Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hot Fuzz (2007)

I was going to champion Edgar Wright, director/co-writer of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, as one of cinema's sharpest and most promising new satirists when a simple truth occurred to me: He's not a satirist. True, his films mine laughs from the conventions of genre cinema by placing them in the context of a humble workaday world. Yet, there's no mockery or condescension, not even of the gentle good-natured kind -- Wright genuinely loves the types of films he takes on. He kids because he loves, and because he loves he sees to it that he and his cohorts (including the invaluably funny Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) craft the best possible comic burlesques he can, ones that make sport of their chosen genres even as they inhabit them comfortably. This is probably why Shaun was such an effective zombie film despite the slacker humor, and it's also why Hot Fuzz is able to smoothly transition into the kind of thunderous, rip-roaring action film it's ostensibly spoofing. At this point, Pegg and Frost have such an easy, relaxed chemistry that it shines through even when they're playing characters worlds apart from one another (as they are in the first act here), and it's their gradual meeting-of-worlds that provides much of the best humor (Frost's incessant questions, Pegg finally loosening up and drinking a bit); I'd be remiss, though, if I didn't mention the sterling contributions of the rest of the cast, with special attention to an agreeably jovial Jim Broadbent (sending up his own facilities with the agreeably jovial) and the snarling sardonicism of Paddy Considine. Then there's the climax, which is more exciting and better choreographed than most recent American action films you could care to name. Guns, laughs, explosions, unexpected gore and fun with potted plants: What more does a film really need, anyway?

Grade: B+


Blogger Paul C. said...

How about "a great big bushy beard!"?

6:14 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

The look on Broadbent's face when he says that is priceless.

2:36 PM  
Blogger James said...

I was really excited to see this; then I finally caught Shaun of the Dead. I didn't get the hype around it. The whole thing felt like a bad version of the drinks 6th graders make where they pour every soda from the fountain into the same cup.

Waiting till video for this one.

5:42 PM  

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