Three years after taking the zombie genre to task with the instant
classic Shaun of the Dead, the team of director Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost capture lightning in their mocking parody bottle again with Hot Fuzz.
A pitch-perfect send-up of over-the-top action films and buddy flicks alike, Hot Fuzz is packed with sharp wit and ridiculous laughs. The chemistry between the ultra-serious Nick Angel (Pegg) and the buffoonish Danny Butterman (Frost) utilizes the strengths of the actors even better than in Shaun of the Dead.
Angel is a London cop with an extraordinary arrest record and a dedication to the job that has rendered nearly all of his interpersonal relationships impotent. Compared to Angel's untiring work ethic, the rest of the London Police Department looks rather flat on its feet. So, Angel gets a promotion to sergeant — in the tiny, idyllic village of Sandford, courtesy of Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan, and Bill Nighy in cameos as police officials.
Sandford is seemingly perfect, but Angel is determined to find crime wherever it lurks and is appalled by the lax atmosphere at the local station, where Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent) heads up a motley crew of officers that includes his son Danny.
Angel reluctantly accepts Danny as his partner, and Danny is absolutely in awe of a cop who's seen actual action, equating it with a slew of terrible action films that Angel is completely unaware of.
When people start dying in the peaceful village, most of the police force (excuse me, police service) assumes a series of unfortunate accidents, but Angel is intent on finding the murderer, with a delightfully evil Timothy Dalton as a grocery store manager at the center of the investigation.
Hot Fuzz works so well because it doesn't get caught up in its own cleverness or parody — it takes itself very seriously while simultaneously mocking the conventions of the genre. The incredibly sharp script and massively entertaining action sequences make for a film with excellent re-watchability value.