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Hot Fuzz Review

To look at the impact Hot Fuzz has had on the comedy genre and how it blends with other popular strands of filmmaking, we must first look at the previous offerings. Comedy films were certainly in a rut, especially in the adult market. With American Pie dominating the American markets and wading its way through the channel, the home-grown products of the United Kingdom were, well, less than stellar. No disrespect to American Dreamz or Johnny English, but it was not exactly the cream of the crop. Still, there seems to have been some splash of thought coming from Johnny English, for it, and subsequently Hot Fuzz, realised that the blurring of action and comedy went hand in hand particularly well. 

Misery loves comedy, but action loves it more. Hot Fuzz is a strong amalgamation of the two. Much of it comes down to the editing and direction of Edgar Wright. His knowledge of pop culture from the previous generation is incredible, and he riffs on these moments well. While his inspiration lies in Point Break and the other multitude of action films, his wish to represent the U.K. police force in a different vein works exceptionally well. They are bumbling on the surface, but conniving and power-hungry below. Either efficient and plotting, or horribly simplistic and foolish. Much of this is produced and shown with rapid hilarity, and each of these characters in the sleepy village of Sandford are interesting portrayals of reality. 

There is a certain Little Englander style to the inhabitants, and that is where the comedy flows from. Everyone knows everyone, they are fine in their bubble. Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) accidentally pops this bubble, bringing his tough, no-nonsense approach to the law to a quiet, Village of the Year winner presents the rift between modernity and traditionalism. At its core, though, Hot Fuzz has such hilarious moments within it. It glosses over these motives of ignorance and presents something far greater than could be expected for a comedy. While its story of backstabbing, housing estates and solicitors is built up nicely, the beauty of Hot Fuzz is its effective deployment of smoke and mirrors. None of it matters, and the switch Wright makes in presenting such detail and connected stories, intentionally changing it to align to criticisms of the action genre, is a rather impressive con.  

With such exceptional writing, Hot Fuzz coasts to perfection with relative ease. It has the buoyancy of its ensemble cast, who chew through the tougher moments and add their own blend of natural charm and charisma. It is a film that, really, has little plot until its first, establishing half-hour is complete. A film that is without flaw, for its writing is dependable, funny, and crucially rewatchable. Everything one could possibly hope for in a feverishly good, quotably exceptional script. Chemistry oozes through all of these actors, and it flows through with such a natural adaptability that it is hard to single out one defining moment. Perhaps it is worth a go, though, to understand how exceptional the commentary and humour is.  

Hot Fuzz manages to convey a juvenile taste alongside its long-running palate of deeply foreshadowing utterances. For every sight gag and pop at the cultural norms, there is an incredible joke relying on throwaway lines from earlier days. All of it blends together so perfectly well, and the feature on the whole feels rewarding and manages to justify its more cautious moments with large, bombastic bouts of action, violence and hilarity. It is the classic that will never stop steaming ahead as a reliable piece of brilliance, a definitive classic of the genre and the benchmark filmmakers should aim for when eliciting laughs and violence in equal parts.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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