Thursday, August 6, 2015

MR Hot Fuzz

Possibly the greatest action film ever made.

When the heat is on, you gotta call the fuzz!

More reviews from Edgar Wright and his Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy below!

Movie: Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz
Directed by Edgar Wright
Release date 2007
Genre Comedy/Buddy cop/Action film
Country United Kingdom

My, my. Here Come the Fuzz!!

Following the huge success with his debut film Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright reunited with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for what would become their second installment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy.

It took three years to finally come up with a good enough story, a long post-production to ensure it would be a worthy enough successor to Shaun and the correct timing to get the band back together for Hot Fuzz.

What is perhaps the best Edgar Wright film to date, and easily one of the finest action films in ages, to this very day.

Seriously though, this is this one of the best films ever made, or what?!

Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?

Hot Fuzz is a 2007 British "Buddy Cop" Action/Comedy film directed by Edgar Wright. It was written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg.

It's original premise can be traced by to the cult series Spaced. The now-classic "shoutout" episode which already saw Edgar Wright's same flair for quick cut over-the-top frantic action (only, back then the characters were only pointing fingers and not using actual guns..).

This film was part of a series of films Edgar Wright had in mind since working on Space. Takling different genres he was able to make some allusions to on his show. The series would be known as the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy, aka Edgar Wright's "Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy". The title being to attributed to each film's allusion to a different Cornetto ice cream flavor. The films are not your traditional "sequels" in the Hollywood sense of the term, rather they're simply thematically linked and each feature completely different characters and situations (well, most of the same cast, but you get the idea). Three films unique, to form one of the most perfect film trilogies ever made, in my eyes. Each taking on different genres, but all about young-ysh adults having to grow up and find their place as adults. Having to let go, and all that.

If the gory Shaun of The Dead was linked to the color red, Hot Fuzz' was assigned blue as a reference to the police and action films. Like I said, the film is a take on the vintage buddy cop action movie genre, mixed with Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's signature comedy. Like its predecessor, the film sees our trio of collaborators return alongside several familiar faces from the TV series Spaced. Basically the best comedy actors to come of the UK nowadays.

This time Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play two cops, I mean two police officers trying to make sense of a strange series of murders in a small English village...

What was it like bein' stabbed?

Our story follows Police Constable Nicholas Angel. You see, Angel used to be a big shot in the city. Which was getting on the nerves of all his jealous colleagues. So they got him transferred to the small town of Sandford, Gloucestershire.

At first Angel was going crazy in Sandford. There's no crimes to speak of to solve. So he starts arresting anyone for anything. Sandford's been declared "Village of the Year" several years in a row. In fact the town's getting prepared for the annual celebration. But he soon finds a few cracks here and there beneath this perfect picture. Following one guy with a ton of unlicensed firearms, he makes his first break, which all the local cops aren't used to. Sure, he wasn't able to capture this escaped swan just yet, but just you wait!

He was assigned this partner, Danny Butterman, the son of town chief Inspector Frank Butterman. And just like in most buddy cop comedies the two don't exactly get along at first. Well, it's mostly Angel who's tired of Danny's eternal admiration for our big shot hero.

But things are too calm. Way too quiet. A few "accidents" happen around town. Could there be a mysterious serial killer on the loose? It was murder! Angel is able to follow a mysterious cloaked figure running from the crime.

Danny keeps annoying Angel. He loves action films and buddy cop comedies.

They follow some clues right up to the one and only Simon Skinner (a fantastically fun Timothy Dalton), a big influential guy in this town. But the guy always seem to have an alibi, even if all clues seem to point right up to him. But once Angel is able to catch the killer red handed, it turns out an entire group was behind all these murders. The entire town of Sandford! He can't arrest all these residents by himself. It seems they've been doing this for ages, that's the only way they've been able to win "Village of the Year" for years. Inspector Butterman is in fact the leader of the group!

Our sergeant Angel is forced to escape. Danny is able to trick them out and get Angel out of town. But this is far from over. He comes up with one attempt to rescue the few innocent people in town. He is joined by the rest of the deputies, they get all the confiscated weapons out of the armory and prepare to take arm for the final showdown!

In the end, they give one final chase to Skinner who runs off, running over this miniature-scale model of the town in one of the most brilliant homages done on film.

After all this, Angel refuses to return to the London force and decides to remain there with his newfound friends, in charge of the Sandford Police.

Have you ever fired a gun whilst in a high speed pursuit?

Hot Fuzz was mostly based around one of Edgar Wright's early short films, the 1993 short Dead Right.

The movie starts so simple. Then things get action-packed pretty quick. the film has a great fast pacing. In my eyes this is easily the best movie of the whole Cornetto Trilogy. Riff with action tropes playing with. It's a pretty classic story, this super cop transfered to a small town that is only looking for conspiracies everywhere which turn out actually true. Trying to find a logical explanations for all these "accidents" as impossible as that would be. Which finally set up the fantastic shout-out at the end.

Wright wanted to make Hot Fuzz like a proper big American-style cop movie. In Europe there's no such big tradition of big dumb action cop movies. This was the occasion to make their own take on it, a tribute to the genre and playfully mock the typical tropes of the genres.

The film itself makes a lot of references to the likes of Lethal Weapon, Point Break or Dirty Harry.

Is it true that there is a place in a man's head that, if you shoot it, it will blow up?

