Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Not so "Hot Fuzz"

What is this about

This is a spoof on "buddy cop" movies from the maker of "Shaun of the Dead" (was spoof of zombie movies). Supercop Nicholas Angel is transferred from London Metropolitan Police force to a country called "Sandford". It's so tranquil that the police evidence room is empty, detectives show up at work only to gorge on ice cream, underage folks are served beer unasked at the area pub and local police chief keeps his son in payroll just to keep an eye on him! However, things turn a bit different after Angel shows up. A few people die mysteriously, and no one else but Angel suspects it to be murder. Angel partners with Butterman (local chief's son) and eases up on the country lifestyle. Local retailer Skinner (Timothy Dalton) is investigated by Angel for the murders. However, he discovers much more -- and many more -- behind the murders.

When should I watch

If you ever have seen "Point Break" or "Bad Boys" or "Lethal Weapon" -- you will have a lot of fun. This movie mostly copies elements from and makes fun of the three above. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have been roommates *and* best friends for years and it totally shows in their incredible chemistry. Nick Frost, especially, has most of the comic moments thanks to his very fluid facial expressions.

In another interesting perspective, this is one of the very few British spoof of American (action) movies.

Some scenes - like the Priest shouting "Jesus Christ" after getting shot; or Constable Butterman having a "brain freeze" attack (ever had your entire throat-and-above numb after trying to gulp too much of cold ice cream?) just when they *really* needed to chase bad folks; taking the shortcut that has incredible amount of roadblocks; or the twin cynical detectives who just hate working -- are pretty good. Even though HF has its own fun moments, I expected way more subtlety and a bit diverse range of stuff spoofed.

A spoof is a tad different from situational comedy. Core idea of enjoying a great spoof may not be belly-tickling laughs, but the fun to spot out every tiny detail in the main that become inconsequentially laughable on a more realistic day. Hot Fuzz lacked delving into those "tiny details" to make it totally irreverent. There were "cool" car chases indeed -- and yes, Butterman and Angel unnecessarily turned the car quite a bit, skidding and all before actual chasing -- but in most occasions irrelevance -- the prime spoof element -- took a backseat over an almost believable story.

May be that's the idea. Even "Shaun of the Dead" was an almost OK "film" on its own -- had a nice story, real fights etc. May be the audience for 100%-proof spoof is not that strong in number to warrant a full movie -- but "Hot Fuzz" was definitely not a spoof on the rocks. HF got a 8.2 in IMDB, but even Mel Brooks' "Robin Hood - Men in Tights" (got 5.9) was far more enjoyable as a pure spoof.

  • Apparently "they" took off from work for a while and watched 135 action flicks before making this movie. Nice excuse!
  • Cate Blanchett appears in this movie -- very briefly -- wearing a surgical mask *and* uncredited. Weird why they took her then!

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