Anthony's Film Review
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Regardless of whether or not it is funny, Hot Fuzz delivers a clever and original entry to the genre of cop action flicks...
My only complaint about Hot Fuzz is a real minor one. People have said that it's a funny movie, and while it may be true, it is misleading at best. Don't get me wrong. The setup for the film would make you expect it to be humorous. Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is a London police officer who is so perfect in every way, including a record of having 400% more arrests than the rest of the police force, that he is promoted to sergeant but transferred out of London for making the other officers look so inept. He is sent to the quiet village of Sandford, known to be the safest place to live in the entire UK. When you hear about this kind of plot premise, you naturally expect laughs.
And there are some. When Nicholas meets the Sandford police force, he finds that they don't have much to do. They spend more time eating cake and chatting since there isn't any crime to fill out paperwork for. The evidence room is regularly an empty room. Nicholas does meet his new partner, a sidekick named Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) who has idealistic visions of the action and excitement with police work, as he had seen in movies like Point Break and Bad Boys II. The work Nick does in this town involves the relatively mundane, including a Shakespearean actor committing a speeding violation, underage drinkers, a clown who acts as a "living statue," and a runaway swan.
So the humor is really the film's secondary element. Expect to see it mainly in the first half. From there, the film really takes off in a different direction. It becomes an action thriller and mystery when strange "accidents" occur in town, making Nicholas suspect that the town of Sandford is not what it appears to be. It's hard to pick out a suspect even if Nicholas wants to. Everyone seems so innocent. There's a reverend, the leader of the neighborhood watch group, a florist, and a manager of a supermarket (Timothy Dalton). The other thing standing in the way is the town's belief that any death is usually an accident anyway.
Simon Pegg delivers an outstanding performance as a cop who is top-notch, no-nonsense, and by-the-book. He does it in a way that makes the character still likable. This is a guy you can depend on for any crime situation. His dedication to the job is equaled by his physical agility and strength. Nick Frost plays his opposing sidekick role just as well. The two characters may have a bit of tension from the start, but not so much that they can't stand each other. They do become good friends and do so naturally.
But the film's greatest strength is the element of surprise. The plot takes several turns with twists that are quite unpredictable. They are the kind that somewhat turn the cop genre upside-down, but they make the film very original and brilliant. It definitely left me on the edge of my seat while smiling with admiration at the cleverness of the whole thing.
I will reveal one surprise that I liked so much: the action scenes. There is plenty of it in the film's climax and it is just as much as you'd expect in any other action film. From halfway to the very end, I knew I was watching a movie that is well written and captivating. Hot Fuzz is one of the best films of 2007 and even one of the best cop films I've ever seen. Take my word for it. You will have a bloody good time with this one.
For more information about Hot Fuzz, visit the Internet Movie Database.