Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hot Fuzz

imdb: Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz is a brilliant and funny film from the makers of Shaun of the Dead. If Shaun of the Dead was a movie about all other zombie films, then Hot Fuzz is a tribute to every cop film made. It has the same director, writers, and two lead actors as Shaun of the Dead.

The plot revolves around a London supercop named Nicholas Angel, played by Simon Pegg, who's so good that he makes his superiors and colleagues look bad in comparison. So he gets assigned to the small, quiet town of Sandford. Here he meets his new partner, Danny, played by Nick Frost, who is Simon Pegg's real life best friend. They also played the part of best buddies in Shaun of the Dead. A couple of people get killed, which is chalked up as 'accidents' by the police chief. Everyone in this town seems so dumb, but things are not what they seem to be.

The first two thirds of the movie contains lots of references to cop movies. There's a scene where Angel visits his partner Danny's apartment and sees his huge DVD collection. They watch some scenes from Point Break and Bad Boys II, and Danny mimics his favorite scene from Point Break, which will be revisited in a later point in the movie. He also pesters Angel about whether he was able to do some of the cop stuff that he has seen from those classic cop films. To which Angel replies that he hasn't done any of those, and dismisses them. Again, this will be revisited in a later point.

The first two thirds is essentially a setup for the climactic last third. A lot of buddy cop movie cliches are thrown in - the amiable police chief, the rival cop team, the good-looking villain, and many others. If you watch a lot of action movies, you'll recognize them all. Then in the last part, all hell breaks lose and all the cliches come to life unexpectedly.

This was an extremely well made film, with great attention to detail. You'll need to watch this closely, or like what I did, watch it twice. As every scene turns out to have some important meaning later on. On my second viewing, I watched this with the commentary on in the DVD, where the director and Simon Pegg reveal a lot of the hidden gems. There's bits of humor sprinkled throughout that will only become apparent on second viewing. For me, the funniest part was the 'Point Break' reenactment near the end.

As you may have heard, this is a British film, but it was made to parody hollywood movie cliches, so the comedy feels very American. The spoofing is also very subtle, unlike what you're used to seeing in movies such as in the Naked Gun, Hotshots, and Scary Movie franchises. This will satisfy all action movie enthusiasts. I would love to see a sequel.

Rating: 4/5 * * * *
Everything you liked in cop movies.

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