Hot Fuzz review by The Grim Ringler

Ya know what, I must sound like the biggest fanboy in town these days. I can’t believe how many awesome movies are coming to theaters with their geek quotients dialed up to fifteen. Great crap! I guess it’s just luck, but trust me, I honestly don’t love every movie I see. At all. I just generally go see stuff I want to see and that makes it easier for me to load up on the good movies and reviews. Which leads me to Hot Fuzz, the follow-up to the modern classic Shaun of the Dead. When I first read about this movie I was far from excited. Hell, excited wasn’t even in the same county as me. I lucked out though and got a chance to catch Spaced, the British comedy all of these people had done before Shaun and suddenly I was geeked. Sure, I loved what had been done with the horror genre, but man alive, seeing the kind of influences they had, and seeing that many were the same as me, the idea of a send-up of American action films suddenly sounded fantastic. Let me assure you – it is.

British officer Nick Angel is what every cop should be – smart, talented, driven, and lives for police work. The thing is though, he’s too good and is making everyone else look bad. Due to his over-achieving ways Nick is being given the rank of sergeant but is being transferred to a small town far from London and any sort of serious problems so the other people of the British police force won’t look so bad anymore. Nick is appalled at the idea of leaving a city that he can truly do some good in to head off to the country but has no choice but to do as he is told and reluctantly heads off to the boondocks. The small town is exactly as he feared – boring. Sure, he can arrest the local never-do-wells but beyond that there’s little for him to do. When a rash of violent and horrible ‘accidents’ sweep through the town Nick’s the first to assume the worst and, the more he digs, it seems that these deaths may not be accidental at all. But as the truth becomes clear, Nick must fight not only to bring what he knows to the public, he must also fight a police force that refuses to believe anything dangerous could ever happen in their town, which has won awards for being so safe and cheerful.

Great crap is this good. Funny, strange, gory, and a wonderful tweak on the American action film, this is the kind of comedy we WISH came out here all the time. And what kind of comedy is that, you ask? Hot Fuzz is a smart, funny, genuine comedy that doesn’t have to focus on bodily functions, boobs, or mockery to make its laugh quotient. Yes, there are cheesy jokes, some slapstick, and the movie isn’t above the gross (witness the copious amounts of gore), but the focus is put on the characters and not the situations. In Hot Fuzz, it really is about the people that fill the film. Luckily, there are a lot of great British actors on hand but none of them live up to the manic madness of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as the buddy cops on hand here. If you know much about these two, you know that they are already very good friends and you can tell. They get along very easily and work off one another brilliantly. The film plays itself so straight that it borders on ridiculous but it’s Pegg’s earnest portray of Nick Frost that keeps you tethered. There are shades of Edward Woodward in The Wicker Man, in that you have a man so obsessed with being a professional police officer that everything else falls out of focus. It’s the end though that is the kick to the nuts. In what had been a very funny, but very traditional British comedy is kicked onto its head and suddenly we’re seeing an American action film taken to the most outrageous extremes. Explosions, gunfights, gun-toting old people, and car chases, oh my!

If there is a stumbling point it’s that the film is just long enough to make you a bit sore in the butt. We’re just not used to two hour comedies and for some, there just won’t be enough going on for the first two thirds of the film. Woe be unto them though that gives up on this movie before the finale as you’re in for a heck of a treat.

As much as I love action films I have to admit that really, there are far more mediocre to bad action films than there are horror movies, and if you take a walk down the aisles of your local video store you’ll see what I mean. It’s nice to be reminded of why we love something though and along the way seeing why it’s so silly isn’t so bad either. No, this is not another Shaun but then, it doesn’t have to be. In seeing this I was reminded why I loved that rom-zom-com so damned much, and it wasn’t because it was a zombie movie, or because it was gory but because it was done so lovingly and so well that you really saw that they weren’t making fun of the movie on hand but rather celebrating it in the best way they could. Too often we moviegoers in America get the likes of Airplane and Scary Movie, which mock the things they emulate, but here, you have a film that becomes that which it mocks, and in so doing, realizes that heck, maybe it wasn’t so bad in the first place. ot

8 out of 10 Jackasses
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