In 2004, the majority of the world were introduced to a new comedic pairing in Simon Pegg and Nicholas Frost. Yes, yes, I know that they were already known in England. Anyways, Shaun Of The Dead was one of the funniest horror comedies I had seen in a long time. So when I heard that a new movie was coming out starring these two actors, I knew I was going to go see it. So when it finally hit theaters, a bunch of us headed up to the purple monster (nickname for a local Regal theater) and proceeded to laugh and enjoy the hilarity that is today’s movie, Hot Fuzz.
The plot: Police Constable Nicholas Angel is one of the most decorated members of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. However, due to his making the rest of the force look bad, Angel’s superiors promote him to Sergeant and transfer him to the country village of Sanford. On his first night in town, Sergeant Angel manages to arrest several kids for underage drinking as well as one man for attempting to drive while drunk. However, when he shows up for work the next day, he discovers that the drunk driver is actually his new partner, PC Danny Butterman. After getting a tour of the precinct and meeting the rest of the squad, Angel is introduced to the N.W.A. (Neighborhood Watch Association), a group of townspeople who are trying to do their best to win the “Village Of The Year” award. Angel is having a hard time adjusting to the seemingly quiet life in the village when suddenly, two people are killed under suspicious circumstances. Everyone seems to think it was a traffic accident but Angel has his doubts, those doubts are increased when a third person is killed. While attending the local church’s fundraiser, Angel is approached by Tim Messenger, the editor for the local paper. who says he has information about the murders. But before he can pass on that information, he is killed by a piece of debris from the church roof. Angel convinces Chief Inspector Butterman (Danny’s dad) that this is killing is not an accident, so Inspector Butterman orders the rest of the team to investigate, but they don’t discover anything strange. Angel begins to despair in convincing anyone that these killings were murders, but after witnessing a cloaked figure kill the local flower shop owner, he accuses the local shop owner, Simon Skinner, of being the killer but his alibi checks out. Angel then theorizes that there is more than one killer but Inspector Butterman says that he is overworked and sends him home. When he gets back to his room, Angel is attacked by a cloaked figure, who is revealed to be the bagboy Michael. Angel manages to knock out Michael and then, via Michael’s radio, learn where Skinner is located and heads there. At the nearby castle, he finds out that all of the members of the N.W.A. are part of a murderous league, led by Inspector Butterman, whose goal is to keep the pristine image of their village and killing anyone that will tarnish it’s reputation. As Angel tries to escape from the group, he discovers the bodies of several people, some of them being the kids he arrested his first night in town, as well as his predecessor. Angel is surrounded by the N.W.A. when he is suddenly stabbed by Danny, and collapses to the ground. However, Danny had faked stabbing Angel in order to get him out of there and, on the outskirts of town, Danny pleads with Angel to go back to London. Angel starts to leave but, after stopping at a gas station, he changes his mind and heads back. After surprising a member of the N.W.A. on the outskirts of town, Angel heads back to the police station and grabs all of the guns from the evidence room to arm himself with. He then heads into town and ends up in a gunfight with several members of the N.W.A., but Danny decides to help Angel in his fight. When the rest of the police arrive, Angel and Danny are able to convince them to help them stop Butterman and the N.W.A. They head to the shop and manage to capture Skinner’s underlings, but Skinner and Butterman escape with Angel and Danny in pursuit. They finally manage to capture the two men when a helicopter arrives, containing Angel’s former superiors from London. Saying that things have gone wrong since he left, they try to convince Angel to come back with them but Angel declines, saying that he likes where he is. Back at the police station, Angel is confronted by Tom Weaver, the head of the N.W.A., but after Danny takes a shotgun blast meant for him, Angel attacks Weaver, accidentally knocking him into a confiscated mine, blowing up the station house. One year later, Angel has been made the new Inspector and a recovered Danny, now a Sergeant, is still his partner as the two help keep the village safe.
Hot Fuzz was very well received by the critics, earning a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus among the critics is that the movie is “a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody of the buddy cop movie.” The critics also praised the pairing of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, citing the time they have spent together has made them very comfortable working with each other. The audience loved seeing it as made over $80 million dollars off of a $12 million dollar budget.
In recent years, a movie starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is a sure bet to get some laughs out of me, and this movie is no exception. The acting was great, with an equal mixture of witty banner and insane action. The interchange between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost made for a lot of funny moments, but they didn’t hog the spotlight as several other cast members had their chance to shine. The plot was good and I felt very well written. The action scenes were, at times, over-the-top but very entertaining. Many of them were also very clear homages to the movies that inspired the director when he made this movie, such as Point Break & Bad Boys II. A fun movie that just about anyone will enjoy.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5