by Oscar Bachmann
Disclaimer: Hot Fuzz is rated R. It has swearing and blood, so if you are sensitive to this type of material, you are advised to avoid this movie.
When you are buying flowers for your friend’s birthday, the last thing you expect to happen is a sudden murder and a chase sequence. Yet, in Hot Fuzz this is the norm. Whether it be through an absurd scenario or a sudden firefight, comedy and action movies often rely on the unexpected to keep their audiences engaged. Action comedies are given the unique opportunity to blend these two genres. However, despite their potential, these types of movies sometimes fail to balance these two elements, with jokes not landing, the action being dull, or both. Fortunately, Hot Fuzz is not one of these movies. Hot Fuzz is a British action comedy film released in 2007 that is directed and co-written by English director and screenwriter Edgar Wright. It’s part of “The Cornetto Trilogy,” a series of three films made by Wright that all star actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as leads. The trilogy contains parodies of different genres, and its name is based on the frozen dessert cone the cornetto, which makes a cameo in each film. Hot Fuzz is the second movie in the Cornetto Trilogy and is often (rightfully) considered the best. Hot Fuzz’s biggest strength is its ability to constantly subvert your expectations, providing a wildly entertaining experience to anyone into the action-comedy/buddy cop genre.
But what is Hot Fuzz about? The movie starts off simple enough. Nicolas Angel is a London police officer who is the best at what he does. He likes his job in the city a lot, but his success intimidates his colleagues, so they make him the sergeant of Sandford, Gloucestershire, a distant, small town that has won the award for “Village of the Year” multiple times. Sergeant Angel isn’t exactly happy with his new position, and he doesn’t approve of his new police department; he sees them as too laid back and inexperienced. He is especially annoyed with his new partner, Danny Butterman, the son of Angel’s superior and an officer who is a huge fan of buddy cop films. In this first half of the movie, Hot Fuzz has a plot that you would expect; Sergeant Angel is an extremely serious person who must deal with Danny and the other unusually behaved townspeople of Sandford while also stopping minor crimes in the most over the top ways. There are hints of something larger going on, but things don’t really pick up until a sudden “accident” that results in the death of two people (which is very clearly a murder). More people experience the same fate and suddenly a mystery rises; why are there so many “accidents” occurring in Sandford? Angel starts to collect clues and seems to find a definitive answer to the mystery— a solution that seems to make perfect sense based on what we have seen so far. However, Hot Fuzz doesn’t make sense. The answer to this mystery turns out to be way less complicated than it seemed to be, and once Angel finds the truth the movie does a complete 180. Spoiling what happens next ruins the moment of the movie, but it comes so out of nowhere that it is simultaneously hilarious and amazing.
Alongside the plot, there are many fantastic aspects of the film. First, in terms of cinematography, Hot Fuzz often uses abrupt cuts and zoom-ins which contributes to its unique, fast-paced humor. As for pacing, the movie can feel slow at some parts, and there is never a point that causes you to lose interest. The first part of the movie is probably the slowest, but this picks up once the murder plot is introduced. The music depends on your taste, but for me, none of the music in Hot Fuzz was extremely memorable. However, during the last part of the film, the music becomes much more action-fueled which really contributes to the sudden change in genre. Ultimately, the characters are one of the strongest aspects of the film. Angel starts out uptight, but he eventually becomes more likable once he becomes friends with Danny. The side characters are not exactly super complex, but they each behave in simple yet quirky ways that make them fun to be around. Finally, it is a little tricky to assess the comedy element of the film since comedy is subjective. The movie might not appeal to everyone, but its fun, clever humor will appeal to some. Hot Fuzz is a parody of buddy cop movies, so if you like this genre you’ll probably like Hot Fuzz.
Hot Fuzz is not a perfect film, but it’s a fun one nevertheless. If you are a fan of action movies or comedy, you will enjoy this movie. Next time you are looking aimlessly for something to watch, do yourself a favor and give Hot Fuzz a chance.
If you like Hot Fuzz, you might also like:
- Shaun of the Dead(2004)
- At the World’s End(2013)
- 21 Jump Street(2012)
- Beverly Hills Cop(1984)