Plot: Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is the best of the best. His arrest record is 400 percent higher than any other officer in London. He’s so good, he’s making the rest of the department look bad. Because of this, Angel is shipped off to the small, crime-free town of Sandford. There, he is partnered with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), an over-eager cop dying for some action. Suddenly the town of Sandford has some mysterious accidents and Angel is convinced something is wrong.
Who’s it for: This is a comedy for action die-hards (pun intended). The film definitely earns its R rating, with the over-the-top bloody violence in the second half of the movie.
Expectations: I had no expectations when I saw their first film “Shaun of the Dead.” But after that, I was expecting more of the same from “Hot Fuzz.” It’s a brilliant, yet simple idea. Take a genre (zombie flick or cop-buddy movie) and add British comedy. Based on the previews, “Hot Fuzz” looked like non-stop action. This is not the case. The first half of the movie is setting up the action finale.
Simon Pegg as Nicholas Angel: From the very beginning of the film, they sell that Angel is an amazing, over-the-top officer, and Pegg looks the part. He isn’t the Dirty Harry type, in fact, he’s just the opposite. He does EVERYTHING by the book. That is until he is forced is strap on many, many weapons and kick some arse. Pegg is a great comedic actor in the sense that his role isn’t the funny one in the film, but how he reacts is what is truly important.
Nick Frost as Danny Butterman: I can’t hate anyone who gets to imitate scenes from “Point Break.” Frost makes it easy to like him. Once again, he is the chubby sidekick and it fits him well. A hint dense, very ambitious, plus he gets to live out a couple of action fantasies (car chase included) we all have had. Without Frost as Butterman, I just can’t see the film working.
Timothy Dalton as Simon Skinner: There is a huge supporting cast in this film and one of the standouts is Dalton. The man hasn’t made a film since “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.” He plays a slimy business man and proves that he should have never been cast as James Bond, but instead as one of the brilliant, evil arch-enemies.
Talking: Angel and Butterman should go down with all the great cop-duos. There are funny moments throughout the film and “Hot Fuzz” is able to balance honoring and milking laughs from cop movies.
Sights and sounds: Adding sound effects to the little things is a brilliant move by “Hot Fuzz.” After all, the action doesn’t really hit high gear until the second half, so whether a coat is hung, or a locker is opened, the noise is ratcheted up to make the mundane a little exciting and very funny. Plus, any movie willing to praise and reenact a scene from “Bad Boys II” has my vote (even if “Bad Boys II” didn’t).
Best Scene: There is a moment when Butterman has Angel watch “Bad Boys II.” Not only do they show the part where Martin Lawrence says, “This sh*t just got real,” but it proves to be a turning point in the movie when Angel begins to break the rules, and take the law into his own hands.
Ending: Actually, I feel like there were about four endings to this film. First, I found myself thinking they should have ended it early, then I didn’t, then I did, and then I didn’t. So, all in all, I was happy with the drawn-out ending. But I could definitely see some thinking they stretched it on a little too long.
Rewatchability: It’s one of those films that I probably won’t force my parents to see, but I have many friends who should flock to this film, and yes, it’s already been added to my Netflix queue.
Overall: The men who made “Shaun of the Dead” have done it again. This time they have combined a classic cop-buddy movie with a quaint town in England, and yes, laughs definitely ensue. Because of the success of “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” was able to get an amazing supporting cast. Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Bill Nighy all get laughs. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are quickly becoming a fantastic on-screen duo and “Hot Fuzz” makes sure that besides the comedy there are plenty car chases, gunfights and explosions.
Overall Grade: 8