Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by:Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Timothy Dalton, Bill Nighy
Released: March 15, 2007
Grade: A-

Hot Fuzz is a spoof in disguise.  It makes fun of American action films but it also has a half-decent plot.  If you get too caught up in the story, you may miss some of the references (some subtle and some not-so-subtle) to other classic flicks.

Many people have been waiting for this film with eager anticipation.  In 2004, Simon Pegg wrote and starred in Shaun Of The Dead.  Best described as a “zombie satire”, it developed cult status.  I wasn’t a big fan of it when I first saw it but it’s the kind of film that grows on you with each viewing.  Pegg and co-star Nick Frost were a terrific comedy duo.  They kept coming up with side-splitting jokes in life-threatening situations.

Hot Fuzz is Simon Pegg’s follow up.  He wrote the script with friend Edgar Wright (who is the film’s director) and has gotten Nick Frost back as his side kick.  Given Pegg’s increased profile, a few notable English actors feature in supporting roles.  They include Jim Broadbent, Steve Coogan, Timothy Dalton, Martin Freeman and Bill Nighy.

The story begins in London where Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is regarded as the best in the police force.  Unfortunately, the fact that he’s so good is making the other officers around him look bad.  The Chief Inspector (Nighy) has decided to take action to remedy the situation.  He’s reassigning Angel to the small country town of Sandford.  With its tiny population, Sandford is “the safest village in the country”.  There hasn’t been a murder in over 20 years.

Angel is not happy with his new appointment.  His lack of enthusiasm is further dampened when he meets Sandford’s current police force.  Led by Inspector Frank Butterman (Broadbent), they give new meaning to the word lazy.  They turn a blind eye to pretty much everything.

When two citizens are found in a car crash with their heads missing, Angel suspects foul play.  His thoughts fall on deaf ears however – everyone else thinks it was an unfortunate accident.  When more people turn up dead however, Angel knows that something is amiss.  With the help of his dim-witted partner (Frost), Angel goes in search of answers.

Like Shaun Of The Dead, there are plenty of “laugh out loud” moments to be had in Hot Fuzz.  I also enjoyed the film’s overall comedic tone - it’s funny even when the cast aren’t cracking one-liners.  Just watching the anguished look on Pegg’s face throughout the entire film was enough for me.  He’s the only serious person in a town of loonies.

If you’re a fan of Shaun Of The Dead, I strongly recommend that you see this.  If you never got the chance to Shaun Of The Dead, then I strongly recommend that you see both.