A review of “Hot Fuzz” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ***

Rating: R for graphic images and language

Run Time: 2 hours, 1 minutes

 

 

Last year’s smash British hit finally lands on our shores with a resounding laugh and a half.

London top cop Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is so good he’s making the rest of the force look bad. To cool off the heat Angel’s superior officer re-assigns the hardcore over-achiever to the sleepy village of Sandford in the beautiful West Country.

It’s a disastrous fit from the get-go. Sergeant Angel’s on full testosterone tilt and busting everyone from the underage drinkers at the local pub to tipsy dog-walkers.

Much to the dismay of amiable Police Chief Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent) who takes great pride in his Stepford-on-the-Green, where Neighborhood Watch and Saxon the police dog are all that’s required to maintain the status quo.

But Sandford’s rustic aesthetic masks a deeper secret. When a series of grisly murders rocks the village’s peaceful aura its nothing short of music to Angel’s ears as well as to his bumbling partner Danny (Nick Frost), who dreams of big city crime and car-chases “French Connection” style.

Seems Angel has hit criminal pay-dirt and someone is going down!

Pegg and collaborator Edgar Wright of “Shaun of the Dead” fame have parlayed their own twisted brand of comedy into yet another engaging comedy, doing for the action film what “Shaun” did for the zombie genre.

Their intrepid hero hits all the right comic notes – bad-ass on the job but tenderly attending to his Japanese Peace Lily (whilst real romances go sour) and swigging cranberry juice straight-up at the local pub.

The climax is a chaotic misstep, lacking subtlety in its desire to emulate the seminal cop films of the 80’s and 90’s. Overall the humor is dry and the satire raw – a solid tonic for spring.