Hot Fuzz is a 2007 action-comedy film starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman respectively. It is in essence a buddy cop film, with Angel being the serious cop, while Butterman is the goofy cop. Angel doesn’t want to be near Butterman to begin with, but eventually warms up to the idea, before the two decide to attempt to solve what has been behind a series of “accidents” in the town of Sandford.
Nicholas Angel is the top police officer in London. He has a 400% greater arrest record than any other officer, and because of this, he is making the other cops look bad. They don’t exactly like looking bad, so he is transferred to the small, peaceful town of Sandford. There hasn’t been a registered murder in 20 years in Sandford, and the lack of action has begun to drive Angel insane. While arresting every person who commits a minor offense, a few gruesome deaths occur later on. Angel believes these deaths are murders, and is now dead set on bringing down the murderer.
Now, with Hot Fuzz being a buddy cop film, the relationship between the two main cops needs to develop and blossom. In this case, it does this with drinks and older buddy cop films. Those older films definitely foreshadow events later on in the movie, with the pace quickly changing from that of a comedy to that of an old school shoot-em-up. Does that quick shift work? Well, not entirely.
Now, Hot Fuzz is a funny movie, don’t get me wrong. However, the comedic performances of the entire cast go far downhill when the action begins. This may be because none of the cast really are “action stars”, at least, they aren’t any more, so to compensate for this, the film hardly lets you see what happens. The action scenes are all quite blurry and hard to follow, really dragging down what otherwise is a really solid and funny film. The climax of the film is essentially a twenty minute shoot out, most of which you can’t actually see because it is too blurry.
Despite the action scenes being lackluster, the rest of the film is quite funny. Pegg and Frost carry the majority of the film, with Pegg playing the entire thing straight, and Frost being the naive child of the team. Pegg is truly the main character, being serious for almost all the time is on screen, and most of the jokes made at his disposal, and him just brushing them off. This works quite well, and ends up being quite funny, just due to Pegg’s overbearing commitment to be the best cop out there. Another noteworthy performance goes to Timothy Dalton as the prime suspect for the murders. He owns the local supermarket, and is always dropping subtle hints as to how he supposedly murdered every person who had an “accident”. He plays the typical evil villain quite well, helping along the plot and providing quite a few laughs, even when not being part of a joke. The only real problem that the comedy aspect of the film faces is how forgettable the whole thing is. None of the jokes are memorable, and by the next morning, you’ll have difficulty remembering even one joke. It is funny in the moment, and is an entertaining film to watch, but once you finish, you will go on with your day. You sadly won’t be chuckling later on after fondly remembering a funny scene.
Despite the fact that the film is very funny in the moment, I can’t help but think that it might have worked even better with a different cast, director, genre and ending. The premise of the film actually could have worked quite well as a thriller, building up tension all throughout, before a twist that you probably won’t see coming pops up. As it is, it works just fine as a comedy, but bringing in some serious actors, with a director that does thrillers well, and I’m thinking you’d have a pretty decent movie on your hands. I’m not really sure if that many people would agree with me on this, as the film itself does work really well as is, but it might be worth a shot.
As it is, Hot Fuzz is an above average comedy film, spliced together with a subpar action film. It works well when it’s mostly all about detective work, but when the action is thrown in and overtakes the comedy portions, the film falls flat. Even the death scenes seem a bit out of place. They are gory and over the top, something that to me seems a bit out of place in a film like this. The first 90 minutes are excellent, while the last half hour just doesn’t live up to the standard of the rest of the film. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining, it just feels bland compared to the rest of the film, and uninspired when compared to other action films. It’s funny, but for the most part, forgettable. What you will remember is the action scenes, and they really aren’t conducive to the genius that is the rest of the film. That’s too bad, but it’s how it is with many comedies. It’s funny in the moment, but easily forgotten about the next day.