Hot Fuzz - 2007
Hot Fuzz is the second installment of writer-director Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy.” Quick note; the reason why it’s called “The Cornetto Trilogy” is because the Cornetto ice cream cone is feature in all of them. They are also a different color in all of them representing the theme of the movie: red for zombies, blue for cops and green for aliens. Most of the cast from the first installment, Shaun of the Dead, carry over with the leads still being the comedy duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This time around, Wright decided to tackle the action genre, poking fun at all the tropes exploited in the 90’s actions movies he loves. The story centers around a London cop being forced to move to a quaint English village that turns out to be more dangerous than London.
Wright is one of the few directors working today that has a unique distinctive visual style. You can show an scene out of context to a movie buff and they will more than likely identify it as a Wright film. One of the elements that make a Wright film so unique is his fast-paced editing style. The way he sets up his shot transition is something that has always impressed me in all his films. Wright also uses this transition to pack in more jokes when other directors would just show a car or a train moving from place to place. The best example of this comes when Sergeant Angle is forced to move out of London. Wright could just show him getting on a train and arriving at this new location. Instead, he decided to use his editing skills to deliver some jokes and give the audience a sense as to how far from civilization his new location is going to be. Enjoy below.
Along with his editing, Wright’s writing ability is another aspect that distinguishes him from his peers. He loves to set up jokes and sequences with simple lines of dialogue that go unnoticed until a second watch. Nick Frost’s character is obsessed with 90’s action movies - Point Break and Bad Boys 2 just to name a few. During their first time patrolling the village, Frost asks Pegg a series of questions regarding action movie clichés, to see if he’s ever done them in real life. All the clichés mentioned by Frost will be done by his character by the end of the movie. Wright also loves to give his entire cast at least one moment in the sun to deliver a joke that will resonate with the audience.
Last paragraph regarding Wright, I promise. Along with having a great eye for comedy, he can put together great action set pieces. He showed his ability for action a little bit in the fight sequences of Shaun of the Dead, but he took it to another level in this movie. Here he has car chases, gun fights, hand-to-hand combat and explosions, all handled like a seasoned action director. My favorite sequence comes towards the end of the movie as Angel is fighting Skinner, played by the great Timothy Dalton. Their fight scene takes place in the model village they created just outside their village. This perfectly combines both genres, as the fighting is action packed and it looks hilarious to see two grown man fighting among tiny buildings making them look like a Godzilla movie.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are honestly one of my favorite comedic duos ever put to film. Their chemistry is comedic gold. In Shaun of the Dead, both characters are screw-ups in life that are wasting away together. This time around, Pegg plays a straight laced cop that does everything by the book, and Frost is just a well-meaning man-child. They create an incredible banter that gets better throughout the movie. You can tell they have a real relationship off screen, because the friendship they end up building in the movie feels genuine.
Another duo in the movie that almost steals the show from Pegg and Frost are the Andies. They are played by Rafe Spall and Paddy Considine. The resident village detectives that are both named Andy and are constantly butting heads with Pegg. They have multiple scenes that just had me laughing at the stupid things they say or just at how they decide to leave the frame. The funniest bit comes from Pegg trying to point out that one of them has a foam mustache.
Hot Fuzz is one of the best satirical comedies of all time. One of the few that can easily belong in the genre they are trying to make fun of, just like Shaun of the Dead belongs in the zombie genre. Comedies nowadays are mainly actors improvising with each other hoping something will come out of it. Wright puts in time and effort to each frame of his movies making it a cinematic experience as well as a hilarious experience. Wright’s editing skills are why I love movies.
Hot Fuzz is currently streaming on Netflix. Yarp… Yarp.
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