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Friday Film Review: Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz (2007)
Genre: police/action movie spoof
Grade: B+

Okay, did everyone take my advice last October and watch “Shaun of the Dead?” Because here’s another movie from the same crew that spoofs just about every police movie ever made. Again, don’t worry if you haven’t seen the spoofies. I haven’t and had a blast watching the film anyway. So “bring the noise” and “punch that shit.” “Yarp.”

Constable Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is making the Metropolitan Police Service look bad. His awards, commendations, extra training, rapport with the man on the street and exemplary arrest record are showing up the rest of the service and making everyone look like slackers. So the decision is made to promote him to Sergeant and farm him out to a rural village – Sandford, a model village. Despite his protests, the deal is done and he and his Japanese Peace Lily head out to Gloustershire.

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Once there, he begins his new job and faces the disdain of the other police officers who think he thinks he’s too good for them and their small village. But things begin to happen. Soon after Angel arrives, people begin dying. The local police dismiss the deaths as accidents but Angel thinks differently. Can he get his fellow officers to believe him and back him up before it’s too late?

There’s no love interest for Pegg this time around so the film is almost entirely a bromance between Angel and Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) whose love of police movies and questioning of Angel (“Have you ever shot two guns while diving through the air?”) almost drives Angel mad. Since the other officers think Angel is bonkers to believe the deaths are murders, Danny is soon Angel’s only friend. There’s a great scene of the two of them watching films from Danny’s impressive police movie DVD collection after bonding over lagers at the local pub.

I don’t want to spoil the outcome of the film but listen closely to the dialogue and you’ll get clues of what’s to come in this model village where everyone works for The Greater Good. Also check out the music which is wonderful including Adam Ant’s “Goody Two Shoes” played over a montage of Angel’s overachieving actions in London. “That’s what I’m talking about.”

There are so many funny scenes in the film including a spoof of the fence jumping in “Shaun of the Dead,” a runway Swan!, a fruit attack, two blokes and a fuckload of cutlery, plus a timely application of a Japanese Peace Lily to bring down a villain. Watch for a ton of great actors including Timothy Dalton in a smarmy looking mustache.

The violence level is high, including a final scene in the model village that makes me cringe whenever I watch the film. But the laugh level is even higher and this is another film I knew I had to buy a copy of as soon as I’d seen it. Maybe it’s not quite as good as “SotD” but I’d still give it a B+

One question though: What makes a juggler crusty?

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

32 Comments

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  2. Wendy
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 04:52:59

    I LOVE this movie! Along with Shaun of the Dead, both are insanely hilarious. :)

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  3. Jane Lovering
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 05:16:06

    Best. Film. Ever. The triple-translation sequence (“Yes, I got that one”) is just brilliant. Thanks for reminding me about it.

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  4. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 05:31:09

    Does anyone know if Wright, Pegg and Frost have any group projects in the works?

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  5. Maili
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 06:09:19

    @Jayne: Yes, their third (and most likely, final) film is The World’s End (as seen at imdb.com) and I heard it’s slated to be released in 2012.
    Apparently, it’s a SF/alien film with a lot of inside jokes/references to well known SF films (including Star Wars and Star Trek) with a tie to TV series Spaced. But some say it’s changed now so who knows?
    My gut feeling? It’ll be set in the Spaced universe and have a storyline similar to The Last Starfighter. It’s also my feeling it’s not a good idea to make this kind of guesses so soon after lunch.

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  6. Maili
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 06:20:44

    I tried to re-edit my response above to include my reaction to Hot Fuzz, but it wouldn’t let me. Excuse me for posting a separate reply.

    As a massive fan of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead I wasn’t that keen on Hot Fuzz, to be quite honest. I can’t decide if it’s because I had unreasonably high expectations after waiting for so long, or it simply didn’t deliver.

    I think it tried to marry British TV 1970s-era style mystery (the ending for example) with an American 1990s-era bromance pairing type. It didn’t quite mesh so well. At least for me it didn’t. (In a way, watching Hot Fuzz was a lot like watching a very drunk father doing a John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever dance at a wedding reception.)

