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Hot Fuzz

Film Four Stars

I loved Shaun of the Dead, and it was British too, so heading over to Hot Fuzz I was excited. I had heard it was funny, laughed at the trailers, and was anticipating the start of the film. Knowing I was sitting down to a double billing that day, Hot Fuzz seemed the best place to start.

The opening was superb, and I mean the very opening with the police sirens of every age slowly playing over each other and fading away to end with the modern day siren and the marching figure of Simon Pegg, aka Sergeant Nicholas Angel.

Instantly we're treated to the Edgar Wright School of filmmaking, in transitional or expositional moments, give the barest facts, as fast as possible, and get on with the story. I do love this style, and it suited the dialogue of a policeman just perfectly.

The film was on, and as Timothy Dalton says in the line I was dying to hear, "Here comes the Fuzz"…

HotFuzz.jpgBig thanks again to the staff of Edinburgh Ocean Terminal Vue Cinema for helping me with these reviews. They are a really nice bunch, and have a great cinema. Have I said I love their hot dogs before?!

The film is about Sergeant Nicholas Angel, a policeman that does his job and does it well, in fact too well, he's actually putting the rest of the London force to shame because he's just too good. Once we are told about just how good he is we see him sitting in his boss' office discussing his imminent departure to Sandford. Sandford seems to be the quietest village in the country with the lowest crime rate ever, but an alarmingly high amount of accidents. It's not long before Angel finds something amiss in the idyllic village of Sandford.

I think by far one of the funniest scenes is actually before Angel gets to Sandford, when he arrives on a crime scene to say goodbye to his ex-girlfriend. The gags and the way they are played during that scene had me belting out laughs, it was so brilliantly done. That was perhaps my favourite few scenes of the film.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to say the rest was rubbish, but that was a defining moment for the film for me, the timing and the jokes in that scene were perfectly executed.

Another scene I really enjoyed was the storming of the Supermarket, that provided some unusual gags and some cracking lines - the bolognaise sauce, or the cutlery - excellent moments that you could hardly imagine being conceived, where did the whole meat counter gag come from?

The final fight in the model village had great potential, but like a few scenes of action in the film I do feel we missed out on a lot. The idea of people fighting in the model village could have provided some great visual gags, but not much was made of it, and that was something I did find surprising.

In fact much of the action seemed to be poorly handled. Now I could be mistaken and the idea was to deliberately follow Hollywood here, but I felt the same as I did with the latest Bourne films, during the action sequences I found the extreme close-ups and very rapid cuts, just too much to cope with and couldn't follow the action. I found that my brain was actually playing catch up and deducing what was happening as the cuts slowed down and the camera pulled back briefly.

Perhaps this was a play on the whole Hollywood action idea, but it happened quite a bit and I did find that nice moments were lost. One in particular was the double leap through the doorway guns blazing. There's a really cool still on the Internet of these two in mid leap and it looks superb (and sore), but in the film itself we had close ups, fast cuts, and replays from multiple angles, we were never really treated to the whole display and it lost a lot of the effect.

Saying that though the film is really funny and the superb script has been very well written, not just for the comedy value, but also with a great reference to British police films as well as Hollywood buddy movies. There's even a homage to The Wicker Man, never mind Bad Boys and Lethal Weapon.

The film references are there, but what surprised me is that they don't rule the film as much as I thought they would from the comments I'd read to date. This isn't about references to other films, it really does stand out as its own comedy, the references merely compliment it. So don't go in there expecting loads of film take-offs and references. There are a fair number, but this isn't a Scary Movie.

Every scene with Timothy Dalton in was excellent. Dalton can play such a deliciously evil character and he proves it here, he plays the character of Simon Skinner with sleaze galore, and a nice liberal dash of menace. Some of his lines are delivered with such hatred you can feel it coming off him, this is one of the best characters he's played and it looks like he's loving it.

Dalton continues this superb performance in the climactic scenes and really gives it his all. When he turns to Angel with the stanley knife in hand, screaming, you're laughing but at the same time you are kind of scared and intimidated.

Pegg and Nick Frost are very good, Pegg shows that he's a strong comic actor once again, and in fact his strength lies in the straight man lead, while Frost gives a performance that I think is much stronger than we saw in Shaun of the Dead.

There he acted as the character for Pegg to bounce lines off of, here he really does have a character to get into and he has some real scenes and moments of development, and he's just as funny as Pegg.

