In 2004, director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost teamed up to deliver one of the finest films of the year, Shaun Of The Dead, a incredible homage to the zombie genre. Now in 2007 the British boys finally make their return to the silver screen, this time paying homage to the action genre.
PC Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is a very good cop. He is so good he has a 400% arrest record and this starts to cause unrest at his police station so he is sent to the seemingly crime free village of Sandford. Angel is teamed up with local policeman Danny Butterman (Frost) who happens to be the chief inspector’s (Jim Broadbent) son; he also cares more about action films than his work. After a series of grim, so-called accidents occur, Angel becomes convinced there could be more to Sandford than meets the eye.
Since its release back in 2004, Shaun Of The Dead has become something of a cult phenomenon so it's not surprising how high the expectations are for Hot Fuzz; and yes, I was left a little disappointed.
However I can say that Hot Fuzz is very funny; the plentiful jokes come thick and fast, hitting the funny bone nearly every time. I am sure there are some sly nods thrown in throughout the picture that I didn’t notice first time out but the action homage certainly wasn’t what I hoped it would be.
There is only one big action scene, which doesn’t actually occur right until the film's climax and although the thrilling sequence is filled with bullets, slow-motion shots, one-liners, and a car and foot chase, for me it is just criminal to squeeze it all in for the last fifteen minutes.
I must say how much I enjoyed Pegg’s turn as the extremely dedicated cop. He brings a real seriousness to his character and slowly develops a more sensitive side as he bonds with his new partner. Frost excels once again scoring plenty of laughs and perfectly complements Pegg’s performance. The bond they develop is a very nice nod to classics Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys.
The supporting cast all have a ball with their small roles and there is an amazing British line-up on show, including former 007 himself Timothy Dalton, Shaun Of The Deader Bill Nighy, The Office’s Martin Freeman, the excellent Paddy Considine and there’s even room for Never Mind The Buzzcocks' Bill Bailey.
So overall I think it's fair to say that Hot Fuzz is great fun and a solid follow-up to Shaun Of The Dead, but it doesn’t quite capture its full potential.