Directed by: Edgar Wright
Premise: London’s most decorated police officer (Simon Pegg) is transferred to the sleepy town of Sandford. Once there, he is paired with a local officer (Nick Frost) and the two discover that a series of recent accidents may in fact be the killing spree of a local madman.
What Works: Hot Fuzz is a successful spin on the action genre, and especially buddies-in-action films like Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys. Like Shaun of the Dead, the previous film by the same talents, Hot Fuzz is able to simultaneously satirize these films and work as an outstanding example of the genre. Fans of these kinds of films will have a good time playing spot-the-reference and Hot Fuzz will play well on repeated viewings as audiences are able to pull back all of the inter-textual references. On a technical level, Hot Fuzz is excellent. The editing in the film is outstanding and the film is able to deliver big laughs along with rousing action sequences. At the same time, co-writer and actor Pegg demonstrates an understanding of how to go about this kind of film. Hot Fuzz has solid characters and the relationship between Pegg and Frost’s characters has a lot of weight to it and develops nicely from a mentor-pupil relationship into an egalitarian relationship.
What Doesn’t: Although it is satirizing action films, the ending of the film gets a bit silly, especially in a tagged on sequence at the end that disrupts what has otherwise been a satisfactory conclusion.
Bottom Line: Hot Fuzz is an exceptional film. Like Scream, the film is conscious of genre conventions and uses them in the story and in the assembly of the film to make something that is both familiar and fresh.
Episode: #140 (May 6, 2007)