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"Hot Fuzz"

Directed by Edgar Wright.
Written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg.
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent and Timothy Dalton.
Release Year:  2007
Review Date:  4/10/07

Folks--

If you thought "Shaun of the Dead" was funny, you are gonna love "Hot Fuzz."  In fact, even if you didn't like "Shaun of the Dead", you are still gonna love "Hot Fuzz."

Shit--if you've seen any American buddy cop movie or shitty action flick ever, you are gonna love "Hot Fuzz."

Featuring one of those trailers that made you say "Yep, that one's gonna be aces", "Hot Fuzz" delivers as a comedy and as a riff on past guilty pleasures like the "Lethal Weapon" movies, the "Bad Boys" flicks and anything that John Woo did before getting to America.  Simon Pegg stars as Constable Nick Angel, the best cop in London who is literally 400% better than anyone else in the force...and, as his reward, his superiors--including characters played by Bill Nighy ("Love Actually"), Steve Coogan ("24 Hour Party People") and Martin Freeman (the UK version of "The Office")--send him off to a small country town to become the sergeant of that town's police department, a town so quiet there has not been a murder on record for more than 20 years.  That all changes soon after Angel arrives in town to shape up the pitiful department there: a couple of severely-poor stage actors are hacked up by a hooded killer, and it's up to Angel and his new partner, the hapless, American-action-film-loving, son-of-the-police-chief Dan Butterfield (Nick Frost), to catch the killer.

There are many straight-up farcical gags in "Hot Fuzz" but the subtleties of this film are fucking hilarious; it's also a testament to how "Shaun of the Dead" was received that nearly every British and Aussie talent available is in this movie, including Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine from the highly-regarded drama "In America", a cameo by Cate Blanchett, former Bond man Timothy Dalton, Stuart Wilson...shit, even Paul Freeman--FUCKING BELLOQ from "Raiders of the Lost Ark"!!!--plays a reverend in "Hot Fuzz", and he has one of the best lines of the movie near the end of the film.  Wow, THIS is what good comedy feels like; after seeing the atrocioius "Blades of Glory" last week and then moving to this film, it's like night and day how much more I laughed.

Certainly, it helps that I have seen many of the American actioners being sent up, but there's enough of an original story here and enough moments of pure bliss--mainly once the partnership between Angel and Butterfield heats up--to warrant a viewing.  Mainly a comedy for the first 100 minutes of its run time, "Hot Fuzz" stands on its own two feet just fine without having to resort to parody.  Also, it should be noted that the film's violence is a bit offsetting for those that come in thinking this will just be comedy--if you did see "Shaun of the Dead", you'll remember that lots of people do get it bad before all is said and done, and the same applies here.

Bonus: as good as the film is for about that first 100 minutes (I was thinking $9.50 Show up to that point), my buddy Yac and I agreed during our freebie last night that the last 20 minutes of "Hot Fuzz" are absolutely over-the-top bonkers hilarious.  Writers Pegg and Edgar Wright (who did one of the fake trailers in "Grindhouse") do just enough to wrap the film up to make you want to see the movie all over again, and do it in a way that is violent but in a very funny way...man, our theater was literally HOWLING as this puppy made it to the finish line.

"Hot Fuzz" is great stuff...man, why don't these guys work more often to make great comedies?  I'm sold, man...sold!! 

Rating:  Opening Weekend

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09