"Forget it, Nicholas. It's Sandford."

I've finally seen Hot Fuzz. If The Queen can be said to represent the Britons of two generations ago, then Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are definitely the voice for my generation. Here they've made a film of two halves: the first demonstrating why no British action films are made, and the second half being a British action film.

Both parts work well. The film starts out as an alternately quirky and atmospheric murder mystery/police procedural, as model London cop Nicholas Angel is reassigned to sleepy Sandford and resolves to get to the bottom of a series of mysterious (and gory) deaths - in between capturing escaped swans and picking the winners of a raffle at the church fĂȘte. At the same time, his naive partner Danny - played by the third portion of the Wright-Pegg-Frost trinity, Nick Frost - tries to draw out his human side, apparently under the illusion that Angel is some sort of gun-toting Chow Yun-Fat figure.

Of course, in the end, Angel discovers a threat that his Metropolitan Police Vocabulary Book (it's a car collision not a car accident, as the word 'accident' implies that no-one is to blame) can't handle, and he is forced to start blowing shit up as the movie changes track to 'action movie logic', where throwing yourself around firing wildly is the solution to any problem, and even the village vicar has a pair of spring-loaded pistols hidden up his sleeves.

I don't think that Hot Fuzz quite reaches the giddy heights of Shaun of the Dead, but it is a lean, good-looking film with a strong sense of humour and some real dramatic intensity to it. I can only look forward to Wright and Pegg's next collaboration - and dream of the day that this is the kind of British movie winning Oscars.


zhoen said...

Oscars don't mean a thing.

Can't wait to see this one.

Disillusioned kid said...

Actually I'm tempted to say Hot Fuzz was better than Shaun of the Dead, although having rewatched the latter last night I'm not sure about that. Both manage to take broadly American concepts (zombie/action movies) and put a uniquely British spin on them.

As for their next collaboration have you heard what it is yet? If not, they're all doing a "trailer" in Grindhouse, the new Tarantino/Rodriguez movie. (Edgar Wright's role has been announced, but the other guys may still be an open secret.)

Pacian said...

Cool. Hadn't heard about the fake trailer. As for what the next film will be, I've no idea. I seem to remember it was quite a while after Shaun before I heard they were doing an action film and they were working on the script for what seemed like years.