I just got back from an advanced screening of Hot Fuzz – the new cop buddy comedy from the same trio behind Shaun of the Dead and three-quarters of Spaced.
Simon Pegg plays Nicholas Angel – one of the Metropolitan Police’s finest. The problem is he’s so good he’s making the rest of the force service look bad in comparison so he is quickly dispatched to the idyllic village of Sandford out in the countryside.
Angel soon meets the local constabulary who are used to dealing with the odd escaped goose or accident and have their own interpretation of alcohol and gun laws. Long-time friend and former flatmate Nick Frost stars as local officer Danny Butterman who images city policing to be much like Point Break and Bad Boys II.
Director Edgar Wright produces plenty of slick visuals much in the style of those found in Shaun of the Dead and Spaced albeit more action based yet finds time to slip in plenty of grisly deaths as the plot unfolds and the body count starts to rise as a bizarre series of ‘accidents’ befouls residents of this sleepy hamlet.
There are plenty of laughs including physical slapstick, in-jokes and movie references though it has lost some of the magical charm Shaun of Spaced possess. Despite the setting being firmly English west-country it feels like the script was written with more of an international/American mainstream audience in mind with both the plot and the genre nods being spelled out so much as characters holding DVD’s of the film to the camera and reading the tag-lines.
Some moments playing up to the action genre cliche go on too long – like talking slowly at the end of a joke hoping for someone to get it an laugh. Shave that down a bit and slip in a few more jokes and it would have been perfect but nether less worth the wait and certainly recommended providing you don’t mind a bit of gore in with your comedy. Adam Buxton (half of the legendary Adam & Joe Show) goes out in the most horrific way I’ve seen in a while (but then I avoid horror films :D)
Overall highly enjoyable and probably the best film I’ve seen so far this year – although it is only February.
Alas given the likely success this and the prior success of Shaun there is almost zero chance of that elusive third series of Spaced.