Despite what’s beneath the movie’s bonnet, it doesn’t look English. Its big, bright, heavily saturated visuals are far more Face Off than Notting Hill, full of whip crack editing and slow motion gun battles. But these glossy good looks are also a symptom of the film’s somewhat problematic internal tension – it starts out making fun of action films, an ends up bowing before their icons.
Still, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have your cake an eat it. Both aspects are the film are enjoyable enough, but for those who enjoy the Monty-Python-esque absurdity, the John Woo style gunfights are just a side-show. There are still some delicious moments of wit in amongst the guns-n-ammo finale, but they are few and far between.
The transition between parody and homage might not have been so obvious if the film had been tightened up a little. It spends too long on the build-up, and once the high action sequences have begun, it tends to wallow in them a little. This is a 90-minute story – not a two hour one. Still, we might forgive Pegg and Wright this folly. Their film is long because it is stuffed full of so many cool ideas, from references to classic films like The Omen to caricatures of the idyllic English village.
Hot Fuzz is not for everyone – it’s angular, knowing style might be annoying to people in search of a straight-up-and-down English comedy or a pure-blood action film. It’s also a lot more gory than the glossy exterior might suggest and not at all suitable for kids. But for anyone who enjoys watching movie icons torn down, rearranged and then lovingly restored, this is truly something special.
- Alistair Fairweather
Hot Fuzz is like the mutant child of Monty Python and Jerry Bruckheimer - hilarious, high-octane and occasionally just weird. What else do we expect from the guys that made Shaun of the Dead?
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