A Square Pegg in a Round Hellhole…
A crime comedy where a policeman moves from a busy English city to a twee country village, where life becomes more exciting for him and his new partner when a number of grisly murders occur…
Hot Fuzz Official Trailer #1 – (2007) HD, Movieclips, http://www.youtube.com and photographs © Universal Pictures
So as an expat, just as Deadpool (2016) and all his wisecracks directed at American pop culture were slowly disappearing from my memory, Finnish TV showed the comedy, Hot Fuzz (2007), with its twisted mimicry of all things, twee and English. It stars the not so twee English comedians, Simon Pegg and his perpetual wingman, Nick Frost. However I’m sure this particular pairing would prefer to be compared to the Han Solo and Chewbacca double act. Simon Pegg is an English comedian and now Hollywood – possibly assuming Scotland is a mere suburb North of London – have cast him as Scotty in their recent Star Trek movies. Hot Fuzz also stars a fantastic supporting British – sorry English – cast with every British National Treasure, from Jim Broadbent to Kenneth Cranham of the Carry on movies to Bill Nighy.
Starting with a montage about the rise and successes of a high achieving, London-based policeman, Nick Angel (Pegg), showing the highlights of his daring, exemplary career to date. He is then summoned to his superiors office meeting with three English colleagues – from English, more English to most English actor – and told that he’s being moved to the sleepy twee – and heavily satirised – English country hamlet of Sandford in Gloucestershire complete with model village, amateur dramatic society, fetes and village square. British readers will probably find this scene all too familiar, as will probably have been dragged to similar English towns as a kid on a family holiday. There you would visit the local castle – if you had a charmed childhood – or Morris Dancers if you weren’t so lucky in your summer holidays to Englandshire.
Angel makes firm friends with his partner PC Danny Butterman, Nick Frost. Butterman is a buddy cop film aficionado of such classics as the original Point Break (1991) and Bad Boys II (2003) and is the son of their superior Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent). We meet other British characters from their office, with cameos by a few familiar comedians and we are also introduced to the token Neighbourhood watch man (Edward Woodward) and his surprisingly extensive video library, the bartender and his wife and the supermarket owner played by a devilishly smarmy moustached ex James Bond, Timothy Dalton. Angel finds the job considerably less thrilling to begin with and when he confiscates a shed full of firearms and explosives from a yokel local, he feels a little encouraged. Things get much more interesting, however as the town is suddenly the scene for a number of violent deaths…
The film was written by 3 writers – including Pegg – from Pegg’s comedy TV series Spaced (1999-2001) and his zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead (2004). Like these, Hot Fuzz is full of the familiar satire and homages we know and love and as well many familiar faces from British film and television. The cast is a delight, where many of the older cast can be identified by true film buffs like darlin’ husband and younger comedians share the fun. There are also a number of cameos to watch out for, no clues here..but worth looking for from the start of the film.
Hot Fuzz also pays homage to another policeman sent to an apparently quiet British place, played by actor, Edward Woodward joint star of both films. The film also has many references to other Pegg productions and is seen as part of his “Cornetto Trilogy” with each a reference to this particular ice cream for three of his films. Which is a shame really, as personally I feel I speak for many when I beg Pegg to put pen to paper for yet another parody, and to paraphrase the advert for the ice cream previously mentioned “Just one more film, give it to me”.
Weeper Rating: 😦 /10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 /10
Bonus Trailer: Yes, Directors Cut