Every other Edgar Wright contribution to society has been covered on Pop-Break.
Shaun of the Dead was talked about for Halloween almost two years ago. Spaced has been brought up by co-founder Bill Bodkin back in ’10. And I have covered all bases of Scott Pilgrim. But there’s been one glaring omission.
Hot Fuzz, Wright’s satire of the action movie genre, came out in 2007. The movie reunites Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, basically the best Hollywood duo ever. Pegg stars as Sergeant Nicolas Angel, a supreme officer of the London Metropolitan Police Department. He’s so well versed and skillful in his duties that he looks everyone else looks bad. He gets transferred to the town of Sanford, which is a crime-free city. The office is works at is full of carefree staff members, including Sergeant Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). Butterman spends his nights at a pub where Nicolas chooses to kick out underage drinkers, as he has nothing else better to do. However, as time progress, Nicolas and Danny start to bond, and they discuss the American action movies that Danny loves so much, which foreshadow moments later in the movie.
Suddenly, as if convenience and fate was all he needed, killings start springing up around the town. Nicolas has no prime suspects, no leads, thinking that these were planned executions. But nothing comes to be of strong evidence to him, so he returns to his daily work. However, once he hears a local talking about the killings, he is back in action, with Danny along for the ride. As Nicolas starts to piece together the puzzle, tension builds, and it all leads up to a spectacular shoot out in the town square.
The direction of Wright is all here again; the quick shots that involve extreme close ups, the “fence” gag, and the concluding battle that is just bad ass. Of course there are quotable lines aplenty, and the duo of Frost and Pegg continue to drive home the awesomeness.
If there’s any flaw to Hot Fuzz, it’s that it’s a little bit slow in the beginning. The opening is quite good as we get an overview of the character of Nicolas, but once he gets transferred, the movie is a slow burn. As the movie progresses Wright keeps it flowing with jokes, really good character moments, and the twist realization of who is behind the murders. Most of the comical bits are left to Frost, and as in Shaun of the Dead, he plays the side kick to Pegg’s man of action.
Most film buffs prefer Shaun to this one. I think I kind of agree, but there are times where I think Hot Fuzz is a better crafted movie. No matter the choice, the movies are very different (with the most obvious similarities being Wright’s direction and style), but they both share the factor that they are fantastic satires of the genres they emulate. Hot Fuzz is definitely less action and more murder mystery (sans for the epic conclusion), but with the Edgar Wright touch, which makes it all the more entertaining and fun.
Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are the first two movies in the “Blood and Ice Cream/Cornetto” trilogy. Each movie drops buckets of blood and uses gore, while at the same time references the ice cream treat known as Cornetto. These elements are minor in any other film, but Wright uses them as a loose tie between his films featuring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. The “trilogy” ends this week with The World’s End, which of course will feature the duo, this time going up against alien robots. I can’t wait to see it, as the formula seen with Wright’s previous work has always been a blast. Will he make lightning strike three times? We will have to wait and see; The World’s End invades this Friday, August 23rd.