on 26 August 2007
Hot Fuzz is an excellent film. I have yet to be dissapointed with this team's work. Hot Fuzz continues the trend of Shaun of the Dead where it pays homage to a genre while creating and developing its own characters and story.
In Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg is a good London cop - so good he is promoted to seargant in a small town where he is supposedly useless because nothing ever happens. His partner is the inept Danny, played by Nick Frost - who is just as funny and a bit more useful than he was in Shaun of the Dead (well, he doesn't screw up as much). Cameos read like a who's who of british comedy with Steve Coogan, Martin Freeman, and Bill Bailey making appearances.
A lot of reviewers have stated that this just isn't funny. It's funny, but Pegg and Wright, in penning the script have gone for some big in jokes, carefully inserted that to the regular movie goer, may go over their head. There's also a type of humour here that not every film goer will get. Part of Simon Pegg's success as a comedian is his dry, deadpan delivery. In many ways he reminds me of a young Bill Murray.
This film doesn't seem as successful because the action genre is just not as much in our current mindset as the horror genre. So one liners and fun dialogue exchangers are replaced by a lot of visual gags. Unfortunately, this means the characters aren't quite as developed as they are in Shaun of the Dead. This isn't a big deal - it's an action movie after all - but it was one of the charms of both Spaced and Shaun.
The finale of the film (possible spoiler) however, features a pitch perfect action scene. Here, the filmakers show their range by creating a brilliant action sequence that also has many of their trademark hilarious moments. It's not Shaun funny, but it still shows these guys have a lot more up there sleeves. So what's next - sci fi? western?
on 20 February 2007
I went to see this movie and I laughed so much I almost fell out of my wheelchair.
One of the best films to come out the UK in a dog's age. It is hysterically funny, deliciously gruesome in parts, you flinch at the scene when the reporter gets part of a church steeple dropped on his head and as for the scene in the model village, well you have to see it to believe it.
The plot is simple and to the point, hot shot London police officer Nicholas Angel played by Simon Pegg gets sent to a sleepy little village in middle England because he is too good at his job and is making his colleagues look bad.
However this little village isn't quite what it seems, there are a lot of unexplained deaths that are being passed off as accidents, and Nicolas finds out that the police chief isn't all that keen to rock the boat for his own reasons.
With a lumbering side kick who just happens to be the police chief's son, Nicholas tries to find out what is going on but is thwarted at every turn, and we watch in hysterical amusement as he arrests naughty boys for underage drinking, tries to capture a run-a-way swan, and collects an armoury of weapons from a farmers barnyard, whilst trying to work out why so many people in the village are having such "terrible accidents."
Not popular with the rest of the police officers/staff who would rather eat cake and drink tea, he tries to instil in them some pride in their job, he finally gets them to believe that not all is what it seems in their sleepy little village and one of the best scenes in the film is when they have to attack the Somerfield supermarket and are met by enraged villagers lobbing supermarket trolleys, vegetables and other food stuffs at them, you've not seen anything like it before but it is worth seeing the film just for those ten minutes alone.
Taking the Mickey out of every American buddy-buddy cop movie ever made, from Bad Boys, to Point Break, to 24 Hours, we are treated to an outrageous tongue in cheek comedy that leaves you wiping your eyes from laugher and hysteria.
With a star studded cast that include Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent, Edward Woodward, and Steve Coogan to name but a few, we get quality acting in a comedy that should be nominated for an Oscar just based on laughs alone.
As squeamish in parts as Shaun of the Dead but well worth going to the cinema to see and I will be buying the DVD as soon as it comes out because I will have to watch it all over again, because I am sure I have missed a lot of the jokes and humour when I was laughing so much in the cinema.
Police Constable Nicholas Angel is the pride of the London Service, trouble is is that he is making everybody else look bad, so much so his superiors promote him to Sergeant in the sleepy village of Sandford, Gloucestershire. Yet all is not right with Sandford as the locals start meeting grizzly deaths, thus thrusting Angel into his biggest case so far.
The biggest question on most film goers lips was could the pairing of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg triumphantly follow the monster cult success of Shaun Of The Dead? Well the plot premise for Hot Fuzz hardly leaps out as something to grab the attention span of many, but they have crafted a tremendously funny film that winks at the action genre with genuine love and admiration.
