Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

When Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg made their brilliant zombie-parody Shaun Of The Dead, they also doomed themselves to a living-dead career.

It was so good, that anything they made after it would surely get compared with it.

The only solution to this riddle was to keep on making better and better movies, however that plan would have to all start with their next movie - Hot Fuzz.

Hot Fuzz is good. Hot Fuzz is funny. Hot Fuzz is not as good or funny as Shaun Of The Dead.


The film chronicles Police Officer Angel(Simon Pegg)'s transition from a good real-life cop into a stereotypical movie cop, or so the writers seemed to believe.

The thing is, along the way their desire to prove the character's real-life heroism, whilst repeatedly foiling it for laughs, inadvertently turns him into just a real-life terrible cop.

For example, the opening sequence tells us of all the hard work he’s put into his training – good cop. Then we’re told that his arrest-rate is 400% above any other officer – terrible cop.

On his first night in new town Sandford he arrests a guy for drink-driving (good cop) before realising that he doesn't know where the police station is, and has to ask his prisoner for directions. (terrible cop)

Even his catchphrase – “There’s always something going on” - is presented as though it’s a good thing, when in reality such a paranoid outlook would make his usefulness disastrous. Ultimately, such repeated smugness for a gag quickly wears away at the character's initial 'good-guy' image, until I was left really taking sides against him. Arrogance is only admired by arrogance, and rarely (if ever) any use in authority.

While the writers seemed unaware just how much they were discrediting their hero's appeal, this did however have the unexpected side-effect of giving him some depth, in a town full of knowingly one-dimensional characters.

Speaking of the guest-cast, unlike Shaun, the famous names just keep on distracting, until even The Kinks show up on the soundtrack and completely fail to get the movie's subtlety.

As mentioned above though, by the end of the film the only thing Officer Angel really learns is how to have a bit of fun, which coupled with his escalating self-assurance results in the – quite funny – bloodbath at the end of the film. Sadly however, by this stage his over-confidence is no longer the source of comedy, but something that we’re actually meant to get on board with and share. Err, no thanks.

Like Shaun Of The Dead, the first two-thirds of the film don’t really match the last third, and as such both parts are quite funny in quite different ways.

These guys still know comedy back-to-front though, (there are tons of funny lines, sight-gags and no crippling love-story), so I'm quite definitely looking forward to their next one, especially if they can finally learn to get over their ratings-killing swearing too.

(available here)
(review of Shaun Of The Dead here)
(review of The World's End here)


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