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5Q Movie Review: Hot Fuzz - Cultureshark [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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5Q Movie Review: Hot Fuzz [May. 7th, 2007|11:21 pm]




Q: Hot Fuzz is from the same team that brought us Shaun of the Dead. It can't possibly be as good, can it?
A: Uh, no, it can't. But Hot Fuzz is plenty good in its own right, and while it is flawed, it may well become the kind of enduring cult classic that holds up to repeated viewings. If you liked Shaun of the Dead, you'll get your money's worth here.

Q: So is this a comedy? An action flick? A sendup? A loving tribute?
A: Stop! You're both right! This buddy cop movie is filled with laughs, and it does poke fun at the conventions of flicks it refers to, like Bad Boys. But, like in their zombie comedy, they never degenerate into an all-out spoof, and in fact it's clear they revere the source material. In fact, they don't feel superior to dumb action movies. They want to become a dumb action movie.

Unfortunately, they succeed all too well in that regard. Hot Fuzz is about 20 minutes too long, and that's mainly because it really does become what it is joking about at some point. There are false endings, ridiculous amounts of violence, and an excessive amount of hyperactive editing. Excess really sums it up, actually.

Q: Wait a minute, there is a plot?
A: Oh, yeah. This is not a loosey-goosey totally zany improv fest, but an actual movie. There is a real story, with character development and all. The heart that is invested in the screenplay really pays off, as you laugh but you also truly care about the people you're watching. As for the mystery, the joy is not in the Who Done It of the How Done It, but the Why Done It, which is hilariously satisfying.

Q: Is it just me, or is there an outstanding supporting cast here?
A: There is, indeed. At one point, it really seemed possible that every single cool actor of British descent would show up for at least a cameo. That isn't the case--Ricky Gervais, for one, is absent--but there are plenty of other rewards here. I don't want to give them all away, but there are faces familiar from movies, faces familiar from British TV, and faces familiar from Shaun of the Dead. And in a key role as a possible villain, Timothy Dalton is a lot of fun. Timothy Dalton is a lot of fun! People didn't even say that when he was James Freakin' Bond.

Q: Will you be looking forward to more from these guys, or are they starting to repeat themselves?
A: I will absolutely look forward to each film these guys want to give us, and I will pay my ticket and see it in the theater. This one didn't have as many high points as Shaun of the Dead, but it was consistently funny, and it worked in its own way. Critically, the chemistry between co-stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is equally strong this time out, and though there are similarities with their previous characters, these two new roles are distinctive. I never felt they were repeating themselves.