Simon Pegg and his trusty sidekick, Nick Frost, clearly have an earthbound appeal that many (even outside of Britain) can warm too, not pretty or over svelt, these guys are fans of movies making movies purely for the fans, and it shows. Neither Pegg or Frost try to steal scenes from each other, both men after over a decade of working together are clearly comfortable with their coupling and thus manage to fine tune their working chemistry.
Once Angel (Pegg) lands at Sandford Village we are introduced to a ream of British Village stereotypes (archetypes actually), all characters ripe for hilarious scenarios that our fish out water (big city cop) Sergeant struggles to comprehend. We observe as he is dumb struck at the ineptitude of the Village Police Force (erm service actually) and is then forced to work alongside dough eyed Constable Butterman (a film stealing Frost). Angel's exasperation at where he finds himself is mirthful joy to us the viewers. The dialogue is priceless, one liners and hat tipping nods to the action genre come thick and fast, in fact you can watch Hot Fuzz repeatedly and play spot the homage each time. I mean come on people, we got both James Bond (a delicious turn from Timothy Dalton) and Belloq in here strutting their stuff. The action set pieces are not found wanting either, director Wright having the time of his life with the crash bang wallop that flows in the final third.
The test of a great comedy is how it stands up to repeat viewings, to me Hot Fuzz delivers no matter how many times it is viewed. For even when you know what is coming up next, the smile on your face is already there before the event, wonderful, wonderful film made by guys who love movies as much as ourselves. 10/10
This is an intelligent British spoof cop film. It is rather different from American spoof movies, the list of which is almost endless and which rely on rather cheap gags, all the way back to Airplane and Naked Gun. This film has a proper plot line which is at the same time quite clever and in the end too ridiculous for words. Having a proper plot line means that (unlike American films) it can't be "laugh-a-minute" all the way through but instead has to lay the seeds of its jokes subtly during the first half before starting to bring them out in spectacular bloom during the second half. This means that the first half is funny (there is a good scattering of cheap gags all the way through), but feels a little slow, whereas the second half (definitely the last half hour) will leave you in stitches - but of course only if you have paid careful attention to the "set ups" in the first half.
This film pushes the boundaries of spoof movies and brings them home to Britain in a way that Hollywood could never do and certainly with jokes that many people outside Britain just would not get. Watch out in particular for the hint of "forbidden love" between the two cops and a subtle joke on Timothy Dalton's chin right at the end...
on 7 September 2015
With Shaun of the Dead it is the best film from the couple (forget World's end, funny but quite weak).
Another brilliant revisitation of the genre, that passes through parody intended as a way to refresh the genre and not just to make fun of it (or at least to make fun of it in a very serious and committed way, british way I'd say), with of course lots of laughs but also a careful attention to details and to style and language. What's great about these films is in fact that they are so well done, with some innovative editing and a breathtaking rhythm that come from a brilliant script, editing, performances and direction.
It is not just a matter of fast cut and adrenaline scenes, but of perfect comical timing and a tasteful unfolding of the story and revelation of characters' personalities, always swinging between caricatures and real people, with their tics, goofy behavior, secrets and funny attitude.
Hot fuzz is released on an excellent blu ray which truly expose its video quality (that is strange to say about a comedy).
I guess this might not be everyone's cup of tea – or even their Scotch on the rocks – but when I saw this, I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
Not only does it have an absolute stellar cast of fine British actors in some major roles, but Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's part are literally so made for them. And that is the feeling you get for the other parts too.
I was particularly surprised at Timothy Dalton who I wrote off to mediocrity after his short and slightly disappointing stint as 007, a part I didn't feel he suited. In this film he really shines: his timing, hos vocal and physical authority, his lines all delivered with theatrical perfection. I'm glad he had it in him, and so I have to blame James Bond script writers and directors for any failings he might have had as Ian Fleming's timeless hero.
As for the film itself, I don't want to say too much as I'd not want to spoil the plot. It just needs to be watched. The characters and the story is just amazing.
on 6 May 2007
Like many others, I saw this film the day it opened at the cinema and was truly astounded at the storyline and great characters that showcased in it. Simon Pegg stars as a police officer whose precocious talents have provoked the jealously of his London constabulary, and who decide to draft him to a local village where they hope he will fade into obscurity. The rest of the plotline is a tale of deceit and conspiracy as the mysteries of the village are slowly revealed- I wont elaborate any further in case you havent seen the film yet.
