Hot Fuzz [2007]

Hot Fuzz [2007], a buddy-cop film directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is the quaintest, yet goriest, action movie you’ll set your eyes on. Taking place in the small British town of Sandford, Sgt. Nicholas Angel (Pegg) and his partner Danny (Frost) investigate a series of ‘nasty accidents.’

Welcome to Sandford, village of the year. The village of Sandford is fully realized. Every minute detail is interjected and weaved into the plot with humor and wit. Each detail adding an extra layer of humor and complexity in the final act of the film. It helps that each of the many and well-developed characters are performed by veteran British actors and actresses (with key parts played by Olivia Colman, Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent to name a few).

Repetition, repetition, repetition… The film’s humor is derived from your ability to join the dots.  A joke will be set up (probably without you noticing it) in the first act, only to pay off later in the third act (again, you probably won’t notice it). A lot of the humor is also derived from the repetition of lines and actions, though again, a lot of this may slip by unnoticed upon your first viewing. This subtle humor isn’t for everyone and will, without a doubt, require multiple viewings for many of the jokes to sink in. That said, there are enough great jokes generously scattered about the film to justify watching it once and still have a satisfying comedic experience.

A fistful of notes. Hot Fuzz pulls from a lot of genres and styles. This inevitably means that the soundtrack reflects the film’s inspirations. From westerns to modern-day action movie soundtracks to 70’s British rock, Hot Fuzz’s music supervisor (named Nick Angel) expertly finds the right track for any given scene. The soundtrack’s effectiveness is trebled most times as the editing cuts to the rhythm of the music, easing you into the world with style.

“A no holes barred, adrenaline-fueled, thrill ride.”  The last half hour is a stew of twisted action movie homages and references from Point Break to classic westerns. Filled with the punchlines which the film set up hours ago (which you’ve also forgotten about) and hilarious combinations of over the top action and sleepy village elements. The production values push the final sequence of the film from being a mediocre parody action scene to a fantastic action scene in its own right. Fast, clean and creative editing and sound design help to stitch the disparate elements into a cohesive whole. The camera-work, however, leaves some to be desired at times. In some of the hand to hand combat scenes, the camera flies about and shots are milliseconds long. As a result, some fights are just a mess of blur and color with little clarity.

Fun, clever, well-crafted and easily quotable. It’s a ‘yarp’ from me.

Watch Hot Fuzz via Amazon