Ten Thousand Bytes of Cinematic Critique
Shaun of the Dead was a genre defining, genre defying film that you'd have to be crazy not to love. The same creative team that brought together Shaun released Hot Fuzz, a cop film homage/send up that doesn't reach the epic quality of Shaun, but still produces an enjoyable film. Director and writer Edgar Wright once again guides Nick Frost and co-writer Simon Pegg. Pegg plays Sergeant Nicholas Angel, a straight-laced police officer who is transferred out of London after all of his superiors decide he is making them look bad. He is sent to a small town in a remote region of Southern England. There, he is partnered with PC Danny Butterman (Frost), the bumbling son of the chief of police. Much of the film is spent with Angel trying to adjust to the laidback, low crime town. He is cruelly (and hilariously) mocked by the town's two detectives, although the townsfolk welcome him as a hero. Things go wrong when a series of seemingly random incidences point to murder, and Angel begins to discover that the idyllic town is not all that it seems. Hot Fuzz has plenty of laughs, some strange situations, and more gore than you might expect. The final twenty or so minutes of the film are a bloodbath, side-splitting in how over the top it becomes. The special effects and cinematography enhance the action and the humor, and the entire production is very clean. Pegg and Frost deliver the top notch performances which will now be expected by the comedy duo, but the two are bolstered by excellent supporting characters, including none other than former James Bond Timothy Dalton, as well as a goose. This movie will not alter the way we think about cop films, but in the way it both makes fun of the genre and embraces the silly aspects of it, Hot Fuzz is miles ahead of the action films Hollywood puts out today.
I know it must be a damn good movie when I have no idea if I liked the quiet and normal first half or the ludicrously action-filled last half more.Every character was so great. And I do mean every character. There are a lot of them, and they're all really enjoyable and personable as players in the story, even when they are merely bit players. These are clearly characters, and in a typical "Hollywood" action movie a lot of these characters are in what would be considered throwaway roles. And subsequently thrown away, ignored as anything but a device through which lines must be delivered so that scenes of story-driving exposition can be made. In Hot Fuzz, I don't think they threw anything away. Everything in the movie simply makes the movie better and better. Awesome cutting and editing, too.And the Punisher game is quite a fitting reference, now that you mention it! Awesome.
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