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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 26.44%
Average: 10.34%
Pretty Bad: 2.3%
Total Crap: 0%

8 reviews, 39 user ratings

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Hot Fuzz
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by MP Bartley

"The film Starsky and Hutch wishes it was."
4 stars

The Second Difficult Album is a concept that exists in film too, and is met with equal amounts of failure and success. Quentin Tarantino pulled it off confidently, whilst Eli Roth bombed out badly. If Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's follow up to the brilliant Shaun of the Dead doesn't quite come close to matching their debut, then it comes pretty damn close. And that should be good enough for all of us.

Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) of the London Met is the kind of police officer that every city demands. Determined, ruthlessly efficient and relentless, he's a one man army and in short is making the rest of the London police force look bad. Hence he is sent away to the sleepy Gloucester village of Sandford, a place where the biggest crime seems to be an escaped swan and some underage drinkers. Once there, he finds the place under the command of Inspector Buttterman (Jim Broadbent) and is partnered with his son, Danny (Nick Frost), an unassuming officer who seems to have learnt his policing lessons from repeated viewings of Point Break and Bad Boys 2. Sandford is not quiet for long however, and Angel finds himself investigating a series of gruesome murders, which seem to point to local supermarket owner Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton, who has an absolute ball as a moustache twirling villain).

With the unexpected critical and commercial success that Shaun of the Dead brought them, Pegg and Wright could be forgiven for spreading their creative wings wider - or, to put it more bluntly, for crafting a bland follow up purely designed to make money. But while Hot Fuzz clearly shows that they have a larger budget to play with, it's a film that remains true to their spirit, and is arguably more parochial than their debut. So while you may have to keep your eyes peeled for two well disguised cameos by recent Oscar winners in the first ten minutes, the next twenty is basically a Who's Who of British comedy, and the whole film is a twisted cross of Hollywood action films with more sedate fare such as British televisions Midsomer Murders or Agatha Christie mysteries. If the result of this is that the concept sometimes feels stretched and lacks the verisimilitude of Shaun of the Dead (the characters here feel 'movie real' and not 'people real', unlike their debut), then Wright and Pegg have again constructed a wonderfully comic script that will no doubt repay repeated viewings with layer upon layer of fresh jokes.

It may be a homage to over-the-top blockbusters and the homoerotic relationships that underpin all buddy movies, but they're more concerned with telling their own story rather than simply flagging up what films they worshipped as teenage boys. The result is a film that is directed with a tangible glee and relish by Wright, who comes through as someone who can't believe he's able to have so much fun with a film. The ending may be one long and ludicrous action set piece, but the whole film wins you over with its sheer verve and enthusiasm. The script is again a comic treat mixing in both sharp eyed spoofery (the police station in Sandford consists of officers doing nothing but eating desserts), beautifully observed character moments, endlessly quoteable one liners and gruesome slapstick, including one death that's the nastiest since Amanda Detmer got a faceful of bus in Final Destination.

It's buoyed by the chemistry and timing between Pegg and Frost that you only get from people who've spent the last ten years working together. Pegg plays the straight man here, a humourless stickler for the rules who can simply never have enough paperwork to get on with. It's not the most enticing character on paper, yet Pegg gets remarkable mileage from him as he gets increasingly wound up by the lack of interest in real police work in Sandford. The film however, belongs utterly to Frost as Danny Butterman. A big puppy dog of a man, he is at once hooked on every word of Angel's tales of city policing, yet genuinely shocked to hear that it doesn't involve leaping through the air whilst shooting two guns at once. It's a wonderful comic performance, and if Pegg and Wright have written the lines, then it's Frost who steals them.

We live in a world where the likes of Norbit and Epic Movie can sit proudly on top of the box office, raking in millions of dollars. Going by this logic, Hot Fuzz deserves to flatten all in its path when it receives wide release. Wright and Pegg may not have matched the brilliance of their debut, but they've comfortably overcame all the potential pitfalls they could have fallen into. Jokes about rural policing may not travel that well, but comic genius works anywhere and Pegg, Wright and Frost are fast approaching that status.

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originally posted: 02/21/07 06:41:41
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User Comments

1/27/19 Jarod Oh my gods hot fuzz was in incredible funny but awesome 5 stars
5/01/18 Bents Had fun w/this movie. Was not what I was expecting 4 stars
9/14/17 morris campbell good not great 4 stars
8/31/13 Bert crude, violent, I quit midway 2 stars
5/28/12 Stefani K Fantastic. 5 stars
2/11/12 Bill White I agree with Rob. I gave it a two and a half on Rotten Tomatoes. The ending is pathetic. 2 stars
8/25/10 the dork knight Pegg is this movie. A couple nice buddy moments between him and Frost, too. 5 stars
10/25/09 Trent Coming from a US citizen, amazing movie, right up there with Shaun of the Dead 5 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner I really enjoyed this film. 5 stars
4/14/08 Will Tingle Peggs best yet - can't imagine it works outside UK though... 5 stars
3/25/08 Isaac M. Baranoff Enjoyed it. Good film. 4 stars
3/21/08 Jeff As always Pegg was excellent 5 stars
3/17/08 Zachary Excellent movie, non-stop laughter. 5 stars
1/31/08 Beck Finaly a police satire that isn't afraid to have the hero actually kick some ass. 5 stars
12/04/07 ES 1 big laugh and a craptacular ending that kills all the goodwill generated by the beginning 3 stars
11/22/07 mr.mike not bad despite the somewhat dopey ending. Dalton is terrific 4 stars
9/28/07 R.W. Welch Outlandish cop satire. Just when you think it can't get any flakier, it does. 4 stars
9/24/07 Jason Brilliant, the turn from a horror movie to a comedy to an action film was seemless. 5 stars
9/15/07 AnnieG I didn't laugh as much as I expected, but I liked this film nonetheless. 4 stars
9/02/07 Quigley One of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. Pegg and Frost rule so much. Rock on ! 5 stars
8/06/07 Monday Morning Gonsalves is right on - some good laughs but overall, just slightly better than AVERAGE. 3 stars
8/02/07 D Just rented it yesterday, and it is hilarious 5 stars
8/01/07 Dark Enchantress funny movie and had great action 5 stars
7/12/07 Louise Extremely entertaining and funny! Great British humour! 4 stars
6/11/07 al smith porceline is a fucking cock at least britain has some fresh ideas unlike shitty usa 5 stars
6/03/07 Steven Boring at the begging, best 45 min ending ever 4 stars
5/28/07 Rebecca Friggin hilarious! 5 stars
5/27/07 jcjs great, awesome..this site is way too slow now, not worth coming here imbd is the way to go 5 stars
5/16/07 Elizabeth Entertaining -- and any film which appreciates "Point Break" is fine with me! 4 stars
5/15/07 Richard Seen it twice, waiting for the DVD to come out in US! 5 stars
5/08/07 Dave well funny, me n my mate laughed loads 5 stars
5/07/07 Chris Lada OMG, funny!!!! 5 stars
5/05/07 hedd well made and pretty funny, but Gonsalves I agree 3 stars
5/04/07 Stacy Just great! 5 stars
5/03/07 Wesley Haven't laughed at a film this hard in a while. Truly remarkable. 5 stars
5/02/07 Ole Man Bourbon Really well-made film, funny. 4 stars
4/24/07 Luke Not as good as Shaun but bloody great nontheless 4 stars
4/23/07 joker allready own on dvd as out in uk 5 stars
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  20-Apr-2007 (R)
  DVD: 31-Jul-2007

  DVD: 11-Jun-2007


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