexpectedly effective ways. There is the fact that the films offers up a wide variety of colorful characters that never get tiresome–beyond Pegg and Frost, whose partnership here, on the heels of their work on “Shaun of the Dead” and the cult TV series “Spaced,” pretty much solidifies them as the premier comedic duo of the moment, my favorite would have to be the spectacularly unctuous supermarket owner played to slimy perfection by Timothy Dalton in what is easily the most unexpectedly winning performance of his entire career.

What is especially brilliant about “Hot Fuzz” is that while it has often been described by critics as a spoof of cop movies, it is much more than just that in the long run. To me, a spoof is a film that takes the cliches inherent in the genre under consideration and then amplifies them in a way that underlines just how ridiculous they are–“The Naked Gun” is a perfect example of a spoof of cop movies. Here, the comedy isn’t as broadly conceived as that of a typical spoof and most of the best bits come from the little details that Pegg and Wright bring in to replicate the look and feel of a typical police epic–as they demonstrate throughout, even something as small as a music cue or a certain camera angle can inspire enormous laugh. (It is this ability to make the proceedings look and sound uncannily accurate that made Wright’s contribution to the fake trailers seen in “Grindhouse” the most effective of the bunch.) Their commitment to providing a solid dramatic framework for their comedy is so absolute that with a few tweaks here and there, I could see “Hot Fuzz” actually working as a better-than-average example of a straightforward cop movie–the central mystery is fairly engrossing, the killings actually generate levels of tension that most serious-minded suspense films today often fail to achieve (not to mention levels of gore that may shock some viewers) and the staging of the action scenes in the final reels are so well-done that Wright could easily score a gig helming the blockbuster of his choice based on his work here.

Having fulfilled by duties as a critic by explaining my admiration for the craft behind “Hot Fuzz,” I can now admit that what truly puts the film over the top is the simple fact that even at two hours–somewhat long for a comedy–the laughs never let up for a second. Although I promised not to give away any punchlines, I am compelled to list a few of my favorite bits. (Feel free to skip down to the next paragraph so as not to ruin any of the jokes.) The timing of the opening scene between Nicholas and his superiors. The identities of the performers briefly seen as, respectively, the Father Christmas that attacks Nicholas in an early montage and his ex-girlfriend. The sight of Danny earnestly explaining a key moment from “Point Break” to an incredulous Nicholas. The town council bemoaning the fact that Sanford might “soon be up to our balls in jugglers!” A supermarket brawl in which the gore is provided by upended containers of catsup. The glimpse of an exceptionally daft stage production of “Romeo and Juliet” that is based exclusively on the Baz Luhrmann version. The inevitable-but priceless line “Forget it, it’s Sanford.”

If I had to give a preference between “Hot Fuzz” or “Shaun of the Dead,” I suppose that I would have to give the nod to “Shaun of the Dead,” if only because I have a preference for zombie movies over cop movies. That said,“Hot Fuzz” is a great, great comedy from start to finish and one that is so inspired that when I saw it again a week or so after my first viewing, I was delighted to discover that it was just as funny as funny the second time around–in fact, it might have actually been funnier because you can more clearly see how the seeds of a number of inspired running gags (especially one involving an errant swan) are carefully planted into the narrative throughout before their big payoffs at the end. Whether you are the kind of hard-core action buff who can recount the plot points of “Silent Rage” or “Freebie and the Bean” in obsessive detail or the kind of newbie who has yet to catch up with the likes of “Dirty Harry,” “Hot Fuzz” is the kind of instant classic comedy that will have you smiling for weeks after seeing it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15547&reviewer=389
originally posted: 04/20/07 02:29:39
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell good not great 4 stars
8/30/13 Bert crude, violent, I quit midway 2 stars
5/27/12 Stefani K Fantastic. 5 stars
2/10/12 Bill White I agree with Rob. I gave it a two and a half on Rotten Tomatoes. The ending is pathetic. 2 stars
8/24/10 the dork knight Pegg is this movie. A couple nice buddy moments between him and Frost, too. 5 stars
10/24/09 Trent Coming from a US citizen, amazing movie, right up there with Shaun of the Dead 5 stars
9/30/08 Shaun Wallner I really enjoyed this film. 5 stars
4/13/08 Will Tingle Peggs best yet - can't imagine it works outside UK though... 5 stars
3/24/08 Isaac M. Baranoff Enjoyed it. Good film. 4 stars
3/21/08 Jeff As always Pegg was excellent 5 stars
3/16/08 Zachary Excellent movie, non-stop laughter. 5 stars
1/30/08 Beck Finaly a police satire that isn't afraid to have the hero actually kick some ass. 5 stars
12/03/07 ES 1 big laugh and a craptacular ending that kills all the goodwill generated by the beginning 3 stars
11/21/07 mr.mike not bad despite the somewhat dopey ending. Dalton is terrific 4 stars
9/28/07 R.W. Welch Outlandish cop satire. Just when you think it can't get any flakier, it does. 4 stars
9/23/07 Jason Brilliant, the turn from a horror movie to a comedy to an action film was seemless. 5 stars
9/14/07 AnnieG I didn't laugh as much as I expected, but I liked this film nonetheless. 4 stars
9/01/07 Quigley One of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. Pegg and Frost rule so much. Rock on ! 5 stars
8/05/07 Monday Morning Gonsalves is right on - some good laughs but overall, just slightly better than AVERAGE. 3 stars
8/01/07 D Just rented it yesterday, and it is hilarious 5 stars
8/01/07 Dark Enchantress funny movie and had great action 5 stars
7/11/07 Louise Extremely entertaining and funny! Great British humour! 4 stars
6/11/07 al smith porceline is a fucking cock at least britain has some fresh ideas unlike shitty usa 5 stars
6/03/07 Steven Boring at the begging, best 45 min ending ever 4 stars
5/27/07 Rebecca Friggin hilarious! 5 stars
5/26/07 jcjs great, awesome..this site is way too slow now, not worth coming here imbd is the way to go 5 stars
5/16/07 Elizabeth Entertaining -- and any film which appreciates "Point Break" is fine with me! 4 stars
5/14/07 Richard Seen it twice, waiting for the DVD to come out in US! 5 stars
5/08/07 Dave well funny, me n my mate laughed loads 5 stars
5/06/07 Chris Lada OMG, funny!!!! 5 stars
5/05/07 hedd well made and pretty funny, but Gonsalves I agree 3 stars
5/03/07 Stacy Just great! 5 stars
5/02/07 Wesley Haven't laughed at a film this hard in a while. Truly remarkable. 5 stars
5/01/07 Ole Man Bourbon Really well-made film, funny. 4 stars
4/24/07 Luke Not as good as Shaun but bloody great nontheless 4 stars
4/23/07 joker allready own on dvd as out in uk 5 stars
4/21/07 K L WANNA BEST DAMN COMEDY I HAVE SEEN IN YEARS 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  20-Apr-2007 (R)
  DVD: 31-Jul-2007

UK
  16-Feb-2007
  DVD: 11-Jun-2007

Australia
  15-Mar-2007



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