Hot Fuzz directed by Edgar Wright and staring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is the second flavor in the cornetto trilogy. The first being Shaun of the Dead and the last being the soon to be arriving The World’s End. Each movie is it’s own genre. Shaun is horror. Hot Fuzz is action. The World’s End is alien/robot invasion.
Simon Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a police officer in the London that is constantly working much to dismay of his soon to be ex-girlfriend played by an uncredited Cate Blanchett even after getting stabbed through the hand by a drunk Father Christmas played by an uncredited Peter Jackson.
His bosses played by Martin Freeman, Bill Nighly and an uncredited Steve Coogan aren’t to happy with him either and decide to send him off to the county town of Sandford for a little rest. The editing of all of these events from Nicholas’s introduction via voice over to the arrival at Sanford are slick and everything introduced in the first twenty minutes is used through out the movie.
The villagers of Sandford are well meaning folks. Played by several UK actors like Timothy Dalton, Olivia Coleman, Paddy Considine, Paul Freeman and many more. Timothy Dalton being the only one that is relishing his role at eating scenery. Nicholas attempts to settle down and unwind aren’t helped by Nick Frost’s Danny Butterman because of Danny’s awe, general fanboy of Nicholas’s deeds and being a giant action movie junkie. His DVD wall reminds me of my wall before I sold them.
But there are things afoot in Sandford. People are dying via horrible accidents and it takes Nicholas the rest of Act 2 to piece everything together by researching his hypothesis and putting the puzzle pieces together until he confronts the problem and like one of Danny’s Hollywood heroes roars into a third act with guns blazing. The movie’s plotting as a whole feels refreshing and expects the audience to keep up as it takes itself seriously.
Well almost seriously since the movie goes from being a Masterpiece Theater Mystery to a Michael Bay shoot’em up in the last twenty minutes. Thankfully the action pieces have been kept to a minimum throughout so the car chases or gunfights are not boring. Many of Danny’s outlandish questions regarding Nicholas’s work are immediately squashed since police work like flying an airplane: it’s very very very boring. His character and Sandra Bullock’s character from Demolition Man are essentially the same but with a sex change.
Having said all that it should then come to no surprise as the last act everything is an homage to action movies. This isn’t a bad thing since Edgar Wright knows his audience and knows we aren’t idiots. This was filmed for the Die Hard/Lethal Weapon/geek crowd and it does not disappoint from the gun fights to car chases to explosive fourth act reveal it’s a fun movie.
I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel to this either set it in the USA ala Red Dawn/any other movie dealing with the fish out of water-trope so long as they saddle Nicholas with a woman partner.