Arresting Humor

Arresting Humor

Film Review

"Anything that spends a lot of money destroying things can’t be bad."

These are the words of the ever-brilliant Simon Pegg and the mantra behind his newest film "Hot Fuzz," (rated: R; running time: 121 minutes) a movie based around the idea that no matter how stupid an action film is, if it blows stuff up real good then it can’t be all that bad.

"Fuzz" takes that idea and flips it on its head with Sgt. Nicholas Angel (Pegg), a cop so good at his job with the London police that he makes all the rest of the officers look bad. His superiors ship him off to the quiet town of Sandford where the biggest crime involves some hooligans hanging around the main square. He’s partnered with the bumbling PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), whose only real connection to actual police work is watching cop movies like "Bad Boys II" and "Point Break." Crimes as bloody and violent as anything in those movies seem to be popping up in the quiet town, and Angel starts to suspect that something is up.

The majority of the hilarity comes from the fact that, unlike most cop movies, these two cops are incredibly normal — most of their day is made up of paperwork and visiting the local convenience store. Doesn’t sound so funny, but the sharp screenplay by Pegg and co-writer Edgar Wright is so spot-on that it’s hard to not believe that all police officers aren’t having constantly hilarious conversations about shooting two guns at once whilst flying through the air. Wright’s direction, parodying some of action films biggest directing clichés (who doesn’t love the montage?) ads an intelligence missing from most parodies.

As the murders stack-up and Angel steadily figures out the mystery, the film teeters further and further into over-the-top action and gunfights culminating in the funniest spoof of big-time artillery showdown ever made — and one made only funnier by the fact the Timothy Dalton is involved.

Right around the point that Pegg and Frost actually do dive through the air whilst shooting two guns at once, in a perfect moment of hyperbole, you realize that "Hot Fuzz" is far more than a simple parody, it’s actually a decent cop movie. It’s smart and reveals far more about a genre that gets panned more often than not.

Even if it didn’t have all this going for it, it does spend some money blowing things up, so you know it can’t be all bad.