So how do you follow a movie like Shaun of the Dead, the awesome “romantic comedy with zombies,” considering the massive following it amassed? Well, if you’re Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, you look at the next genre rife for ripping on, and what better genre than the “buddy cop” genre? The results are, of course, excellent. The comedy is sharp, the action is just mind-boggling, and the writing is superb. It’s an hilarious movie with a few good twists, some familiar faces, and some of the best one-liners that are sure to become part of the lexicon.
Hot Fuzz is the action-packed comedy from the makers of the hit movie Shaun of the Dead. Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is the finest cop London has to offer, with an arrest record 400% higher than any other officer on the force. He’s so good, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, Angel’s superiors send him to a place where his talents won’t be quite so embarrassing — the sleepy and seemingly crime-free village of Sandford. Once there, he is partnered with the well-meaning but overeager police officer Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). However, as a series of grisly accidents rocks the village, Angel is convinced that Sandford is not what it seems and as the intrigue deepens. It’s time for these small-town cops to break out some big-city justice.
It’s hard to review good movies. As you can tell by the usual mediocre/poor quality of my reviews, it gets difficult to praise movie after movie. Besides, everything has pretty much been said about this movie. It’s funny, it’s fast, it’s a sharp satire, and it’s just a fun time all around (even if it does run a shade too long). The above synopsis basically gives you the whole rundown of the movie, save for the twist at the end at who is really responsible for all the deaths in Sandford. It’s actually a pretty cool twist and, when it’s all revealed, is pretty smart. And that’s one thing I love about Wright’s movies. Like with Shaun of the Dead, not only does he satirize movies, but he also plays along with the conventions that are standard for these movies. Is this a bad thing? No! There were some generally freaky parts in Shaun of the Dead and some exciting “action movie” moments here in Hot Fuzz.
There’s no question how talented these folks are, and how much they love movies. This movie gave me a whole new appreciation for Bad Boys II and Point Break, two fun guilty pleasures that now seem a little more . . . special . . . because of this movie. And why? Well, Butter, played by Wright, has a special affinity for these two movies, which eventually play into the climax in a hilarious way. I don’t want to spoil this because it just has to be seen.
And special props to Pegg, Frost, and Dalton. They all hit the right notes for their characters, especially Pegg and Frost who have just get chemistry together. Dalton serves as a great foil for these two, as well. Just high marks across the board for these three and the rest of the amazing cast.
It’s the clever and tight script, where almost every line of dialogue pays off at some point, all the loose ends are tied up, etc., that sell the movie. It’s a smart story, one that’s a little more than meets the eye. The trailer, thankfully, doesn’t give away a fraction of the great jokes, most of which are set-up and have a long pay off. It’s all brilliantly done. Now, I don’t think it tops Shaun of the Dead, myself, but it’s up there. It’s a great effort and one, much like Shaun of the Dead, that will become a huge cult classic. It’s easily one of the best comedies of the year and deserves to be recognized as such. It’s just bloody brilliant from start to finish (even if it is, like I stated earlier, a teeny bit too long).
The extras for this set are staggering. Included are deleted scenes with filmmaker commentary, outtakes, a featurette on the Hot Fuzz press tour, “The Man Who Would Be Fuzz” featurette (which is Pegg and Frost doing bad imitations), the Fuzz-O-Meter trivia track, Audio Commentary, Hot Funk (redubbed “clean” language), Trailers, An easter egg, storyboards, and production notes. Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff. It’s a packed, packed DVD, much like the Shaun of the Dead DVD, and just about all of it is gold. It’s obvious the team behind the film put a lot of care into the DVD release, something we don’t see nowadays. With so many extra features being budget controlled or studio mandated, it’s nice to see a creative team just run wild with the extras they can slap on. And, man, it’s great to have the theatrical trailers on this release! Excellent!
The only disappointing aspect of this release is that the Region 2 release is a two-disc set with more extras. In fact, this version is even mentioned on the disc itself. I’m sure we’ll see this version a few years down the line, if Hot Fuzz is a big hit on DVD, but the two-disc release is something we should be getting right out of the gate. However, if you have a region-free player, I’d recommend getting the two-disc set just to have the complete set of extras.
It goes without saying that this release comes Recommended. Hot Fuzz is one of the funniest movies of the year, and given how we’ve had some great comedies this year (i.e., Knocked Up, etc.), that’s saying something. This movie is also for the movie geek, as there are Easter Eggs and references ahoy. In fact, I’m sure some sort of drinking game could be concocted from this release. The movie is great, the creative team is stellar, and the extras are plentiful (though not as plentiful as the Region 2 release). While I know many people have their heart set on picking up 300 this week, as they should, spend the extra $20 and pick up Hot Fuzz, as well. You won’t be disappointed.
Hot Fuzz is now available on DVD and HD-DVD.