WARNING: This is a post from my high school blog. I cannot vouch for its quality but I wanted to give people an idea of how my writing has developed over the years. Yes, I’m padding my site.
The film follows Pegg as an ace police officer in London who is transferred to a small village in the country, where there would appear to be no crime at all. That’s where he meets his new partner played by a charmingly dull Frost, and his chief inspector played by a goofy, convicted Jim Broadbent. Soon enough, Pegg starts to notice the town has something criminally sinister going on under the surface, and he tries to rally the police force to actually do something about it in a series of hilarious crimes and investigations.
I suppose the only way to get into this movie is to start with saying that it is a rare, unique, and refreshing action comedy. The first thing you’ll notice when watching it is how much life Wright breathes into every shot, and every transition between shots. He’s sort of famous for his extremely clever editing tricks and cuts, and this movie is entirely supportive of that claim. I have to give credit to the YouTube channel Every Frame a Painting, whose video on Edgar Wright really helped me appreciate what Wright does with visual comedy. I’ll provide the link below, but what he points out is that cinematography and editing have gone out of use in most comedies. They seem to just rely on the dialogue and story to carry the movie without employing any true filmmaking techniques. Watch the video.
What’s even more pleasing is that the script, written by Wright and Pegg, is as good if not better than any comedy you will find these days. The quips and insults thrown from character to character are inimitably British in nature, but they have the giddy naivete of an American comedy to blend. The best moments come from the constant mocking of Pegg’s character, Nicholas Angel, or as the town calls him, “Angle.” Each character supporting character is centered around a single gag, but Wright and company go to great lengths to make sure that with each character, there are layers to their respective quirks. In a fun scene, David Bradley plays a mumbly old farmer, who can only be understood by a mumbly police man, who in turn can only be understood by Nick Frost’s character. It’s a cute play on the convention of “the guy you can’t understand” joke, and it doesn’t dwell too long before moving onto the next development.
The centerpiece of the movie, of course, is the chemistry in the pairing of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Any moment they are on screen together, there is electricity. Every beat between them feels organic, and extremely, extremely funny. It’s Pegg’s cynicism and curtness against Frost’s positivity and chubby puppy-ness that makes the screen crackle every time. What’s more is, even in other movies, when they are playing different characters, their chemistry remains intact, albeit in a new form. It’s a special pairing in film, and I wish we had more acting duos as charming and talented as these two.
Lastly, we can’t go without mentioning how awesome the action is in this movie. It’s not a supplement to the comedy. The action sequences in this movie, while inherently silly (I’m thinking of a car chase involving a swan), rival those of any other mid-sized budget action movie starring Mark Wahlberg. There are ridiculously fun shootouts that are well shot and choreographed, and they go beyond just being hilarious to look at.
I’ll part with this suggestion, watch Hot Fuzz any time of the day, with anyone, and anywhere, there’s something for everyone. A fun story and characters, including a hilarious turn from Timothy Dalton as a nefarious grocery store manager, all go to make the movie just what any comedy or action is looking for.
Thanks for reading this succinctly one-sided review of Hot Fuzz.