a review by the Swan(!).
(curated by the Crow — a note is attached following our ratings.)
You’re probably wondering where I got the name “Swan(!)” from.
Well, it’s not a memorable quote, but it’s one I find one of the funniest to mention whenever I think of Hot Fuzz. The second instalment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (devised by Simon Pegg and writer/director Edgar Wright), this movie still holds up to date eleven years on and never fails to put a smile on my face.
So, as requested by the Crow, the Swan(!) decided to spend his Saturday (surprisingly not hungover) to try and coherently write some ramblings on the movie. This review will contain some moderate spoilers, so you have been warned.
Here Come The Fuzz
WARNING: This section contains MODERATE spoilers.
We first focus on the main character, Constable Nicholas
Angle Angel (Simon Pegg). He’s a very good officer. So good that it makes his superiors and colleagues look bad. To get rid of him, Angel’s superiors decide to promote him to Sergeant and whisk him away to a village called Sandford in Gloucestershire. Sandford is a village that is “crime free” and has been known to win many “Village of the Year” awards.
When Angel arrives at Sandford, he feels somewhat out of place. Everyone is either committing petty offences, stupid or just extremely over-friendly. Naturally, Angel tries to take this in his stride, but can’t seem to “switch off” whenever he seems something that isn’t law-abiding. Whether its under-age children drinking in a pub, people pissing in public or stealing some biscuits from the local supermarket, Angel refuses to take that shit lightly.
Angel is also frustrated with how his new colleagues approach their job. From his perspective, they are very lazy and complacent and whenever he tries to fulfil the requirements of his job, he is met with some disdain. Furthermore, Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent) is more than welcoming towards Angel, but to Angel’s frustration, he too is very relaxed towards the petty crimes occurring in Sandford.
Fortunately, Butterman’s son Constable Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) attempts to get on Angel’s level, but it’s not so easy to start with. A fan of the “buddy-cop” action movies, Angel finds Danny to be a bit dim-witted and naïve about what the job entails. To counteract this, Danny admires Angel for his exceptional skills and tries to get him to relax or in his own words “switch off”. The story arc of how Danny and Angel become friends is interesting and relatable. It’s a rocky friendship to start with, when Angel reluctantly decides to take Danny under his wing. Over the course of the movie, Angel can see that there’s potential in Danny to become a good police officer and what they go through together strengthens their friendship all the way to the end of the film.
But I digress. It’s not just the police force that gets on Angel’s nerves. He also encounters various members of the NWA (Neighbourhood Watch Alliance). These interesting people consist of Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton — my favourite Bond ever) who runs the local Safeway supermarket, Tom Weaver (Edward Woodward) who watches everything going in the village via CCTV, Joyce Cooper (Billie Whitelaw) who’s an overfriendly hotel reception and Dr Robin Thatcher (Stuart Wilson). Other weirdos include journalist Tim Messenger (Adam Buxton) who tends to spell everything wrong in his newspapers and Lurch (Rory McCann; a.k.a. “The Hound” from Game of Thrones).
After an amateur performance of Romeo and Juliet, the two lead actors are murdered by a Grim Reaper figure. Angel suspects that there’s something suspicious going on, but his colleagues and superior write off the crime as an “accident”. It doesn’t get any better as more people are murdered such as Tim Messenger, land developer and village piss-head George Merchant (Ron Cook) and florist Leslie Tiller (Anne Reid). With Danny’s help, Angel suspects that the murders are linked to a recent property deal and that Skinner must be the one “who dun-it.” But, with these sorts of movies (even though this is more of a comedy), things never seem to pan out the way we think. And as Angel finds out later, the motivations for the murders become a lot sillier, yet sadder at the same time.
There’s nothing bad to say about this movie. It never fails to cheer me up and has some of the most quotable shit in history. Gems such as “A GREAT BIG BUSHY BEARD!”, “The Greater Good” and “Crusty Jugglers!” It’s also nice to confirm that this movie is part of a trilogy. We get call-backs from the previous film Shaun of The Dead where Pegg’s character jumps over fences and that familiar jukebox sound appears somewhere in the movie. Even though the Cornetto references have the potential to get tiring, they’re done subtly well in this movie and again just confirms that the movie is part of a trilogy.
There are some very good performances in the movie. Apart from the chemistry between Pegg and Frost, the actors playing the NWA members do a fine job. Broadbent’s portrayal of Inspector Butterman makes me giggle from time to time and characters such as Joyce Cooper just tend to say some funny shit. Although, Dalton’s character tends to get over-dramatic and hammy towards the end. In a lot of ways, it works and Timothy Dalton nails it.
The actors who make up the Sandford police force are pretty good too. I particularly like the detectives (Rafe Spall and Paddy Considine), as their casual, lackadaisical attitude towards what they do is relatable, yet funny at the same time. As for the action sequences, well it IS a comedy-action movie, but they’re very entertaining and gives the movie the right balance of both genres.
Overall, Hot Fuzz is an entertaining movie. In fact, it’s the best movie out of the Cornetto Trilogy. Shaun of The Dead will always be a classic and The World’s End is okay. But, this movie just does it for me. Whenever there’s a movie with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, I know I’m in for a bloody good ride!
THE SWAN(!): 8/10
THE CROW: 8.5/10
THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 9.5/10
THE BROWN-NECKED RAVEN: TBD/10
Note: Since this movie is loved across the board by every member of the team, I would like to announce that — in the very-near future…
HOT FUZZ will return
to The Corvid Review
— Crow out
Here’s the official poster: