After the awful waste of potential of Blood Creek, into the player Hot Fuzz did go!! And my goodness what a change and relief as here was movie of real quality! Well as I write this I will tell you all my several regular readers that you are reading the blog of a real dickhead! It is true my fellow bloggers!..because I now remember why I saw neither Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz on the silver screen.
For some reason when Simon Pegg hit the big screen I found his 'pillock' routine unamusing. Well what I took to be his pillockness was actually my ignornce because after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz my opinion has taken a drastic turn. Sure he still has played the wally in Run Fatboy run and How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People, but his Blood and Icecream trilogy has shown me he isn't the typecast actor I thought he was.
Shaun of the Dead is a brilliant homage to the zombie genre. It is so good it is the best of the lot in my opinion. It is an extremely intelligent movie lurking behind behind a comedic exterior. Read my review as I explain further this observation.
Hot Fuzz is like Shaun in being a homage to a genre, namely cop movies. Pegg in this shows another side to his acting ability, for throughout he plays a humourless, highly strung Bobby, who takes his job way too seriously. The idiot routine is gone and I saw Pegg in a somewhat different light. After watching Fuzz I will say it isn't as good as Shaun. It tries to have a serious undertone to it but it doesn't quite come off as Shaun's did. It is a homage alone and never quite breaks free of it.
But the news isn't all bad as Fuzz is still a really good movie and lots of fun. I love how it takes the piss but it never denegrates into mindless mockery. It is humour of a an exceptional kind where all cop movies are 'sent up' but not in a derogatory fashion. It is easier to bag and ridicule in comedy but to do the opposite is an entirely different skill. Fuzz achieves it brilliantly. It also more a comedy than Shaun was as I found more laugh out moments than Shaun provided. My particular favorite was Pegg taking a 'short cut' by jumping a series of fences and doing a spectacular twist on the last one.
One thing that I noticed, and really like about English made films, is the quiet understatedness of things. The violenece is there with the consumate amount of bloodshed but it isn't as graphic as an American film would be. The shears in the throat is an example. There is blood spurting everywhere etc, but it isn't over the top, which often leaves a lingering feeling of it being unneccessary. All the blood and guts scenes are like this. They show enough without grinding your face in it . This is one of the quiet mesages here as it basically says you can blood and guts but there can be line that doesn't have to crossed in showing it.
As I watched each murder it reminded of watching Peter Jackson's Bad Taste way back in 1989. The imagery is very similar in being graphic but extremely humourous with it. The church masonary on the head is classic Bad Taste! And then there are the gun fights! Of course they are over the top and completely out of touch with reality, but by being so mirror the cop movies it is parodying. The shootout in the supermarket is a classic example. The two butcthers are surrounded and throwing an endless supply of knifes, and the cops are hurling back an endless supply of bullets. But hey!...no-one is being hit or killed. All very tounge in cheek as it gives alot of cop movies a nudge and a wink. All great stuff and hilarious as you recognise all the cop film you have watched over the years, and groaned at some of the more unrealistic and absurd ( but of course entertaining ) scenes.
The cast is absolutely stella and is in itself something of a quiet but humourous dig. We have both James Bond ( who impales himself on a church spire ), and The Equalizer, as well as a raft of other high profile English actors. This cast lifts this film from just being ordinary into something memorable and to be taken seriously even with its tone of comedy.
This is what I call 'intelligent' humour. Anyone with half a brain and has watched a movie or two in their life will 'get' Hot Fuzz. I loved it and laughed as much at myself as at the movie. At myself because I've sat and watched Dirty Harry and co blow away half the scum of the world and walk away without a scratch. And this is the undertone of Hot Fuzz as it quietly unglamorises the Hollywood stereotype of life as a copper, but it never patronises or downgrades the genre. Instead it pays a subtle homage to a genre that has provided the world with some great characters, movies, and entertaiment. After this would you really wish to live in a world without Clint Eastwood staring down the barrel of his canon of a .44 Magnum and asking 'Do ya feel lucky punk'.
This is ultimately what Hot Fuzz is all about and is in itself a good cop movie and a great addition to the genre. Great fun, and in itself not too shabby an addition to the wealth of good cop movies we can grace our screens with. My only regret is I turned down the chance to see it on the big screen! Like I said, what a dickhead!!