Sunday, 16 December 2012
Hot Fuzz (2007)
“Well, I see you’ve arrested the whole village.”
Obviously I love this film. That won’t surprise you; I’m exactly the sort of person who would. I’m a huge fan of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright, I loved Spaced, and I’ve seen enough action films to get the metatextual nods. Plus, more generally, I’m a geek.
I’ve been in more than my share of sleepy English villages like the one in this film- pretty, genuinely nice, but also rather stultifyingly conservative (and, indeed, generally Conservative) and not good for one’s privacy what with all the gossip. Still, I may prefer cities these days (though I actually live in a village at the mo, albeit not one like this), but I remember the relaxed attitude to underage drinking back when I was a lad. Halcyon days. Still, I can’t really quibble with the film’s broad suggestion that there’s something potentially rather dark lying beneath the close-knit conformity of village life. And this is a perfect depiction of this sort of village, so much so that I can even forgive the use of The Kinks’ The Village Green Preservation Society.
The main thing is, though, that this is a brilliant comedy, and Simon Pegg puts in a typically superb performance as Nick Angel, the perfect cop who annoys everyone with his smartass ways but slowly and gradually lightens up a bit. It’s very noticeable that this isn’t the sort of part you’d usually associate with Pegg; he’s a much more versatile actor than one might assume.
Pegg aside, Nick Frost is also excellent, albeit in the sort of role he usually plays; Timothy Dalton twirls his moustache gleefully while also attempting a West Country accent, and there are roles for such British comedy luminaries as (deep breath) Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy, Bill Bailey (whose character is at one point seen reading Iain Banks’ excellently weird and suitably dark and rural The Wasp Factory!!!), Jim Broadbent, etc. For a geeky actor spotter like me this is Heaven indeed.
The conceit of this film is, of course, to take the tropes of the Hollywood buddy buddy cop movie and transplant them to a leafy little village in the West Country, which cannot fail to be funny. The climax to the film absolutely delivers on this score, and throws in a weird cowled cult into the bargain. We get a very, very funny angle on the cliché that is the montage (see the next blog post!!!) and scenes that look uncannily like Operation Wolf (late ‘80s shoot ‘em up game, for all you non-thirtysomethings out there).
See Hot Fuzz. It’s well good.