Hot Fuzz (2007)
Reviewed on 2007 August 30
You know, there are times when I really underestimate people, and I should know better. I enjoyed Shaun of the Dead and figured if you can intentionally make a funny zombie movie, you should be able to pull off more mainstream comedies. I knew Hot Fuzz was made by Simon Pegg and his posse, and yet when I saw the previews it didn’t look like something I’d enjoy. I’m happy to say I was wrong. And it’s not a mainstream comedy either. The humor is black and nasty, and yet there’s a ridiculous streak through the whole thing.
I knew we were in for something unconventional when the usual comedic blueprints of an incompetent person rising to the top of an organization, or a skilled person becoming a fish out of water and failing until helped by a friendly local, were both bypassed for something different. Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is a model London policeman. He’s so efficient that the entire staff feels threatened by him, and transfer him to Sandford, a tiny, bucolic hamlet of manicured lawns. Angel is still effective, if not abrasive — pretty easy since the police force of Sandford are dim bulbs, and the biggest menace seems to be underage kids sneaking into the pub for a pint. He’s partnered with less-than-stellar PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) and he’ll have to deal with it, since Danny’s daddy, Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent), is in charge.
Angel chafes at being herded into the sticks, until he starts seeing homicides dismissed as accidents. Soon he realizes that sleepy, crime-free Sandford has a low crime rate simply because a lot of murders are hidden this way. He decides he must get to the bottom of this, even if the Sandford police force don’t seem to care.
Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg created a dark, funny script, with lots of little turns and some neat references to the it-blowed-up-real-good action stuff from the ’80s. Pegg was also able to be a hard-nose for 121 minutes without making you hate him. The movie was a little lengthy but it kept adding new stuff so it was okay. And Nick Frost was hilarious as the goofy, well-meaning Butterman. Billie Whitelaw (horror freaks will remember her as little Damien’s nanny) has a great bit here too.
Three chocolate morsels and a glass of cranberry juice.