‘Hot Fuzz’ movie review: Edgar Wright’s near-perfect horror send-up

A hilarious and highly entertaining follow-up to Shaun of the Dead, action-comedy Hot Fuzz re-teams writer-director Edgar Wright with writer-star Simon Pegg and very nearly tops its predecessor.

Simultaneously a perfect send-up and loving parody of buddy-cop action films like Bad Boys II and Point Break (both of which are prominently featured), pic hits all the right notes right up to the action-filled climax.

Cast is superb, especially Pegg as our wooden hero; he and director Wright also deserve a lot of credit for their script, which is right on target. Keep an eye out for numerous cameos (my favorite: Cate Blanchett) throughout.

Pegg is Sergeant Nicholas Angel, who is taken off the city beat because he´s ‘too good´ and assigned to the peaceful village of Sandford. Here he meets new partner Danny (Nick Frost), and his father, Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent), who´s in charge of the local police force.

Things seem too peaceful at first, with Danny longing for action and the duo´s biggest case involving a missing swan. But ghastly murder after ghastly murder (with some grandiose, over-the-top bloodletting) soon reveals there´s something rotten in Sandford.

Despite the local´s claim that the beheadings, impalements, and stabbings are ‘just accidents´, Nicholas and Danny begin an investigation, with an eye on supermarket tycoon Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton).

To some, the build-up may seem a bit slow, but things are carefully metered out with delicious wit and laugh-out-loud moments, punctuated by the inventive deaths; when things really get going by the end, however, they don´t let up for a second.

And yet, the enigmatic, high-octane climax, despite the excitement, is where the film almost lost me; the bloodless gunplay pays appropriate homage to the John Woo action school but pales in comparison to the earlier bloodletting, resulting in a less-than-perfectly-satisfying conclusion.

Just shy of a comedic masterpiece but wonderfully entertaining nevertheless.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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