By Brian Hickey
A movie review is supposed to be in the neighborhood of 800 words. For this film, I only need five: go see this movie. Now.
By now, I don’t have to tell you that Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg — the team behind 2004’s hilarious zombie satire “Shaun of the Dead” — have a new movie out. The film, “Hot Fuzz,” is an homage to American action films that hits the mark â€¦ with lots and lots of bullets.
From the opening shot, you get the idea that Wright and Pegg sat down and watched every action movie ever made before they wrote this film.
The film starts with an amazingly choreographed action sequence montage highlighting just how great a cop Nicolas Angel really is, as he leaps over cars and gets stabbed in the hand by a man in a Santa Claus suit (cameo by Peter Jackson).
However, when Angel gets transferred to the sleepy village of Sandford (because his jealous friends think he is “too good”) the film slows down, which seems to be a common complaint amongst viewers. But if you watch “Bad Boys I” or “II”, or “Point Break,” three films mentioned in “Hot Fuzz,” after an initial action sequence there is a lot of talk that sets up the rest of the film.
Though this tactic worked better for “Shaun,” because zombie movies rely less on plot and more on gore, “Hot Fuzz” speeds up 25 minutes later, when people start dying.
From there, the film blows up, almost literally, blazing with bullets and blades.
In one of the more memorable scenes, they storm the local supermarket and duck under a barrage of knives from the meat department. Angel looks to one of the other officers and asks him, “What’s the situation?” to which the man replies, “Two blokes and a fuck-load of cutlery.”
Most of the film’s action sequences borrow extensively from other action films.
Certain shots, publicity material and even a few lines (“This shit just got real”) are directly taken from the “Bad Boys” franchise.
Other memorable lines come from movies like “Chinatown” (“Forget it, Nick. It’s Sandford”), “Men in Black” (“Now that’s what I’m talking about”) and believe it or not, “He-man,” (“By the power of Grayskull”).
The film, with about a million under-the-radar jokes like these, really deserves a second viewing.
Look for great cameos by Stephan Merchant (co-creator of “The Office,” and “Extras”) and Bill Nighy (“Shaun of the Dead”).
Also, former Bond actor Timothy Dalton plays the film’s bad guy, Simon Skinner.
This film is more of an homage than a parody. Instead of sneering and snickering at action movies, the filmmakers took notes.
It is what “Grindhouse” should have been: an enjoyable film that combines comedy and action and sews them together to make up the most enjoyable 121 minutes in recent memory.