Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Hot Fuzz - Review by Emma J. Lennox

Director: Edgar Wright
Screenwriter: Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg
Running Time: 121 mins
Certificate: 15
Released: Now

Recently it's been impossible to see a comedy without that dirty little word 'romantic' being crowbarred into the plot. Comedy is a notoriously difficult genre to pitch and if the humour fails it's good to add a little slap and tickle between the slap stick. Refreshingly Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz is just 'a comedy.' Their former collaboration, Shaun of the Dead, initially perplexed cinema goers by being a British comedy which didn't star Hugh Grant, and which was funny. This time they've teamed up for a parody on American, action cop movies but set on a Somerset village scale. Pegg is the stern faced police officer who is shipped off to sleepy Sanford for being so good he embarrasses the London police force. In the village Pegg finds a cast of familiar faces, from comedians including Bill Bailey and Adam Buxton to proper acting types Jim Broadbent and Paddy Considine. It seems everyone wants to be part of this production, and this gives it an expectation slightly higher than what is achieved.

A strange mix of Miss Marple mystery and lethal weapon tactics, Hot Fuzz is an enjoyable watch. They continually throw up clich├ęs and blast them out of the air, but it pales in comparison to Shaun of the Dead. The characters are less engaging and there are fewer one liner's to grab the viewer's attention (to mention one now would just spoil it.) Wright deploys an economic editing style honed to ridiculous levels of slickness, which worked better on small screen Spaced than it does here. However it is all just an elaborate set up for the gore fest of a conclusion which turns the idyllic village into a theatre of blood and bullets.

It's a good comedy for those bored by the Richard Curtis school of sap.

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