Hot Fuzz is one of those films that get better each time you rewatch it.

It easily a masterpiece. One of the best action films ever made, I would even say. No kidding!

While at the time of its release most people still had a slight preference for the more obvious Shaun of the Dead, I really think Hot Fuzz is the better film of the two. This little buddy cop parody is no doubt the more rewatchable film at the end of day. If Shaun of the Dead was Dawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is Bad Boys II.

It subverts your expectations. It plays with several fake-outs through the film. But it does not just spoof the genre, there's a real heart, a real mystery to solve in the film. And it's really fun to see Angel and Danny trying to find it. Looking for the most plausible killer who's really obvious from the start. But there's more to Sandford than meets the eye. There are a lot of red herring. And in the end it turns out the entire town's been on it! The whole town is the villain!

And rewatching the film doesn't ruin the twist. This is one of those well-made clever films where knowing the twist makes seeing this film again an entirely different experience. People haven't been killed over petty disputes but for no real reason at all. They were just little annoyance for this perfect creepy little town.

That's why it's a masterpiece. The film is really well-thought. Wright and Pegg wrote a very smart script. With ton of gags. Fantastic dialogues. A lot of set-ups for future jokes or call-backs to earlier scenes. The movie gets more self referential the more you rewatch it. There's lots of foreshadowing. Subverting jokes, visuals gags, great attention to the details.

And I just love the way they solve everything, when Angel has an epiphany. When he recalls an earlier dialogue ("finding them swans", there's just one swan, really), and realizes there's not one killer, but several of them while buying Cornettos.

No I have not ever fired my gun up in the air and gone 'ahhh'!

The film has fantastic visual humor. It goes full on Michael Bay parody at times. With the camera spinning around our heroes for the final showdown, extreme slow mo as they leap through the air, expecting big explosions as per action film tradition, and there's even a final shot pulled back for an helicopter flying above them. But unlike M. Bay's movies, it doesn't succumb to extreme frantic editing.. that is, except for a fun little parody playing for laughs with quick cuts for one single motion at one points (Wright made about eight different camera angles for something silly!), paying tribute to dumb action films and proud to do one better.

The film has a perfect direction, a fantastic cast and a really tight plot. Nick Frost plays this little town cop so well, always asking his role model and super cop Nicholas Angel all these annoying questions. He finally rubs off Angel through the story. And Timothy Dalton is so hilarious always chewing up the scenery in perhaps one of his best roles!

It includes a lot of random funny cameos like Wright's regular Martin Freeman as this sergeant in the beginning of the film, an uncredited Peter Jackson as the angry Santa in the flashback montage and Cate Blanchett as well as Angel's ex!

It's such a fun clever film. Paying homage to hundreds of classic action films, directly through the plot or the various shots they used. Mimicking cult classic scenes from the likes of Bad Boys to all those other films I mentioned above including a fantastic recreation of Point Break's most famous iconic scene. Also the overall plot shares some structure with the classic film The Wicker Man, in which a small town had the same type of conspiracy running.

And then you have other references to what would be the Cornetto trilogy. Such as the hilarious return of the jumping garden fences-running joke, possibly my favorite take on it in the series. They even keep buying ice cream cones several times through the film.

The movie ends in not one one but two epilogues. Featuring Edgar Wright's usual "one year later" time skip at the end to give the fans a proper send off (and avoid possible direct sequels).

Finally the music is not in rest, the film has a fantastic score courtesy from British composer David Arnold (who mostly composed for the James Bond film series from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s), aided by several pretty fun cult pop songs. Edgar Wright used several great 60s and 70s songs, vintage British rock groups like The Kinks, The Sweet, The Troggs, Arthur Brown, Cloud 69, Cozy Powell or also Dire Straits. A perfect soundtrack for the perfect action film.

Overall, Hot Fuzz is miles better than the already great Shaun of the Dead, in my eyes. While the audience overseas tend to prefer the gore and gritty nature of Shaun more, Hot Fuzz is the much better film, no contest.

The film has a fantastic screenplay, tight dialogues with no wasted words, stunning special effects which are still pretty realistic thanks to being grounded and limited in use. And you find yourself with a timeless classic!

It's probably one of the most perfect modern films I've ever seen, highly rewatchable. A brilliant comedy and satire of your fairly typical Hollywood action films. Spoofing the genre with its car chases and explosions (or lack thereof at first), but it still works as a solid valid entry in the genre as well. A ton of references and allusions to the action genre, only transposed to the peaceful British countryside. With a fantastic film direction. Well written, clever and beautiful. The film has a great atmosphere and is quite intelligent. The best entry in the Cornetto trilogy.

A great honest take on a now-lost art in Hollywood, the buddy cop genre which is often parodied or deconstructed nowadays but rarely payed straight anymore. It might be a pretty on-point satire of the genre and a lovingly parody but it's also a great example in execution at the same time. With grat punchlines. A lot of presence. A perfect blend of comedy and homage of the genre. Many easter eggs. A ton of humor, inside jokes which some might escape you if you're not that familiar with the genre, just like Shaun did before. The same genuine spirit as Spaced, only booster by much better and higher production values, as such this comes obviously Highly Recommended to anyone that loves movies!

It not only has a great self-aware tone, but it also works as the best buddy cop film we've ever had in recent times.

I give it:
3 / 3 Films!

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