Review of “Hot Fuzz” (2007)

From YouTube The Final Shoot Out Doesn’t Give Too Much Away

We chose something from this century for our Saturday night pizza and bad movie. We do that once in a while, especially when Svengoolie is a rerun. This particular masterpiece is a sendup of cop buddy movies with a British flare. If you’re watching from this side of the pond, I recommend subtitles.

Plot:

Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is such a good cop with such a high arrest record that he makes the rest of the London Police Force look bad. As a reward, he receives a promotion, whether he wants it or not, and a transfer to the countryside village of Sandford, which has virtually no crime and has been the winner of the Village of the Year for several years.

Recognizing the newcomer, the villagers greet Angel before he even reports to his first shift. At the pub (he drinks cranberry juice), he notices underage kids drinking and chases them out. The proprietors, Bernard and Joyce Cooper (Eric Mason and Billie Whitelaw), admit they realize the kids were underage, but if they’re all in their place drinking and socializing, they can’t be causing trouble someplace else, can they? It’s all for the greater good.

But Angel isn’t done. On his way out of the pub, he stops an obviously drunk young man from getting in his car. He drags him down to the station—once he finds out where it is—and asks the desk sergeant to throw him in the drunk tank for the night.

Imagine his surprise the next morning at work when he asks about “the inebriate” in the drunk tank and finds the cell empty. Not only is the cell empty, but “the inebriate” is his partner, PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost)—and Danny is the son of the boss, Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent).

The boss gives Angel a short tour of the station. Angel is appalled. None of his coworkers seem to care at all about their work. The tour concludes in an upper room marked “N.W.A.,” the Neighborhood Watch Association. Perhaps I read too much into the initials.

Aside from that, the civilian liaison, Tom Weaver (Edward Woodward), complains to the captain about a group of boys in hoodies and a “living statue” (Graham Low), a street performer painted bronze.

The inspector assures him it will all be taken care of.

On patrol, Angel and Butterman stop a couple, Martin Blower and Eve Draper (Lucy Punch and David Threlfall), flying down the road significantly over the speed limit. A smarmy Blower says they’re late for an “homage” to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet while Eve plays with her hair. Of course, Angel and Butterman have to attend and witness the execrable performance.

Later, a knock comes on Blower’s dressing room door, where he and Eve are smooching and drinking champagne. When Blower opens it, a figure wearing a hooded cape appears with an ax. Blood splatters all over the door.

Angel is later notified of a terrible traffic accident (“Collison,” he corrects the officer on scene). The deceased are the actor Blower and the leading lady, Eve Draper. It must have been some accident; their heads are sitting in the middle of the road.

Angel wonders…

Thoughts:

All the motifs of a cop buddy movie are here and are played with, as is the idea of the perfect English village. The language is not for the kiddies, and there are some gory scenes, but it is all presented with a lot of humor, horror, and silliness.

PC Butterman is a fan of action movies. While his partner chases a shoplifter through a store, he blithely examines a display of DVDs.

Following the bloody scene where Blower and Eve are killed and their heads left on the road, the viewer sees Angel’s phone ring. He sits up in bed and answers it. “Yeah?” he says. “Decaffeinated?”

Inappropriate, perhaps, but also quite funny. I admit, it takes a certain dark sense of humor to laugh at this, but there is a certain clownishness.

For example, when answering a complaint about a farmer who has trimmed someone else’s hedges, Angel and Butterman take Saxon, the K-9, along. They don’t need the dog, but they need the handler, PC Bob Walker (Karl Johnson), who alone can interpret the accent of farmer Arthur Webley (David Bradley). Because Walker is slightly less unintelligible than Webley, Butterman will translate his mutterings to Angel.

Mr. Webley, it turns out, has a large arsenal of unregistered weaponry, including a mine, presumably left from WWII. How he got it to his shed is not discussed. They seize the arsenal, and now the evidence room has something other than dust on its shelves.

Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson make cameo appearances.

Hot Fuzz won the 2008 Empire Awards for Best Comedy. It also won the (UK) 2007 National Movie Awards for Best Comedy.

The final scenes, the obligatory buddy cop shootout sequence, is as absurd as it is bloody. It’s worth the price of admission all by itself. Yes, Sergeant Angel rides a white horse to face down the bad guys.

This was a lot of fun.

Because the movie is so recent, I couldn’t find it available for free download.



Title: Hot Fuzz (2007)

Directed by
Edgar Wright

Writing Credits
Edgar Wright…(written by) &
Simon Pegg…(written by)

Cast (in credits order)
Simon Pegg…Nicholas Angel
Martin Freeman…Met Sergeant
Bill Nighy…Met Chief Inspector
Robert Popper…’Not’ Janine
Joe Cornish…Bob

Released: 2007
Length: 2 hours, 1 minute
Rated: R

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

10 thoughts on “Review of “Hot Fuzz” (2007)

  1. I just heard about this movie about a month ago, and I’d love to watch it. I’m wondering where the best place to view it would be. I don’t mind paying to see it.

    1. We got our copy from the library. It’s also available from YouTube to rent or buy. If you can, I’d choose the library, though, because of the extras on the DVD.

Leave a Reply to johnlmalone Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: