Day 288-- Hot Fuzz (2007)

Shaun of the Dead was a weird little film; while a parody of many of the zombie films of the '70s and '80s, it also was a great zombie film on its own. It was scary, well-acted, and insanely funny. And a romantic comedy.

And as an English filmed saturated with English humor, it did surprisingly well with box office returns in the United States.

Hot Fuzz does for buddy-cop movies what Shaun did for zombie flicks, and--surprise!--both were by the same creative team. It rests in the odd little nook between mockery and homage, and ends up being more entertaining and better-made than the action films that inspired it.

Nicholas Angel (played by Simon Pegg, who also co-wrote Shaun in addition to this film) is a veteran London sergeant that is so good at what he does that his superiors ship him to the quaint English village of Sandford--there he won't make anyone 'look bad.' There's not violent crime here, and the most pressing emergency is kicking under-aged drinkers out of the pub.

He and his cohorts--including the bumbling son of the police captain (Nick Frost, another Shaun alum)--start investigating a string of accidents that, well, might not be accidents. Or they may actually be accidents, and Nicholas is just too much of a busybody to turn his over-analytical mind off.

As a comedy, Hot Fuzz pulls off a difficult task: it has a great number of 'immediate' jokes (all I have to say is "brain freeze"), but the movie is soaked in complex and intelligent jokes that take take a while to unravel. Some of little visual cues, others running gags (there are many little subtle jokes revolving around the phrase "just desserts" for about a quarter of the movie). And Wright goes bonkers with the Jerry Bruckheimer-ish over-editing, adding unnecessary fast cuts and sound effects to scenes where people are doing paperwork or waiting for trains. In some ways it's very postmodern, begging for deconstruction and multiple viewings, but it's a lot of fun any way you examine it.

The final third of the movie is over-the-top action, but it both fits into the plot and doesn't (which is sort of the point). And--like Shaun of the Dead--there are a few instances of seriousness that are almost out of place, but end up making the movie that much better.

Hot Fuzz is great. I want to see it again, and I'd love to buy it so I can watch it over and over and pick up things I missed before. I love company for these sorts of things.

Trailers for the movie.


posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 6/20/2007 11:05:00 PM,


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