Hot Fuzz (2007)
Directed by Edgar Wright
Written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Jim Broadbent
For the 2011 year, PanelsOnPages.com is switching things up a little in our year-spanning segment, 52 Pick-Up. While still staying true to the form of last year’s 52 Pick-Up, we are making a jump from the panel-to-panel action of comics to the frame-by-frame excitement of movies. This year’s incarnation of 52 Pick-Up will follow me, Panels on Pages’ Jose Guzman, known to the PoP!ulation as GUZMAN 2011, on my year long journey of crossing off all of the movies on my “should have seen it” list. Each week for the next year, I will be bringing you reviews of movies from that list as well as movies that I have sworn to never see, Transformers 2 for example, and everything in-between.
The “everything in-between” is where you, the reader, come in. The movies on my list so far consist of a solid group of “I should have seen these by now,” and some upcoming theater releases, but my list is short and far from my needed 52. Through the combination of the all-powerful internet, modern technology, and for the love of Tron, you can help me fill my weeks with awesome (and not so awesome) movies during all of 2011. I’m down to give every and any genre from anime to musicals a shot, and my choices will range from in-theater releases to movies I can watch from the comfort of my couch.
52 Pick-Up will span through the entire 2011 year, so if you have an awesome movie that you swear by, don’t be shy, become a member of the PoP!ulation and check out the 52 Pick-Up thread on our forums and let me know. Attach a link to the trailer in the thread so you can use it to help fight your case. If you think that you can sell me on a movie in 30 seconds, then leave a message on the PoP!Cast voicemail line, or listen live every Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST and call in. Chose your weapon, throw your best movie at me, and let’s see if it sticks. If it does then I’ll give it a shot and let you know what I think about it.
With all of that said, let’s jump into the 2011 New Year with my first choice. It’s a movie that has hurt my soul to know that, up until the writing of this article, I had yet to see. Being a huge fan of Shaun of the Dead, I knew that getting the monkey, dressed as a cop, crashing cymbals in my ears, off of my back was at the top of my list, and I jumped at the opportunity to brush the dust off of the DVD shelf and go straight in for the Fuzz.
Hot Fuzz is the follow-up to the Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright written, Wright directed, 2004 hit Shaun of the Dead. As in Shaun of the Dead, our heroes are played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Simon Pegg plays a “top cop” whose record outshines his fellow officers to the point where he is making them look bad. He is awarded for his excellence in awesomeness with a transfer straight to a small town, where Nick Frost waits to be his new partner, so that the rest of the cops can raise their value. But, Pegg finds it hard to turn off his god-given cop talents and along with his partner, Frost, they discover a 20-year-old murderous cover up in this “perfect town” that is known for having a lot of “accidents”.
Let me mention this now so you know for the rest of the year: if my weekly choice of movie is on DVD then all spoilers are fair game. I will do my best to hold any real needed movie secrets (like the fact that Tyler Durden and Jack are the same person) just in case you feel the need to see the movie after reading the review, but to keep it honest, if it’s been out on DVD long enough then you only have yourself to blame for not seeing it by now. If it’s a new release in the theaters, then I will play nice and not spoil anything for you. Now, where was I?
I didn’t want to start 2011′s 52 Pick-Up off on the wrong foot so I chose a ringer as my first weekly watch . I knew that Hot Fuzz wouldn’t let me down mainly because if someone asks you if you have seen Shaun of the Dead, it is usually followed by, “Did you see Hot Fuzz?”, making the big question now being, “Did it live up to the hype?” My answer is a firing-two-guns-whilst-jumping-through-the-air YES! Hot Fuzz did for action movies what Shaun of the Dead did for zombie movies. When looking at Simon Pegg, action star is the farthest thing from your mind, but the man pulls it off and pulls it off very convincingly. The team of Pegg and Wright are able to give you everything you could want in an action movie like car chases, gun fights, a hooded, murdering villain, decapitations and, yes, even a reenactment of the most powerful scene from the Reeves-Swayze classic Point Break, and brilliantly mix it with laugh-out-loud humor.
For me, what makes Hot Fuzz, along with Shaun of the Dead, an instant classic is the fact that the movie takes itself seriously and presents itself to you as such. Shaun of the Dead is a legitimate zombie movie that just happens to be a funny-as-hell comedy, as Hot Fuzz is a legitimate action movie. Pineapple Express was that same way for me in the fact that, yes, this is a meant to be a comedy, but it’s a comedy with respect to the genre that they have chosen to set the film in. Hot Fuzz never breaks into a goofy spoof of a cop movie like the Naked Gun series. R.I.P. Leslie Nielson.
What stood out the most to me was how much it kind of felt that I was watching a Tony Scott film. For a quick second it felt as if Denzel Washington was going to walk into frame, and this was some Man on Fire tie in. The editing had a quick pace and style that kept you locked into the movie the whole time. Hot Fuzz also contains the best use of a Bad Boyz 2 scene ever, and they even snuck in a Michael Bay swooping crane shot which made me smile on the inside. Until Hot Fuzz, never has a movie made me want to watch Bad Boyz 2 and Point Blank at the same time. For that, Hot Fuzz should get a residual check for the spurt of DVD sales of those two movies.
The bottom line on Hot Fuzz is that it’s awesome fun and very worth your time. If you are like me and have seen Shaun of the Dead, but not Hot Fuzz, you are doing yourself a disservice. Buy it or bump it up on your queue with Netflix, hit up your local DVD box, catch it on TV, or you can even go old school, hit up your local Blockbuster, and grab yourself some Fuzz. And if you haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead yet, turn off your computer right now and go watch it. In the words of PanelsOnPages.com’s very own Mr. Thacher E. Cleveland, if you don’t own both Shaun of Dead and Hot Fuzz, you’re fucking up.