London cop Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is so effective he is making his colleagues look bad so the Chief Inspector (Bill Nighy) sends him off to the sleepy village of Sandford in the West Country, where the Neighbourhood Watch Association is the power base. Local cop boss Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent) pairs Angel with his own hapless son Danny (Nick Frost) and hope Angel will just blend in with the laid back police culture. But Angel soon gets suspicious of foul deeds when a series of ghastly incidents starts killing off some of the locals. When his suspicions fall on local supermarket operator Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton), his colleagues - even the increasingly admiring Danny - revolt and ridicule him. But somehow Angel feels that Sandford is not the sleepy village it seems.
Review by Andrew Urban:
The opening premise of Hot Fuzz is like the recipe for a simple concept comedy: overachieving cop in underachieving village, and it works to set the all important tone in this funnily ridiculous film, the follow up to the team's successful Shaun of the Dead (also written and directed by Edgar Wright with Simon Pegg co-writing). Indeed, it is the film's tone that delivers the bulk of the comedy, considering the underlying drama on which the filmmakers base their humour. You might call the filmmaking style not so much jump cutting as slam cutting, complete with sound effects.
This fast and edgy style matches the screenplay, which is driven by notions of black comedy and character; but there is hardly time to analyse any of it as the action moves rapidly from vaguely funny to outrageous comedy.
Simon Pegg plays Nicholas Angel (the name also appears to belong to one of the crew, according to the end credits) with complete naturalism, as do most of the others - Paddy Consadine as one of the local plainclothes detectives excepted. Pegg is in terrific form, and his dry, focused, job-obsessed Angel is in fine contrast to his new partner Danny (Nick Frost) a blubbery sort of simpleton who becomes an endearing character and Angel's one true friend.
There are a couple of specific movie references but thank goodness they are made totally relevant to the story, as the heroes shake off their English police officer modus personalities to become ... hot fuzz, the fearsome cop action duo whose action skills are badged by their new sunglasses.
By the end, you will have noted the homage references to The Stepford Wives (Sandford being the UK stand-in) but that only sweetens the film's successful playfulness.
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HOT FUZZ (MA)
CAST: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Steve Coogan, Paddy Considine, Timothy Dalton, Bill Nighy
PRODUCER: Tim Bevan, Nira Park
DIRECTOR: Edgar Wright
SCRIPT: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jess Hall
EDITOR: Not credited
MUSIC: David Arnold
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Not credited
RUNNING TIME: 121 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 15, 2007
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.