A top metropolitan cop (Simon Pegg) is so good he’s embarrassing his colleagues. Sent out of harm’s way to a small market town in Gloucestershire, his hot-shot ways inevitably shake up the community. Soon he and a tubby local plod (Nick Frost) form an unlikely partnership, investigating a spate of what look like murders – but which the villagers call accidents.
As the grisly deaths pile up, cue screeching tyres, showdowns and a climactic shootout in a Somerfield supermarket. The makers’ hit film Shaun of the Dead sent up the zombie horror pic. And Hot Fuzz does the same for buddy-cop action thrillers, riffing everything from Lethal Weapon to John Woo’s slo-mo, two-handed gunplay. Bad Boys meets Point Break meets Midsomer Murders.
Better than parody, Hot Fuzz is infectiously quirky, grabbing you from the start. Smart dialogue and nifty editing yield an array of inventive sight gags and memorable lines. But it’s Pegg and especially the engaging Nick Frost who keep the attention - subtly sending up the ‘mismatched cops turn buddy-buddy’ formula.
At times, Fuzz overstretches itself. Gory moments more akin to Shaun of the Dead are out of place here. And action-junkies will only enjoy the showdown for its comedic, genre-riffs. More A-Team than Lethal Weapon – bullets fly but does anyone die? See it and find out.
Shaun of the Dead succeeded in being an effective horror pic while simultaneously spoofing the genre. Hot Fuzz doesn’t gel quite so well but scores higher on its characters and gung-ho bravado. A tad repetitive, and with one too many false endings, it nevertheless buzzes with enough originality to make this a funny and very entertaining film.