Hot Fuzz tells the story of a superstar London police officer, Nicholas Angel, who is involuntarily transferred to a quiet country town that is suddenly plagued by a series of “accidents”. From director Edgar Wright, director of Shaun and the Dead and The World’s End, comes another hilarious collaboration between Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
This movie is an incredibly clever satire of both buddy cop movies and slasher flicks. A gory, fun twist on both genres, it breathes new life into the clichés that both genres rely upon. It points out the silly tropes movies like Bad Boys 2 and Point Break use, while also subtly playing on the expectations of slasher villains (i.e. involuntarily shooting into the air and a masked villain running around a small country town that “never sees crimes like this”).
The jokes are all quirky, but extremely clever and rely heavily on editing as well as delivery. The editing utilizes quick cuts to provide a frantic and new storytelling technique. Wright uses this technique frequently, most notably in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The slasher gore is over-the top and insane, but it’s so excessive it’s played out for comedic effect more than straight gross-out appeal.
His first satirical target was the zombie horror genre with Shaun of the Dead in 2004, also starring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. This film takes everything that worked with that film and reinvented it, upping the gore, upping the mystery, and upping the over-the-top British humor. And boy-oh-boy is this a British movie, with that ever fond dry British humor. It’s one of the few movies that I actually laugh out loud at most of the jokes. It begins as a rehash of the serious cop meets bumbling cop and become best friends while learning lessons from one another movie and then it just goes totally off the rails. You don’t even know it’s a slasher satire until halfway in, but once it’s gets going its just a hilarious but thrilling mystery about the secrets in a small town. The twist you don’t see coming because they just throw logic out the window and go for the outrageous explanation for all the events that transpired throughout the film. It’s just a really fun movie that looks amazing while utilizing quick and sharp writing and dialogue.
I really enjoy British humor, so I may have a preference, but I just love this film. I think Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are an unbeatable comedy team, and they always look like their having a great time together. Pegg plays the exact opposite character of Shaun from Shaun of the Dead, providing an honest testament to his acting chops. Some of Britain’s top names are in here including Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent, and Olivia Colman, and they all play hilarious caricatures of either big city or small town officers. I recommend Hot Fuzz because it has just about everything: blood, mystery, nonsense, puns, and a whole lot of heart.
Amy’s Recommendation: 10/10