    Hot Fuzz also didn’t feature friendship and family much, either. There was one between Foster and Pegg, but it didn’t quite work. It’s a shame because these elements are what made SOTD so adorable (and IMO, successful). Basically, Hot Fuzz left me feeling somewhat indifferent. I haven’t seen it since its release, though.

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  7. Sandy James
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 06:37:14

    Jayne, we usually agree on movies, but not this time. I absolutely LOVED Shaun of the Dead, but Hot Fuzz was a disappointment to me. Perhaps the humor was just too dry. There were good moments, but overall I’d rate it a C+.

    Love your Friday movie reviews!!

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  8. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 06:46:25

    @Maili:

    (In a way, watching Hot Fuzz was a lot like watching a very drunk father doing a John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever dance at a wedding reception.)

    LOL, love the analogy. It’s such a vivid mental image. So, you see this as sort of an embarrassment for them which makes you laugh but not in a good way?

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  9. Mireya
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 06:47:06

    I liked “Shaun of the Dead” better, but this one is pretty good. However, not the sort that I would watch more than once or twice.

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  10. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 06:49:16

    @Sandy James: Gosh, we do usually agree on movies, don’t we? Ah well, there always has to be a first, doesn’t there?

    I think the fact that I saw “Hot Fuzz” first then went back and watched “SOTD” helped me like “HF” more than I might have otherwise.

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  11. Sandy James
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 07:25:12

    @Jayne:

    You’re probably right about the order of watching them. After Shaun of the Dead, my expectations were pretty high.

    You still have superb taste, Jayne. ;)

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  12. Kim Knox
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 08:45:27

    I think I’d have to go the other way from most people. I adored Spaced, was meh about Shaun of the Dead, and absolutely loved Hot Fuzz. I now have to dig it out and watch it again :)

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  13. Darlynne
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 08:51:24

    I also watched Hot Fuzz first and it does make a difference, since I had nothing to compare it to. With this one under my belt, I was ready for SotD and so loved them both. Simon Pegg in anything is my idea of a good time.

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  14. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 09:02:41

    @Darlynne:

    Simon Pegg in anything is my idea of a good time.

    Yeah, he’s pretty much a slice of fried gold in all that I’ve seen him in so far.

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  15. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 09:03:39

    @Kim Knox: I’ve got to move “Spaced” up in my Netflix queue since so many people seem to love it.

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  16. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 09:04:48

    @Sandy James: Well, thank you. Thank you very much.

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  17. Darlene Marshall
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 09:15:41

    Me, I could watch Timothy Dalton read the phone book (still my #1 Mr. Rochester!), but watching him as the slimy villain in this spoof was a special treat.

    I told my son he was taking me to see Shaun of the Dead when it opened here on Mother’s Day weekend a few years back. Next to the diamond tiara from my sons (that I’m still waiting on, I might add), that was the perfect Mother’s Day treat.

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  18. Vuir
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 09:29:01

    I loved Hot Fuzz more than Sean of the Dead, despite the overuse of Requiem for a Dream cuts (my own issues, I heavily disliked Requiem for a Dream and the cuts just put me right back in that nightmare (“Don’t do drugs, kids – Boogah boogah!” was the plot from that film)).

    Hot Fuzz was funnier than SotD. It had no romance, but did have homoerotic overtones and Doris.

    Crusty is a noun, not an adjective in British slang. It is sometimes applied to New Age Hippies, but generally refers to any homeless young people with cleanliness issues.

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  19. Maili
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 09:35:08

    @Jayne: Yes but rather, it’s “huddle behind a seat and cringe”.

    I feel obliged to re-watch Hot Fuzz to see if it’s as dodgy as I remembered. I think I’ll watch it this weekend. Will report back. :D

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  20. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 09:36:25

    @Vuir: So, definitely not the sort you want hanging around during the village of the year judging. Thanks for explaining that bit.

