Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Timothy Dalton, Bill Nighy, Billie Whitelaw, Edward Woodward, Bill Bailey, David Bradley, Adam Buxton, Olivia Colman, Ron Cook, Kenneth Cranham,
R for violent content including some graphic images, and language
Buy on DVD/Blu-ray
Having lampooned zombie movies in the first film of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost decide to tackle the buddy cop film with Hot Fuzz.
Pegg once again stars as an overachieving constable in London who’s sent to the tiny hamlet of Sandford, which has won Village of the Year numerous times, where the police department hope the lack of action will keep him out of their hair. There, he finds a town that is seemingly idyllic, but has a dark past that threatens to destroy their delightful image, especially if Pegg’s Nicholas Angel has anything to say about it.
Frost plays fellow constable Danny Butterman whose ineptitude eventually proves valuable. Other actors from the first film in the series, Shaun of the Dead, make appearances here including Bill Nighy, now playing the London Chief Inspector; Martin Freeman as a London sergeant; and Rafe Spall as Detective Constable Andy Cartwright of the Sandford Police. None of whom have a particularly large part here. All of the aforementioned actors provide solid performances.
Other notable actors who give their comedic best include Jim Broadbent as Frost’s dad, Paddy Considine as a fellow Sandford detective, Timothy Dalton as a supermarket manager, and Billie Whitelaw as a hotel proprietetress. The cameo by Wicker Man and Equalizer star Edward Woodward makes for a nice reference to one of the key influences on the film.
Wright’s understanding of the buddy cop genre seems pretty clear as he weaves the audience in and out of countless situations familiar to then while carving out his own path in the genre with a spoof that’s both humorous and outrageous. At first, Hot Fuzz seems an odd choice to sit in the midst of a trilogy about zombies and aliens, but the final act helps the viewer understand why it’s been included.
Ultimately, this is a movie for fans of British humor who don’t want the excessive zaniness that often forms a critical element of such films. This is a movie for Americans who like British humor rather than a film for Brits who appreciate American humor. Benny Hill seems to also be a source of influence as some of the outlandish chase elements here feel as if they were directly lifted from one of his programs.
Hot Fuzz may not generally feel like it belongs in the Cornetto trilogy, but the audience is welcome to debate its importance. In some ways, this film is a touch more bizarre and outrageous than its predecessor, but the normality of the premise is superficial, securing its place in the trilogy.
July 13, 2020