Hot Fuzz (2007)
They're bad boys. They're die hards. They're lethal weapons. They are...
I swear I’ve already done this review. I had to check no less than three times, referencing my excel log, checking the website search function, and each time I checked it showed that I hadn’t done it yet. I know I’ve watched the movie a few times now, but the fact that the entire review part is deja vu just won’t cease. Alas, perhaps that’s the problem of doing this for over two hundred movies and still watching movies I like repeatedly regardless - sometimes my head just gets things a little mixed up. Thankfully, that gives us a great excuse to play policeman-officer so throw on the lights, here comes the fuzz.
The middle child of the “Cornetto trilogy” those who have seen either Shaun of the Dead or The World’s End have a good grasp on what to expect out of this one. In this case, the same sort of control over media elements such as cuts, beats, and foreshadowing are on display. Plotwise, you could argue it’s similar as well - although the fact that ones a take on zombies, ones a take on aliens and the apocalypse, and this one is a take on cop flicks would somewhat distinguish them as their own individual elements. Still, the basic plot is straightforward and easy to follow - cop get’s reassigned to a small town where mysterious happenings are afoot, and must unravel the mystery of whats going on. The comedy comes into play with various line deliveries and execution on premises or content matter, but the frantic cuts and pacing of action will keep you from going too idle while watching.
Of course, comedy is always a subjective thing and eventually I hope to not feel the need to point that out. There’s moments that might make you have an audible chuckle, but largely things will keep you in a good mood - despite the fact that some of the more serious moments are pretty serious under whatever layer of light-hearted is there. “Dumb” moments, such as a brain freeze joke, work together with physical moments such as breaking through a fence accidentally as well as the potential of language-barrier or accent humor working their way in intentionally or not. Largely, most things that you find you might laugh about always feel intended, but there’s always that off chance where how something is said comes off as funny to you simply because you aren’t used to hearing it - the same way that an accent can also make things seem so much more sophisticated or attractive than normal. Jokes also have a tendency of repeating themselves throughout - but come the finale it ends up feeling like a deserved pay off to this repetition, as opposed to someone just thinking that one joke was so funny it needs to constantly reappear.
Part of the humor may be the lines said, which is certainly attributed to the writing unless otherwise ad lib from an actor, but also just to the quality of the actors as well. Everyone around the main has this role-chewing hammy-ness about them, from line deliveries to the way they punch out that body language stare. The looks of guffaw or exaggeration of deliveries helps not only in entertainment, but also to help make the main feel that much more like a grounded and serious person, considering he’s surrounded by all these wacky others. Everyone does a good job here, and largely it doesn’t feel like any one person is phoning it in and wanting nothing to do with it. That said, it also never quite hit’s that serious charm that might be in a more serious movie, even with a scene set up in incredibly similar manners - as mirrored by things such as Point Break or Bad Boys 2, both of which are referenced directly in certain scenes.
Part of that might also be why the movie is so enjoyable - it has all these little moments and references to other movies that you might have seen already if you are a fan of cop movies. Heck, there’s even lines from He-Man thrown in there. It’s pretty easy to find lines to grasp onto, or shots that make you recall another movie, all while still effectively being its own little story. Elements are thrown throughout the movie, but nothing ever ends up feeling as though it was simply a one off thing - if it’s in there, somehow it ends up coming up again at the end. In turn, no real twist should be a surprise, and yet as you are watching it you don’t necessarily notice those connecting threads and lines that lead to the eventual conclusion - well, unless it’s a repeat viewing, when everything ends up becoming much more noticeable. If anything, it makes it almost more fun that repeat time, when you start noticing far more of the little details while not focused as heavily on the normal plot.
The costumes here aren’t crazy elaborate, but they all fit as they should. The department did a fine job making everyone look like they belong, while largely keeping people somewhat recognizable as you go. It’s rough to really stand out in such a modern-time movie when it comes to costumes unless you have some wacky element that takes it out of reality, like a superhero or the sort, but every now and then I really feel like I don’t give costumes enough credit for just being believably normal and consistent. The props likewise don’t tend to go too far into the unbelievable, with the exception of a sea mine that comes out of left field and provides a joke or two. Sets provide some flavor, but again everything ties into that form of normalcy, helping to largely build up that vision of an idyllic little countryside town.
Audio is balanced well, and lines come across good. Plenty of little folly effects come through to really liven the scenes up, occasionally even going a bit over the top the emulate that action feel. Songs might not be sticking in my head again, but they are used well and audio isn’t just songs and effects here either. Wright has a way with cutting a scene together in a frantic manner that doesn’t loose rhythm or cohesiveness to the viewer. It helps shorten up moments that could otherwise be long or potentially boring - such as traveling or showing time pass - but also keep them engaging. You don’t feel like the movie is wasting your time, because it never feels like the movie is sitting still. It only slows a bit to catch your breath and then jumps back to its run, much like a good song has that chorus to let you catch up.
Hot Fuzz is a plain fun movie, and outside of some language and violence I find most people would probably have fun here. It’s got a similar flow and feel to Shaun of the Dead, and for those who can’t stomach zombie movies (even comedy ones) this would probably be a fine alternative. If your a cop movie fan you’ll also probably thoroughly enjoy this one. As I mentioned at the start of all this, I had quite the deja vu even writing this, feeling like I’ve already tackled it forever ago - but perhaps in reality, it’s just the fact that I enjoy the movie and have watched it enough times that I feel like I should have already done so.