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  21. JS
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 09:44:29

    I preferred Hot Fuzz to Shaun of the Dead, and bromance over romance can work fine for me depending on the movie. The over-the-top violence is sort of its charm, in a John Woo meets Midsomer Murders mash-up.

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  22. Natalie
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 11:35:23

    I love that there was a romance character for Nicholas in one of the original drafts of HF, but they realized she added virtually nothing to the story. So they cut the character and gave her lines to Danny. Bromance indeed.

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  23. Shakera
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 12:38:40

    If Timothy Dalton’s mustache is going to earn an honoury mention then I think Rafe Spall’s deserves one too. Mustaches have never made me tingle so much.

    I love this film so much; it’s the epitome of classic British comedy. It’s a close tie between SOTD and Hot Fuzz for me but I think Dylan Moran in SOTD swings it for me.

    Does anyone else also immediately have to go out and buy a cornetto after watching this?

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  24. Heather (DarklyReading)
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 12:39:11

    I love this movie! It’s so deliciously funny and violent! It has a home in my very small DVD collection.

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  25. RebeccaJ
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 17:40:12

    I loved the beginning of this movie when it showed SP’s character as an uptight, overachieving cop in the city, then the contrast when he was moved to the seemingly boring village. I have to admit, I didn’t like the zombie stuff, but the beginning was great.

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  26. Lexxie Couper
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 21:36:53

    This film is #4 on my top five list (preceeded by The Shawshank Redemption, Jaw and Shaun of the Dead). My favourite part (and maybe this explains why my mum worries about me) is where the granny gets the kick to the head. A priceless moment in a film full of priceless moments.

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  27. lexxie Couper
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 21:40:30

    @Kim Knox: Meh about Shaun of the Dead, Kim? Really? Wow, I would not have guess that at all.

    Spaced was awesome. There were plans to make an American version of Spaced (completely un-authorised and without any consultation by Pegg) but aparently the pilot of was sooooo bad the studio responsible canned it immediately.

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  28. Chicklet
    Jun 05, 2010 @ 12:41:29

    Love love LOVE Hot Fuzz, more than Shaun of the Dead. Perhaps it’s because I don’t like zombie/horror movies, but have a soft spot for bad action movies; I not only got more of the references in HF, but also just flat-out like what HF is spoofing, as opposed to SotD. The big action sequence at the end, with all of the visual call-outs to Bad Boys 2, Point Break, etc., is one of my favorite scenes ever.

    (And given that I spend a huge amount of my online time reading and discussing slash fanficiton, the almost-textual bromance between Nick and Danny is HILARIOUS. HF does a great job of highlighting the subtextual homoeroticism of so many buddy-cop action movies.)

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to watching Top Gun on A&E. (Speaking of subtextual homoeroticism…)

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  29. Kim Knox
    Jun 05, 2010 @ 14:45:29

    @lexxie Couper:

    I know, Lexxie, it’s a shocker. I watched it, ready to love SotD…and just couldn’t. Maybe it was too much zombie.

    I watched Hot Fuzz again last night and I still loved it. I had to join in with the ‘facist’ and ‘hag’ moments :) I think a revisit to Spaced series 1 and 2 might also be necessary.

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  30. Tae
    Jun 05, 2010 @ 18:05:08

    I loved SoTD and Hot Fuzz. I loved that the love interest for Nicholas in the beginning of the movie was Cate Blanchette in an uncredited role (she was in the biohazard type suit so we couldn’t see her face, only her eyes).

    I also happen to love action movies, so this was perfect, no romance needed!

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  31. Jayne
    Jun 06, 2010 @ 04:36:44

    @Tae: Oh, love the biohazard scene and the way that Nicholas, even after being publicly dumped, still gets the last word in.

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  32. Angela
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 09:37:45

    This is one of my favorite movies! I saw this before Shaun of the Dead, but love both of them. Just such a great time, I laugh so hard through both of them. Did a movie night once with some friends where we watched Shaun of the Dead and then Hot Fuzz.

    ReplyReply

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