Hot Fuzz is the new British comedy film starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, last seen together in Shaun of the Dead. I was particularly interested in seeing Hot Fuzz because it was filmed on location in Wells, very near to where I work in Somerset. I like to play the spot the location game when watching British films, as well as playing:
The spot Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent game
How long before Bill Nighy turns up on screen in a British comedy? In Hot Fuzz it’s exactly four minutes. A little longer for Jim to make an appearance, but he’s there within half an hour.
The spot the obviously themed soundtrack game
Wells is doubling for a fictional country village, with the usual fetes and village greens. The soundtrack includes Village Green Preservation Society and Village Green by The Kinks. Hmmm, not very original.
The quickly decide on the type of plot we’re in for game
Hot Fuzz explores the fish out of water scenario. An outstanding London policeman is promoted to Sergeant but relocated to work in the country. There he must adjust to the quieter pace of life and the eccentric ways of the locals. In many ways it is similar to the TV series Life on Mars, with the strange country life being just as alien to the hero as being stuck in 1973.
My games aside, I enjoyed Hot Fuzz very much until about half an hour from the end when the film decides to dance through as many film genres as it can. It’s a very funny comedy, but it just goes mad. There’s horror suddenly thrown into the mix, with violent murders taking place, and for a moment I thought it was going to descend into either The Wicker Man (there’s even a cameo from Edward Woodward) or The Hills Have Eyes. Eventually it settles for being a buddy-buddy cop film with cartoon gun battles. Not bad, but I would have preferred more of the gentle comedy and more use made of the excellent supporting cast who include Paddy Considine, Kenneth Cranham and Billie Whitelaw.
Apparently the team who brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are working on a third film already. They haven’t revealed what genre they’ll be tackling, although I’ll still be playing my games when I go to see it.