FILM REVIEW: Hot Fuzz

August 1, 2013 6:50 pm

9

Cornetto - Hot FuzzAt the time of its release in 2007, Hot Fuzz became the unofficial second installment in the unofficial Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. After Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s impressive homage to classic zombie cinema with Shaun Of The Dead in 2004, their next feature together Hot Fuzz is a contribution to buddy-cop action films. While it contains identical comedic themes, technical style and comical violence to its predecessor which pay off as references to its ‘predecessor’, Hot Fuzz becomes a more serious, original follow-up. For these reasons, it is an even stronger installment that has now become a modern benchmark in British comedy.

Hot Fuzz serves as a thumbs-up to action cinema in its own narrative style. It does this by adapting references from specific films to portray something that mixes originality and parody together. In fact, certain details about the police were included that both demoralizes their duties and reveals truths within the station. The whole plot is not in any way as dramatic as the gags and nods dominate, but comes from the characters’ perspectives within the fictional village of Sandford; it becomes serious for them through which the audience will find entertainment. It may be slow-paced on occasions and the real action does not take place until the third stage of the film, but the pieces within the narrative, including the laughs, fit together to produce an explosive, exhilarating thrill ride. Therefore, it redeems itself by building up plot, characters and laughs into the icing on the cake, which are the final action sequences.

Another key to Hot Fuzz’s success was how it highlighted British culture behind the film’s parody tone and narrative style. It did this through mise-en-scène locations, particularly the pubs, supermarkets and the general atmosphere of Sandford. The film often symbolizes the peaceful tone of the British countryside through director Edgar Wright’s camera techniques and the comical violence with continuously supplied moments of gags and creative ridicule. On a similar note, Hot Fuzz’s execution was remarkable on a technical level, particularly in terms of editing. All of the quick-cuts during the action scenes and extreme close-ups of specific props mixed with sharp music to produce the exhilarating, badass tone the film bestows.

Compared to his role in Shaun Of The Dead, Simon Pegg becomes less idiotic but even more comical in Hot Fuzz as he portrays London-based ‘super-cop’ Nicholas Angel. Simon Pegg’s performance was a mixture of hilarity and severity as he fully blends into the character. He constantly sells the continuous jokes and delivers them brilliantly. Minus the meaning of his surname, Nicholas Angel is perhaps what one would call a perfect police officer, similar to how Sandford initially appeared as the perfect village. However, the aim of placing the protagonist within such an environment is to demonstrate that perfection within society is impossible. Therefore, peace and safety becomes ridiculed and hilarious to see.

As proven in Shaun Of The Dead, Simon Pegg has such strong chemistry with Nick Frost in Hot Fuzz. When you see them on-screen, you can easily tell that they are friends in real-life and when their police-officer characters are not in uniform, they appear as themselves. Nick Frost’s role as Danny Butterman symbolizes a true action films fan who feels that Angel is his key to making that dream of car chases and gun fights come true. In some ways, their friendship symbolizes how a film inspires the audience. Meanwhile, Timothy Dalton gives one of his greatest performances in years as the sinister, scheming Simon Skinner and Jim Broadbent prevails in his role as Frank Butterman. It is also worth noting Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall’s appearances in the film as the two arrogant detectives who become the centre of many other laughs and almost do nothing but throw insults.

Hot Fuzz is an acquired taste in the Cornetto trilogy. Whether you would call it an homage or a parody towards buddy-cop flicks, Hot Fuzz is a creative comedy and makes its mark as one of the greatest British films in the last ten years. It contains practically everything that an entertaining film should – it’s engaging, it’s hilarious, it’s exhilarating and it features both a deep and simple plot with colourful characters. Now that we have tasted the red strawberry Cornetto of Shaun Of The Dead and the original blue Cornetto of Hot Fuzz, there is only the final minty green Cornetto left of The World’s End to taste and experience that bitter end we are reaching.

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