Hot Fuzz is to buddy-cop films as Shaun of the Dead was to the zombie movie – it takes a convention that has become overdone and tired, and turns it completely on its head, using the cliches to push the humor while still keeping the storyline fresh and entertaining.
After it was determined that Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is just too good at his job (making his peers look bad), he’s transferred to the tiny village of Sanford, which claims to have no recorded murders in the past 20 years. He meets the bumbling and overeager constable Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), who has a penchant for action movies like Point Break and Bad Boys II. As a series of suspicious accidents start to befall some of the townspeople, Angel is convinced that something isn’t right – and that a larger conspiracy centering around supermarket owner Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton) is afoot. But will he solve the mystery before becoming the next victim?
The film is a hoot – it pokes fun at many of the conventions present in modern action films, while also poking jabs at societal sensitivities among other things. Director/writer Edgar Wright and co-screenwriter Simon Pegg clearly know their source material, both in the writing, and how the film unfolds. Cinematography and editing are filled with clever references and (in some cases) direct lifts from previous action movies, and if anything, the only real drawback is that the film feels a bit long by the time we get to the climax. The music, by David Arnold, is effective as background music, but there are only a few key sequences that would be great to listen to on the soundtrack.
If you’re looking for a fun R-rated action comedy, then Hot Fuzz is definitely for you.