Though British, Hot Fuzz is part cheeky send-up of and part loving homage to the American action film. (And that’s not Sam Peckinpah or Don Siegel, mind you, but less “respectable” fare such as Bad Boys II and Point Break.) The impeccable straightman Simon Pegg stars as a London supercop who, because his diligent policing makes his fellow bobbies look bad, is reassigned to the English countryside beat, which the filmmakers use as an opportunity to play every Kinks song with “Village Green” in the title. (All two of them!)

Hilarity ensues, as do a series of gruesome murders, a halfhearted commentary on the dark underbelly of England’s superficially serene rural areas. But Hot Fuzz isn’t really concerned with politics so much as it is with hilarity, and as with the filmmakers’ previous outing, Shaun of the Dead, the film’s ample amount of laughs stem, in equal measure, from the genre spoofing as well as from the natural comic acumen (and comic-foil rapport) of the leads, Pegg and Nick Frost. They’re the best duo working in comedic films today, in that old-fashioned funnymen sort of way, carrying on in the rich tradition of Abbott & Costello or Randall & Klugman. (Hot Fuzz also acknowledges its place in the continuum of English humor by casting as Pegg’s superiors, in order of rank from lowest to highest, Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan and Bill Nighy.)

Hot Fuzz‘s problem, though, is that it gets a bit carried away with its genre-indulgence, pushing the two hour mark to to cram as many extended shoot-ups and car chases as possible into its second half. Still, the leads’ gifts for comic delivery and the filmmakers’ deeply felt appreciation of the genre keep it compelling enough, if a bit trivial, through to the end.

Grade: B

Release Date: November 27, 2007
Rated: R
Running Time: 121 minutes
Number of Discs: 3
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Timothy Dalton
Director: Edgar Wright
Studio: Universal Studios

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