Tuesday, July 31, 2007

HOT FUZZ

"Sergeant Butterman, the little hand says it's time to rock and roll! "

What I really dug about Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s SHAUN OF THE DEAD was how they were able to so effectively parody and satirize a genre while never being mean-spirited or cynical about it. Their affection for George Romero’s "Living Dead" films was palpable and refreshing. I was also impressed at how well they could satirize a particular genre of film while simultaneously making a perfect example of that genre.

Well, they’ve done it again, and this time they’ve set their sights on the overblown cops n’ robbers genre, with the delightful HOT FUZZ (2007).

Simon Pegg ("Shaun" of SHAUN) is Nicholas Angel, a London supercop, with the most impressive arrest record on the force. He lives, breathes, eats and sleeps his job and while that’s hell on his love life, it’s also making the rest of the department look bad. So he’s reassigned to the seemingly crime-free village of Sandford, where he’s befriended by fellow officer Danny Butterman (Nick Frost, "Ed" from SHAUN), who sees in Nick all of the Hollywood cops he idolizes. Soon Nick begins to suspect that the small town’s many fatal accidents are less accidental than they seem, and begins to investigate despite the derision of his colleagues. What is Sandford’s dark and deadly secret?

HOT FUZZ is a great comedy and a pretty damned decent cop flick, too. The cast is filled with talented and familiar British stars, including Jim Broadbent (MOULIN ROUGE), Paul Freeman (RAIDRS OF THE LOST ARK), Bill Nighy (UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION), and former Bond, Timothy Dalton (in a particularly devilish role). The script is sharp, smart and funny, and even when the plot gets ludicrous, it’s still completely logical within the framework of the story being told. There’s some high-octane action in the last act, as well as some surprisingly gruesome gore effects. But mostly, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun.

Universal’s DVD gives HOT FUZZ a first-class treatment, beginning with a reference-quality 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that is absolutely flawless. The Dolby Digital 5.1 EX audio is vibrant and appropriately explosive.

There’s not a whole lot of extras, but what there are, are swell. There’re outtakes, deleted scenes, a trivia game, a commentary with Pegg and director Wright, as well as a few cute bits like "Danny’s Notebook," "Hot Funk," and "The Man Who Would Be Fuzz." Intrigued? Check out the disc.

HOT FUZZ is one of the best comedies I’ve seen in along time. Buy it, rent it… just see it.

BUY: Hot Fuzz (Widescreen Edition)