There are some other great British actors in the film, and not just leads like Jim Broadbent and Dalton, there are many great cameos from some great actors, Bill Nighy, Stuart Wilson and Edward Woodward to name but a few. I loved the moment that Woodward gave us that Equalizer stance and stare as he brandished a shotgun, superb.

Another good couple of actors were the two Detectives Andy and Andy played by Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall, they had some very funny lines and looked like typical American detectives who were very much out of place in the English village. They did provide some great comic moments, and some infuriating ones too.

When they were obstructing Angel's every attempt to uncover the truth, I felt myself starting to rage inside and almost wanted to say something out loud. I love it when a film gets your emotion going in some way, and here it really did.

Overall the film is a very funny British comedy, unfortunately I didn't find it as funny as Shaun of the Dead, but it was very close. Well worth going to see and supporting, and watch out for those cameos but don't get obsessed with the references, you'll spoil your enjoyment of the film itself.

Oh, and in true A-Team style, the goodies never kill anyone.

Edinburgh Ocean Vue Cinema
UK IMDB Film Details

Knocked Up
This looked a little more amusing than it did when I first saw it on the Internet, bit I still want to see more to it than the restaurant scene before I make up my mind.

300 (Filmstalker review)
Stunning, what can I say? After seeing the film these trailers look even better.

The Illusionist
This actually looks quite good, and with a chance to see an early showing of this I might well do. Norton looks good but Biel looks like she's really found some more acting talent.

This actually got quite a few laughs in the cinema, and I have to admit giggling when the Pussycat Dolls came on with the huge lady washing the car.

I Want Candy
Oh I was laughing to this one. This British comedy looks set not to disappoint, and I'm really hoping it lives up to the trailer.

Ghost Rider
Rubbish, and what is it with Cage's badly dyed hair?

Okay, I laughed this time, but I'm still not sure about it all. I think it was helped by the two guys doing the Mac-PC adverts beforehand.



Ahhhhh, 4 stars ain't that bad, glad you liked it! Tell me do you get a discount in Vue?

Other great British actors who graced this film were Kenneth Cranham who played Pompey Magnus in HBO's Rome and Karl Johnson who was also in Rome and played Cato and he was PC Walker in this one.

Oh Simone, let's just say they really do help out with Filmstalker!

I thought so! ;) Maybe they can place some ad banners on the site or something? Who's the manager? Hehe...

They do just well with two links per review and they are very happy with that. Adding banners for non-revenue earning won't help with the deficit that Filmstalker is running on.

You've said it to the Tee, Richard

A glorified A-Team episode (not that I am complaining, I love the A-Team) .. but a little more was expected from the action.

Clearly they had no problems with blood, gore & impaling people with ..uh objects ;) but why o why did the gunshots not blow huge holes into people?

Why do you need to see huge bullet holes?

When I saw the guns, I though ... sweeeeeet
& then I saw how unrealistic they're effect was.

A shotgun would blow a big hole in someone.. that's why I'd like to see it, I'm not saditic .. honest'

*blinks-innocently* :D

Okay, that's a good enough answer. ;)

Pheww .. That was a close one.

Actually I was okay with that A-Team style, I kinda liked it. What I didn't like was the Bay-Bourne type action sequences.

See I thought they did that so you wouldn't miss the big gaping holes in people .. though I still did :(

very funny stuff. Some of the action sequences felt a bit rushed or edited in a weird way. I thought it was just me being stupid, but there are parts of the film that could have been polished a bit more.

The humour is outstanding and typical from british humour are the facial expressions, you wonder if they are scripted or just the actor doing his stuff in the moment.

I really enjoyed Hot Fuzz - I found it much funnier than Shaun of the Dead.

I thought the final scenes were pretty well handled - it isn't often I laugh at someone being knocked off a bike!

Everybody was applauding that scene, including the one with the farmer's mother.

the one thing which stopped me writing a review on this film was the overall balance which hinted at a confusion on behalf of those that wrote and made it - it's almost as though it's torn between action and comedy in a way that makes it neither in a distinct fashion, nor something which manages to enitrely balance those two elements either. how do you judge something as other than confused without just starting an argument that can't be won - because some will be perfectly satisfied with the balance or the dominance of action and comedy.

that said, it managed to do some really smart things with how it pitched the level of involvement with certain aspects and plot elements - sometimes not anywhere near as heavy-handed as i had feared, other times much more sophisticated than what could have been a rather weak parody at worst. thankfully the films general production values were also a step-up from 'shaun of the dead' too, giving better structuring, performances, editing than before.

that story though... confusing!


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