I waited to see Shaun of the Dead on DVD, not knowing for sure whether or not I liked it (I ended up liking it very much). I vowed not to make the same mistake with Hot Fuzz. I ended up enjoying it very much, moreso even than SotD, and I wonder if that’s a) because I genuinely like the genre they were sending up more in this one, or b) because of the big screen. Possibly both, possibly neither. Doesn’t matter, though. In the end, Hot Fuzz was one hundred percent worth the money I paid for it in the theater. And that’s saying something.
Nick Angel (Simon Pegg) is a London supercop who gets reassigned to Sanford, a small village where the crimes that do occur go essentially unpunished by the local police force, headed by Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent). But when he uncovers some of Sanford’s better-kept secrets, it’s up to him and his new partner, Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) to enforce the law. HARDCORE STYLE.
The great thing about Hot Fuzz is that it’s a parody with heart. The guys love cop movies and know all the tropes and conventions, so when they play with them they don’t seem forced or awkward. Because of that, the film works as a parody AND as an action movie. Actually, the film effectively spoofs both a police procedural and a high-octane action film, which might put some viewers off, but I personally loved it. (I was also apparently the only person in the theater who got the “Forget it Nick…it’s Sanford.” line, so your mileage may vary.) Frost and Pegg have really stepped up their acting game since SotD, and carry the film rather well, and the entire ensemble is quirky but believable, which is very important to this particular film, which keeps you on your toes the whole way through.
It’s very gory, much more so than I was expecting, but that’s about the only negative thing I can say about it. It’s not perfect, but it’s well put together, and I enjoyed it far more than the most recent Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer fiascos. Hot Fuzz is smart, slick, and above all, even has a bit of heart in it. Must-watch if you’re an action movie fan.