Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Watch this movie

Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite movies of the last few years, so I had to see the follow up Hot Fuzz. It succeeds for the same reasons that Shaun did. It pokes fun at a genre, in this case the buddy cop film, but does so in a loving, respectful manner. Further, it manages to be both funny and as exciting as any other action film. In other spoofs, like Scary Movie or Airplane, when the obvious jokes fall flat, there isn't much else to the film. You can forgive the weaker jokes of Hot Fuzz, of which there aren't many, because the film is so much richer than those that went before it.

The movies jokes work on a number of levels. The biggest is that it is a big city action film set in a quaint English village. Simon Pegg plays a cop so hot that the powers that be exile him for making everyone else on the Metropolitan police force look bad. His depiction of the super cop is hilarious and the satirical look at English country life is wonderful. Nick Frost, who played Pegg's buddy in Shaun, is wonderful as the comedic foil to the straight laced Pegg. Timothy Dalton is excellent as the oily local merchant who may have dark secrets. The movie makes excellent use of music, sometimes as a joke and sometimes to set the right theme or mood.

There are numerous other gags, some of which are so understated that you may well miss them. There are two cameos, one involving someone completely covered in crime scene gear and the other is a few seconds long. There is also a fairly complicated Iain (M) Banks joke, which references one of the more dramatic bits of The Wasp Factory. There action references aplenty and probably much more.

You'll be hard pressed to find a movie more fun than this one.

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