Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Movie Review: Hot Fuzz...check it and see

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the writing team that brought us the zombie classic Shaun of the Dead are back at it...only this time they crossed the thin blue line. Writer/actor Pegg, along with co-writer and director Wright pay homage to the drama, action, and thriller genres so loved by writers of buddy-buddy cop films with the same humorous aplomb with which they approached Shaun of the Dead. If you enjoyed one, you'll enjoy the other.

Hot Fuzz covers all the cliches and conventions when Nick Angel (Pegg), a cop who, "can't turn off," ends up exiled to Sandford, a low-crime town in the country, and paired with Danny Butterbean (played by Nick Frost), a cop who apparently has trouble turning on. Relying on the fish-out-of-water angle, Angel sees something happening everywhere but finds himself someplace where no one sees anything happening.

The story relies on many of the usual devices - Angel is too obsessed with his job, his girlfriend had an affair and is leaving him, his co-workers resent him for making them look bad, so on and so forth.

Throughout, the movie systematically honors and spoofs everything from 1970's classics The Shining, The Omen, Chinatown, and The Wickerman to 90's cop films Point Break and Bad Boys. For a film buff it's a fun ride just trying to identify all of the references. Even in blissful film ignorance, most viewers will get a number of laughs as Angel engages in an investigation in the countryside town that seems too good to be true.

One note of caution to the squeamish, there is a fairly bloody moment during the climactic fight sequence. Beyond that, most of the film's gore is so couched in comedy as to touch the ridiculous.

If you're looking for something deeper and more philosophical, well, to put it in the words of Butterbean, "Forget it, Nick. It's Sandford."

The film is currently playing at the Regal Cinemas in both Hagerstown and Frederick as well as the Hager 10 in Hagerstown. Click here for showtimes.

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