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Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright)

"By The Power Of Greyskull, This Is A Funny Movie!!!"

Nick Angel is the top cop in London, with arrests that are 400% higher then anyone else in his department. This doesn't look so good for everyone else, so the decision to ship him off to a small village is made. Angel arrives and finds it difficult to cope with the lack of real crime and the lack of policing in the village. Not until bodies begin to pile high does Nick suspect something sinister is up and about and he goes an action rampage trying to solve this mystery.

If the names Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright sound vaguely familiar to you, then you've probably seen the overly funny "Shaun of the Dead". After the release of that film, it became an instant cult classic that ran a thin line between comedy, romance and horror. Now these guys are at it again, this time in the buddy cop action genre. It's safe to say they've knocked it out of the park, yet again. It's refreshing seeing talent delve into more then one specific genre, which can only mean bigger and greater things in the future.

Hot Fuzz does for action films what Shaun of the Dead did for horror. Bring a unique comedic style and touch to a genre that has been done to death and somehow manage to pull off a great film. Just like Shaun, Fuzz has the same actors making an appearance, where some are in cameo roles like Bill Nighy as the Chief Inspector, right down to the two main stars themselves; Pegg and Frost, who are a perfect comedic pair together. Much to my surprise there were two more cameos, I don't want to give them away, but look closely at the Santa Clause who stabs Nick and his masked girlfriend.

From the beginning of the film you can tell that Wright is behind the camera. The quick action cuts of every little thing (from taking your jacket off to putting your keys in the door) is done in such a fast paced way and so often, that it has somehow become his 'trademark', much like Tarantino with his trunk shot or Scorsese using Gimme Shelter. In Shaun this was used a couple of times, but here it's in almost every scene, yet it somehow compliments the film. When you're homaging and parodying action films, everything should be exaggerated, tightly shot and quickly edited. Even the small things like grabbing the telephone is done in an 'action film' style.

For film buffs, it's neat to pick out the references to other films, that are literally scattered throughout Fuzz. If it's not blatant and in your face like Point Break or Straw Dogs, it's subtle and only spoken. "Forget it Nick, It's Sandford". Obvious reference to Chinatown. The reference range from genre to genre. Horror and action films are the main targets, and it's hard not to crack a smile when the final fight scene reminds you of Lethal Weapon.

The townsfolk all play their parts well, with James Bond himself, Dalton, standing out as the devilish supermarket boss. Seeing these townsfolk being so ordinary and timid make for the climax of this film even more enjoyable. The climax itself is the entire third act of the film, which is where most of the laughs are, which is unfortunate. Unlike Shaun, that kept the laughs consistent, Fuzz goes on and off. In the scenes where the laughter is off it tends to drag on a little. This hurts the film cause these scenes could have been cut, making the film shorter and having more of an impact on the viewer. After a slow start, and a off and on funny scenes for the body of the film, it takes something special in the final act to bring the movie into greatness. Hot Fuzz has this and more in it's gun blazing, car chasing, blood splattering, third act.

It's quite right to say that Wright and co. brought their horror specialties to Fuzz, as so many scenes seem like they could have been brought right out of a horror film. All of the deaths are bloody and jaw dropping; as in I did not expect it to be so graphic in this style of film. Fuzz has a hint of Shaun at every corner and of course every other buddy cop movie as well. It's horror aspect played well throughout the film, paying off in the end and of course making another reference to a well known horror film that has it's own cult following.

Pegg takes a drastic turn in this film, from playing a loser that's afraid of everything to a bad ass with impressive sharp shooting schools. With Frost playing the same type of buddy sidekick with a thick skull. This time though, Frost manages to pull off some kind of pity feeling for the character. You feel sorry for him, but you don't know why. Maybe because he looks up to Angel so many times and acts like a big gorilla.

In the end, Hot Fuzz indeed delivers the laughs and the action, which is all saved for the third act. It doesn't reach the greatness of Shaun, but it manages to separate itself from it and for that I can recommend it. It will drag on for some, but others will have a fun time picking out all the references to other films. Enjoy the film for what it is, a funny look on the action genre. With more then enough people and car flying in the air in slow motion from 4 or 5 different angles to please Bay fans. Fuzz is definitely worth checking out.