Hot Fuzz

Some of the best parodies love their subjects while making fun of them. This is certainly true in Hot Fuzz: It's easy to believe that, like one of the characters, writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have seen just about every action film ever made. The result is a hysterical romp that blends small rural English towns and blazing gun battles.

Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is a supercop, a London dynamo who's skilled at almost every form of policework -- especially dangerous ones. He's so obsessed with his work that his closest friend is a houseplant, his girlfriend leaves him, and his fellow officers want him gone because he's making them look bad. The result: Angel gets an unwanted promotion and a new assignment.

In short order Angel is in Sandford, an amazingly quiet town. The local police force is more interested in eating desserts that prosecuting crimes, letting offenses go by "for the greater good." The village watch is most concerned with a performance artist who pretends to be a statue. Angel's new partner is Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), the dopey, well-meaning son of the chief inspector; Danny also have a colossal action movie collection and he yearns for more shooting! And Angel's biggest case involves finding an escaped swan.

Things change quickly, though, as a large number of lethal accidents start befalling the citizenry. Local businessman Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton) pops up at crime scenes makign sinister comments. And while the other police officers keep insisting these are only accidents, Angel and Danny wind up chasing a myserious person dressed in a black robe.

Hot Fuzz segues pretty quickly from quirky British town to roaring action flick -- and yet it somehow makes sense. Think of every action movie line, move, or cliche -- and you'll find it here. The comedy comes from two sides: Angel's anal-retentive obsessiveness about policework and Danny's lazy optimism. The film takes the notion of the quiet, quirky small British town and manages to turn it on its head (not unlike the Britcom The League of Gentlemen) quite beautifully and viciously. And while the whole movie is more than a bit silly, there are laughs from start to finish.

If you love action films, you'll enjoy seeing all of their elements done in Hot Fuzz to great comedic effect. If you haven't seen them, Hot Fuzz includes clips from Point Break and Bad Boys 2 to get you up to speed. So go see it already!

Overall Grade: A-

Reviewed by James Lynch

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