' ' Cinema Romantico: Hot Fuzz

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hot Fuzz

The lastest movie from (pretty much all) the people who brought us the zombie movie send-up "Shaun of the Dead" create a comedy this time around which is unlike any other comedy I've seen. How many times have you watched a comedy that zips along for the first two acts, making you laugh over and over, only to peter out in that dreaded third act? Come to think of it, "Shaun of the Dead" was exactly like that. Those initial two acts were a zany, hard-driving romp but the finale seemed overlong and sort of sputtered to the finish.

But "Hot Fuzz" busts up the convention. The first two acts are kind of amusing, you'll laugh here and there (especially at the grand finale of an interesting take on "Romeo & Juliet"), smile a little bit, and think the whole thing seems just okay. But then something else will happen and, oh Sweet Mary Lou, will you ever be taken for a comedic ride of mammoth proportions.

"Hot Fuzz" is essentially a send-up of every action/cop-procedural movie there has ever been. Simon Pegg (who co-wrote the script with director Edgar Wright) is Nicholas Angel, a fantastic cop in London. So fantastic, in fact, that he's making everyone else look bad. Therefore the Chief Inspector (the great Bill Nighy) demotes him by promoting him to Sergeant and sending him away to the clean-cut, all-is-well town of Stanford. Once there, Angel finds a village in which underage kids drink in the pub for "the greater good", his partner is the town drunk, and fellow cops are punished by being made to eat cake and ice cream. And when it seems that a murderer is on the loose in Stanford, and Angel is dead-set on catching him, his new Chief Inspector (the also great Jim Broadbent) is there to constantly remind him Stanford only has accidents, not murders.

These first two acts, like I said, are okay. Not side-splitting. But, oh yes, that something else I mentioned. At the moment the obligatory twist occurs, the proceedings will launch off into a whole other stratosphere of funny. I want to say absolutely no more because if you know nothing about what is to come (as I did not know) it will be a breath of air so fresh you will be at a loss of words to describe it (as I am). You should see this movie. At once.

Part of me thinks I liked it so much because it's the closest equivalent I've seen to a script I authored many moons ago entitled "Pure Cheese" (a grand finalist in the New Millenium Screenplay Contest a few years back, just for the record) that I envisioned as being the Action Movie to Trash All Action Movies. But it appears "Hot Fuzz" has beaten me to the punch. This is the Action Movie to Trash All Action Movies. (Angel's partner's favorite two movies are "Bad Boys 2" and "Point Break".) It's done with the straightest of faces and pokes fun at every imaginable cliche.

Note the time in the log. Cinema Romantico has finally seen the first great movie of 2007.


Wretched Genius said...

I enjoyed "Hot Fuzz," but I felt it was a step down from "Shaun of the Dead." In fact, I loved the 3rd act of "Shaun," because it lost most of the humor and became a serious zombie pic. It didn't try to force humor into a situation that was rapidly becoming more tragic and hopeless for the characters.

But my preference for the earlier pic shouldn't suggest that "Hot Fuzz" wasn't plenty of fun and well worth the $17.50 it cost for Jade and I to buy tickets. However, a good 15 minutes could have been trimmed to keep it from dragging so much in the middle. That probably has a lot to do with my preferring "Shaun" over "Fuzz." "Shaun" kept a quick pace throughout, while "Fuzz" probably could have omitted one of the murders in the 2nd act. We only need to see the investigators ignore Simon Pegg's theories once, maybe twice, in order to get the point.

Wretched Genius said...

For the record, reading your post and being reminded of the "Romeo & Juliet" scene made me laugh all over again.

Anonymous said...

I agree it did bog down in the second act. But that third act was just so unspeakably awesome I'm more than willing to forgive and forget.