Classic Intel: Hot Fuzz - DVD Review

'the kills are fun and well conceived but the perpetrator is a lazy spoilsport'

If you'd have asked me about it a week ago and caught me on the right day, time and phase of the moon, I might very well have attempted to argue that Hot Fuzz is actually better than Shaun Of The Dead, Edgar Wright's first film in what has come to be called The Blood And Ice Cream Trilogy. Sadly, thanks to a repeat viewing, I'm probably never going to attempt to argue that ever again.

It's not that overnight, Hot Fuzz has become a terrible film, it's just that, on repeat viewing, its problems are more apparent. The end - overlong and uninteresting - doesn't mesh with the under-played and nuanced start, for example. Even though it's parodying action films, it doesn't escape all of the problems with them and the action itself isn't that well directed. If any of the previous elements are an on-purpose nod to the failings of the genre then that's fine, but doing things wrong on purpose doesn't necessarily make them right.

What's still great about it is the barely-concealed fear of the weird goings on in all of the little villages dotted around England. They're alien and slightly frightening and it seems as though no-one on the planet could have ever discovered them all. They have things like 'fĂȘtes' and church fund-raisers, where people called Mildred reveal hitherto unseen skills for basket-weaving and cross-stitch, sometimes at the same time. Nicholas Angel's (Simon Pegg) bungled entry to this world comes about because he is 'too good', too much of a hard worker, for the City, ensuring everyone - whether city or village dweller - gets a good hard dose of parodic criticism.

That the first two thirds of ludicrously well-conceived entertainment are let down by the third is a shame but so is Wright's decision to have the villain as a masked-man in Scream-esque black. The touchstones of the film - most literally Point Break and Bad Boys II - never had this sort of horror trope in them and even the wider references - from Chinatown to Karate Kid - didn't need this sort of storytelling conceit to function. The kills are fun and well conceived but the perpetrator is a lazy spoilsport, the logical flipside of which would have been to have Will Smith wandering in to Shaun Of The Dead in order to dispatch all the zombies.

Look further...

'the movie asks what would happen if you asked Michael Bay to make a balls-to-the-wall action movie in a small English village' - The M0vie Blog

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