The big summer blockbuster has become a staple of American cinema and so has the buddy cop movie. Films such as “Lethal Weapon,” “Bad Boyz,” and “Point Break” have become the standard for the buddy cop/action genre. Due to the fact that they have left such an indelible mark on the film industry, they have become standardized and clich. There is always the professional cop and the bumbling, border-line cop. There is always a big action sequence and heavy amounts of gun play, which includes gruesome shots, car chases and the heroes flying through the air firing two weapons at once. This is what “Hot Fuzz” parodies, those films that are a staple of American cinema. However, “Hot Fuzz” does not so much make fun of those films as it does pay homage to them. The film is an entertaining romp through contemporary action films and fills a void in the spring movie season. Overall, “Hot Fuzz” offers an entertaining take on action films that will have you laughing nonstop.
From the minds that brought “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” tells the story of Nicholas Angel, played by Simon Pegg, the best cop in London with an arrest record 400 percent higher than anyone else on the force. Since he is so good, he makes the others look bad, so he is transferred to Sandford, a sleepy town that wins the “Village of the Year” award every year. Once there, he is partnered with Danny Butterman, played by Nick Frost, a well-meaning but over eager constable, who is obsessed with the buddy cop/action films mentioned above. Danny dreams of seeing action like in those movies, but Nicholas dismisses his childish dreams. However, a series of grisly actions rock the village and Nicholas is convinced Sandford is not the sleepy town it presents itself to be. Soon, Danny’s action-packed dreams begin to become more of a reality as Nicholas decides to enact some big-city justice on the small-town crooks.
“Hot Fuzz” has everything one would expect from a blockbuster action film, but with a great wit. Nick Frost, a large, bumbling man is perfect as the goofy sidekick. Sure, he is clich, but he is supposed to be. He plays the role with such pizzazz that you cannot help but enjoy him and his antics. Simon Pegg, who also co-wrote the film, is equally entertaining as the hard nosed policeman. Pegg plays the role straight-laced and joyless, but in the end turns into exactly what is expected. Finally, the cast of villains are exceptional, particularly Timothy Dalton, who plays Simon Skinner. He is so devilish and conniving that throughout the entire film, the audience pegs him as the villain.
The action and special effects perfectly capture the essence of the buddy cop/action genre. When the action heats up, the guns start blazing and the explosions start. The sound effects are monstrous, but not overpowering and perfectly capture the over-the-top explosions in this movie. “Hot Fuzz” also utilizes gun battling stunts. For example, there is a scene where Angel and Butterman fly through the air with two guns blazing a la “Bad Boyz.” Later, Butterman is faced with a tough decision to take out someone he cares about, finally decides to shoot his weapon in the air a la “Point Break.” By using these elements, the film offers a perfect satire to those films.
While “Hot Fuzz” is an all around entertaining film, it has its flaws, primarily its length. The film tops out at slightly over two hours. What this leads to is some serious lag at moments. There are about 30 minutes that could have been cut from the film and the original intent would have remained in tact. However, this minor glitch does not make the film any worse because it makes up for it with hilarious antics.
“Hot Fuzz” is the first truly must-see film of 2007. It packs a great punch and is the perfect film for anyone who has watched a buddy cop/action film. The film is a near perfect satire. While it could have used some editing at parts, it redeems itself by being thoroughly entertaining. Do I dare call “Hot Fuzz” the best movie of 2007 thus far? I do.