One of the great features of the film is its ability to satirise famous sequences from other Hollywood Blockbusters- there are obvious references to the 'Wicker Man', which famously explored the idea of a sinsister occult religion being practised in a rural village. As in 'Shaun of the dead' there is a heavy ammount of violence in the film, but it is always portrayed as burlesque and hyperbolic, ensuring that you cant help but laugh at some of the most gruesome sequences. One of my favourite aspects of this fim is the return of Timothy Dalton (former James Bond) to the big screen, and in his role as the suave, charismatic villain, he provides a superb counterpart to Pegg's austere police image, perhaps inspried by the ice cool front of clint eastwood in the dirty harry movies- indeed there is a very distinct spaghetti western shoot-out at the end of the film.
So this film really has it all, great plotline and tremendous characters- avid film critics will delight in attempting to spot the innumerable film references that are scattered throughout the movie.
A big "Yarrp" to the very English action movie Hot Fuzz. No, it's not as good as Shaun of the Dead, but it's not really a disappointment either even if the laugh count is a lot lower. Much of the film really isn't that funny, yet it gets by for much of its running time on sheer enthusiastic likeability. At times Edgar Wright's direction tries a little too hard and few of the many cameos have much to do (though a heavily disguised Cate Banchett makes a real virtue of her anonymity and Peter Jackson does turn up as a psycho Santa), but it's one of the very few films where the fun that the filmmakers seem to be having actually seems to translate to the finished product. As with Shaun, it's an inspired bit of gene-splicing, in this case a wonderful yet surprisingly logical cross between Agatha Christie and Jerry Bruckheimer, with a series of very English crimes - motivated by nothing so sordid as monetary gain or as logical as a criminal conspiracy but rather by something infinitely more respectable - culminating in 20 minutes of virtuoso mayhem that sees Simon Pegg and Nick Frost shooting up the kind of quaint and picturesque village more used to the genteel Sunday teatime likes of The Vicar of Dibley and All Creatures Great and Small. Even the casting of the local Neighbourhood Watch is truly inspired, consisting of (among others), James Bond (Timothy Dalton, whose `supermarket slasher' gets my vote for Best Supporting Actor this year), Callan (Edward Woodward), Bellocq from Raiders of the Lost Ark (Paul Freeman), the nanny from The Omen (Billie Whitelaw) and the villain from Lethal Weapon 3 (Stuart Wilson). And there's been some real thought put into the disposal of the bad guys, which mirror the various murders in gruesomely exaggerated fashion via bear traps, model villages and sea mines. Very pleasing indeed - even the extras on the DVD are unusually entertaining. Yarrp.
on 9 September 2007
I really enjoyed this film. It's a wonderfully surreal representation of English village life (very exaggerated) and also has loads of slapstick moments. I still laugh out loud when I remember Nick Frost's 'ice cream headache'. The movie is peppered with little gems like that - an unexpected take on a traditional 'cop movie' moment. The climax of the movie doesn't disappoint - again, the surrealism is brilliant.
It's just as good as Shaun of the Dead, but in a different way. It's also pleasing to see that Simon Pegg has more than one role in him. This time he is quite different to his Spaced or Shaun characters. Nick Frost is absolutely endearing as Danny and has some of the funniest lines and scenes.
Well worth watching. The extras are good too.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have done very well for themselves with a series of films taking a modern, humorous look at the films that they (and I) grew up with. Shaun of the Dead was a great pastiche of the schlock horror genre, and Hot Fuzz was a perfect take on action films.
Utilising every cliché in the book, we are treated to the tale of one man's mission to bring law and order to a sleepy rural village. Taking off everything from the Bill to Die Hard, and passing through every station in between, it's a rollercoaster of a ride packed with thrills and mystery. And jokes. Lots of jokes. It's hilarious.
Added into the mix is a fine roster of British actors. Jim Broadbent is absolutely superb as the commander of the local police force. Sterling work comes from Timothy Dalton in a great riff on his Bond characterisation (crossed with an Agatha Christie villain!) and the late Edward Woodward, who plays an elderly version of the Equaliser with his usual charm. Paddy Considine, Bill Bailey, Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy, Paul Freeman and, basically, anyone who is anyone in British TV and film get a llok in. Central to all of this is the pairing of Pegg and Frost, who's easy going friendship holds the whole film together and stops it being too much of a rambling mess.
I absolutely loved this film. It's a funny, affectionate look at films I love, played out with great charm by a cast who are obviously enjoying themselves enormously. 5 stars.