DIRECTOR: Edgar Wright
May Contain Spoilers!
Following on from their success which what is now considered to be a modern classic, Shawn Of the Dead in 2004, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright returned in 2007 with this satirical take on the U.S. action genre. The film directly references both Bad Boys II (Michael Bay) and Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow), literally and within the tone of the film.
Hot Fuzz is simply what you get when you blend the cliché’s of the modern U.S. Cop Thriller with the trappings of a small village in the south-east. The village is populated by the creme of british talent, but it’s Pegg and Frost’s bromance, which is played out as an actual heterosexual romance which holds this all together. Pegg is the action cop who is always on the edge, whilst Frost is a geek and his willing partner.
As a plot unfolds, the town’s people are being murdered in ways which look like accidents. It appears that Pegg’s super-cop, Nick Angel, has uncovered a real-estate conspiracy, but in a truly inspired plot twist, it turns out that it was actually a series of quirky local motives, revolving around preserving their idyllic village and preventing outsiders from destroying it. It is a very clever blend of quintessential Britishness and the hard-boiled clichés of a Michael Bay action film.
The cinematography, editing and sound design are all perfect to bring this collaboration of genres to life and to do so in a very funny way. It’s strange that with films like this and the earlier Team America: World Police (2004), that Michael Bay’s action films can be spoofed without actually changing that much. It seems that for the Bay formula to work or be taken remotely seriously, you need to actually buy be watching a Bay film, buying it to the universe as it were.
When you lift the elements out and put them in to another setting, or do it with puppets, you end up with some of the best comedies that you may ever see! The absurdity of both the Jerry Bruckheimer action genre and the fact that the line between comedy and mainstream action, is itself, absurd.
All in all, this is another master-stroke from Wright, Pegg and Frost. Their geek sheek now’s no bounds…