I’m rather late in reviewing this film, I’ll cheerfully admit, but in my defence it vanished from my local fleapit after a surprisingly brief time, though thankfully it re-appeared over the Bank Holiday weekend, giving me a chance to see it on the big screen. Just in time for Review Week here on m’blog.
And I’m glad I did; as you may well know, this film is from the same team as the romantic zombie comedy (‘romzomcom’) Shaun of the Dead, but is their spin on the buddy cop film, with an English angle.
Top policeman Nick Angel (Simon Pegg) is transferred from London to the sleepy West Country village of Sandford. However – and as you’d hope unless the film was going to feature 90 minutes of adrenaline-fuelled grass-keeping-off-reminder action – things are not what they seem.
Comparisons with the team’s previous film are inevitable, but I have to say that I think that Hot Fuzz is the better film; the plot’s stronger – and impressively twisty – and whilst there aren’t as many straight-out jokes (though there are a lot of good gags), the overall look of the film is more confident (check out those scene transitions – racing through events in a kind of visual bullet-point effect, for want of a better phrase), and the action sequences are very good, not least for being in such an unlikely setting.
Pegg carries the film very well, and his friend Nick Frost does well as the inevitable ill-matched partner, though the eye’s inevitably drawn to the rest of the cast, featuring as it does a host of well-known British actors: Timothy Dalton all but twirls his moustache, whilst Jim Broadbent, Edward Woodward, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan and Olivia Colman are just a few of the ‘ooh, look, it’s them’ moments in the film. Oh, and Bill Bailey. Twice. With a very silly way of telling him apart (oh, watch the film, you’ll see what I mean).
Overall, then, a very good film indeed, and whilst it veers into action territory towards the end, it’s got enough human interest and jokes (not to mention in-jokes) in it to stop it being a ‘boy film’, despite it paying homage to such classics as Point Break and Bad Boys 2. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen, and more than likely worth watching repeatedly at home, as I’m fairly sure there’ll be extra jokes to spot on re-viewing. Very much recommended.