Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hot Fuzz (Dr. Worm)

Ever wonder why comedies are so rarely sharply directed? Typically, comedy directors will just set up a single camera and allow the comedy-supplying actors to prance around. There doesn't seem to be much of a reason for this, aside from laziness. "Let Will Ferrell make his money," the directors shrug, "I'll just sit behind the camera and laugh."

Fortunately, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the minds behind Hot Fuzz and 2004's enjoyable Shaun of the Dead, buck this trend. Hot Fuzz, like Shaun of the Dead, is a comedy and a parody, but it also stands up without having to lean on either of those crutches.

As Stormy Pinkness detailed, Hot Fuzz is about Nicholas Angel, London's top cop who gets transferred to somnolent Sandford to prevent him from making his colleagues look any worse. Pegg deserves special praise for his portrayal of Sgt. Angel, a fastidious rule-abider. Played by a lesser actor, he could come off seeming more than a bit persnickety. Pegg, however, makes sure that Angel's devotion to the rulebook comes from sincere concern for society, rather than a desire to be an overgrown safety patrol.

Getting back to the plot briefly, it goes on as Pinkness described: Angel teams with an inept cop named Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), and the two investigate a series of accidents which begin seeming more and more conspicuous. Eventually, ridiculousness ensues. The movie is a comedy, and, because it is funny, it succeeds. But it succeeds for more reasons than just this.

First, it's a perfect parody. Which is rare; parodies frequently simply lazily recreate some of the more obvious characteristics of the parodee (if you will). If you've ever seen Saturday Night Live, you know what I'm talking about. But Hot Fuzz clearly loves the subject matter it's poking fun at (just as Shaun of the Dead did), so the end result is that the movie is just as much an homage as it is a parody.

Furthermore, it's more than just a great comedy or a great parody; it's also a great movie in its own right. It features well-developed characters. It boasts a sharp, snappy screenplay. It contains original and effective cinematography. As simple as it sounds, the people involved in creating this movie clearly cared about making a really good movie. And, as a result, they made a really good movie.

There's not much not to like about this movie. It does get pretty ridiculous toward the end, so if you've got a mental ailment that causes you to have seizures if you see something unrealistic, maybe skip this one. Also, there's a bit more gore than you might expect, so if you've got a weak stomach, be prepared to close your eyes at certain points. Other than that, there's no reason not to see this movie. After all, it is a 14.

1 comment:

Wicked Little Critta said...

Hot Fuzz was definitely a success, and I'll agree with you that it was an exceptionally well-done comedy. And Bravo to Simon Pegg as well as the rest of the cast for making me laugh pretty darn hard.