May 20th, 2007


Hot Fuzz

One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.
-Anton Chekhov

Nicholas Angel has an arrest record 400% higher than his colleagues in the London Police Service, which upsets his bosses, so he's transferred into a small town where his assignments include chasing escaped geese. From the minds that brought you Shaun of the Dead, a feel-good, buddy cop picture. With no zombies.

I finally got a chance to see this, and one one level, it's a parody of all action films (particularly Point Break and Bad Boys II). As an example, (and you may wish to look away, this is your spoiler warning) Nick's new partner asks him if he's ever shot two guns while jumping. The gag, of course, is that the small-town cop thinks that big-city policework is just like the movies. The punchline turns out to be that small-town policework is much more like the movies, as Nick gets a chance to shoot two guns while jumping later on in the movie.

And, indeed, that pattern gets used more than once, and if you like that sort of thing, you'll probably like this movie. This isn't broad farce, really - the playing around with action movie cliches doesn't come off as being a mockery of those movies. To a greater or lesser degree, the familiar pieces are integrated into the story so well that they seem to make more sense in this movie than they ever did in their original appearances. Granted, we're talking about the careers of Keanu Reeves and Michael Bay, so lifting trademark elements and giving them a better-written script to inhabit isn't difficult.

Bottom Line: see it if you liked Shaun of the Dead, but don't need to see zombies. Or if you like big budget action movies, but don't need to see the big budget stars or effects.