Plot: What’s it about?
I have to admit that before a few days ago, I’d never seen “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz”. Yes, I’d heard of them both (how can you forget a movie title like â€˜Hot Fuzz’ anyway) but had never sat down and watched either. I’m not a huge fan of British movies; some are hit and miss but let me say that “Hot Fuzz” is definitely a hit. It might help to have seen the predecessor, “Shaun of the Dead”, though it’s certainly not a requirement. For all of the American “Buddy Cop” movies out there like “Bad Boys”, “Lethal Weapon” and “Point Break” (a few of these are mentioned several times in the film, hence the reference) there’s people out there wanting to make fun of that genre. Those people made “Hot Fuzz”. And the best part about doing a satire is that you have the genre already locked in, you’re free to pretty much do whatever you want so long as it conforms to the rules of that said genre. The filmmakers know this, of course, and it’s with tongue firmly in cheek that makes “Hot Fuzz” so much fun to watch.
Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is perhaps the most efficient cop on the London police force. He’s 400% more efficient than anyone else on staff and, as a result, is making the rest of the cops look bad. Instead of being promoted, he’s sent to the country to a town named Sanford. There’s hardly any crime and the town’s vying for yet another award as “best place to live”. Angel quickly arrests nearly everyone in town for parking violations and underage drinking, but starts to loosen up when he meets Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), son of the Police Chief (Jim Broadbent). As fate would have it, Angel starts noticing that a series of unfortunate accidents seem to be occurring to some of Sanford’s citizens. The main suspect is grocery store magnate Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton), whose smugness and arrogance is just the thing to get under Angel’s skin. Danny and Angel must now not only prove that the murders aren’t an accident, but also stay on the side of the law while doing so.
“Hot Fuzz” is so clever that you just have to laugh. Simon Pegg has the inept ability to deliver a deadpan line and have it seem believable. Naturally having Pegg and Frost reunite from “Shaun of the Dead” is a treat as well. I really enjoyed the film and as a fan of some of the buddy cop movies that this film makes fun of, it was even more enjoyable. I also have to add that it was nice to see Timothy Dalton in movies again. Ever since he was replaced as James Bond (by Pierce Brosnan), he kind of fell off the map. That aside, “Hot Fuzz ” works on nearly all levels from the witty dialogue down to the fast-paced action scenes and quick cuts that really give you the feeling something serious is going on here (it’s not, by the way). For those clamoring for a reunion of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, look no further as both are in top form. Will we see them again? I’d say so; there are plenty of other genres to make fun of.
Video: How does it look?
“Hot Fuzz” was one of the titles that made it to HD-DVD back when the format was still, well, alive. But the wait is over and now the film has made the leap to that “other” HD format: Blu-ray. Admittedly we do lose the standard DVD version when purchasing the Blu-ray but I’m assuming anyone who would buy a Blu-ray copy of a movie wouldn’t watch the standard DVD version anyway. That said, the 2.35:1 VC-1 transfer is essentially the same as that of the HD-DVD version. Colors are bold and strong and the detail is just as acute as it was in the previous HD-DVD version. Granted this movie is by and large a “new” title, so there’s not too much that could be wrong with the picture. Fans of the movie will be more than satisfied with the way this is presented on Blu-ray.
Audio: How does it sound?
The previous Dolby Digital Plus track has been replaced by a DTS HD Master Audio track that really turns things up a notch or two. Dialogue is clear, though the running joke about not being able to understand what is said does make it a bit odd. For the most part, surrounds aren’t too active until the end of the film when things really start to happen. The box art isn’t misleading folks, stuff burns and blows up like you wouldn’t believe at the end of the film. While not the best-sounding track out there, it’s certainly a step up from the previous compressed version on the DVD and HD-DVD.
Supplements: What are the extras?
From what I can tell, everything that was on the HD-DVD has made the transition to this “Ultimate Edition” Blu-ray disc. Having said that, we start out with a commentary by Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright. The two give a very informative and pretty funny track, with little tidbits here and there about the movie and of course, Nick Frost. Fans will want to give this track a listen, for sure. Next up are some storyboards, a few selected outtakes and some deleted scenes available with director’s commentary. At over two hours long, it’s clear to see why the scenes were cut out though. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost also pay homage to Sean Connery and Michael Caine in “The Man Who Would be Fuzz” and I’ll let that speak for itself. The “Fuzz-O-Meter” is basically a trivia track that runs through the film and we can follow the stars as they make their way on a press tour in “The Fuzzball Rally”. “Hot Funk” appears to be a montage of scenes from the movie and “Danny’s Notebook”, well…I’ll let that one speak for itself as well. All things considered, “Hot Fuzz” delivers as a movie. Fans will love this and no doubt be left wanting more.