Hot Fuzz ___ 8/10
Sherlock Holmes and Dudley Do-Right meet the Stepford Wives and High Plains Drifter

Written by Edgar Wright & Simon PeggHot Fuzz
Directed by Edgar Wright

Simon Pegg ... Sergeant Nicholas Angel
Bill Nighy ... Metropolitan Chief Inspector
Nick Frost ... PC Danny Butterman

Rotten Tomatoes users rates Hot Fuzz at 95% with the critics only slightly behind at 88%.  IMDb is in the same ballpark at 82%, and many of the comments in both systems compliment the movie on its clever writing.  These numbers are extremely high... and decidedly young: the average age of the full house we attended in East Lansing, MI: ~25.

The movie starts with a montage of Nicholas Angel's (Simon Pegg) exemplary career as a London policeman.  He's the James Bond of the department, with a genuine arrest record 400% above average.  In fact, he's so proficient in all manner of police work the citizens love him and begin to wonder why they need so many of the others.

Feeling they're being shown up, the department as a whole votes him "off the island," to a burg in a remote, bucolic region.  Sgt. Angel, thoroughly idealistic and committed as he is toward toe-to-toe cleanup of the city, is dismayed to be no longer wanted.

But he takes it in stride and arrives in Sandford, where at first glance the harshest crime is mime statue-standing.

The first pub scene is revealing: Angel introduces himself to the middle-aged couple who own the bar and orders a glass of cranberry juice. The place is packed.  As Angel surveys the environment, he notices several patrons are underage.  He ejects them, the bar empties, and the camera fades with him at the bar with his cranberry juice and two deflated owners.

One of the patrons leaving is plastered.  He tries to drive, backs up and crashes, so Angel hauls him to the town jail.  Next morning, reporting to work, Angel discovers the man is no longer in jail and is, in fact, the son (Danny Butterman played by Nick Frost) of the police chief. 

Danny, one of the town cops, idolizes Sgt. Angel the big city crimefighter whom Danny fantasizes in such American cult-cop classics as Bad Boys and Point Break.  Young Danny's weird, childlike hero-worship combined with frustrations and people conflicts on the job, exasperates Angel even further.

Then people start dying mysteriously.

Angel's crime detection instincts and reasoning are remarkable (Sherlock Holmes-like) and he projects another refreshing quality: complete confidence and competence in doing his job.  Last time I witnessed this quality in a movie cop was in In the Heat of the Night (1967).

But I saw a lot of it as a kid, and it's nice to see it again.  But Hot Fuzz is too fashionable a movie to look backward: Angel develops a liking for his new #2 ("I wonder if Danny is supposed to be Sancho Panza.") and together they work to resolve the murder spree that the town leaders insist is only a string of accidents.

As the truth slowly dawns, Sgt. Angel looks like the next candidate for "a fatal collision."  Now comes the ending, which I'm not going to say anything about, except that while thoroughly entertaining it's probably too long by two.  My humble opinion (MHO).

One other attribute of the film that bears acknowledgment is its sparkling dialog, full of subtle references to things Yank (American) and quite likely allegories in all manner of Anglo-American art.  It's funny and humanizing.

So: an enjoyable film that's probably deeper than I realize.

If you have the time and/or inclination, please share your own impressions on the movie with me on the Coffee Coaster Blog.  Only please note the ending will probably be revealed there.


MX Fast Money Success System :: Banner 06

Your Ad Here

Cool S/W

Buy Magic Gallery - personal

Buy ASP and PHP eMail Manager



Influence Congress through Downsize DC and its
Read the Bills Act

Read the Bills Act Coalition

Brian Wright Professional Services


Your Ad Here
Main | Columns | Movie Reviews | Book Reviews | Articles | Guest