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The Best of 2007: 'Hot Fuzz'

Hot Fuzz

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Hot Fuzz has got to be one of the funniest films I have seen in a long time. Coming off his absurd satire and yet as effective member of the zombie subgenre, Shaun of the Dead (2004), Edgar Wright gives us the spoof to end all spoofs of the action genre. Simon Pegg once again proves he has the acting chops of earlier comedic greats like Peter Sellers and Richard Pryor by balancing elaborate gags with the intensity and believability of a tough-as-nails figure of the Fuzz.

Yes, for those who may not know-- the 'Fuzz' is another slang term for police as 'Coppers' was commonly used in the early 20th century. Of course, it's the sexual innuendo behind the word, fuzz, that makes for even more hilarity. It was just mentioned how effective Shaun of the Dead was as a comedy and as a good zombie film. The same thing can be said for Hot Fuzz being a really great comedy with some of the most elaborate (appropriately over the top) action sequences ever done in an English film. Interestingly enough, this film spoofs every cliché in recent American (and Hong Kong) action instigated by the likes of Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay, John Woo, Tony Scott, Paul Verhoeven, J.J. Abrams, Richard Donner and Ringo Lam, BUT does not make any attempts to spoof England's most beloved action hero, James Bond. The only thing that comes close is Timothy Dalton shooting a gun in this movie. That's it. So to me, the film really pokes fun at where action movies have gone since Bond and how rather absurd it has become.

The film is also a rather great mystery; keeping you guessing as to what really is going on (and the real circumstances over the story's serial murders is wonderfully ridiculous) and how the heroes can put an end to this Invasion of the Body Snatchers/Halloween III mentality to this town. Nick Frost from Shaun of the Dead returns to save the day once again in front of Edgar Wright's camera (note the huge DVD collection his character owns-- it's the filmmakers entire collection of DVDs!) as well as a huge gallery of English actors of great respectability including Paul Freeman of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stuart Wilson of The Mask of Zorro, Bill Nighy of Notes on a Scandal, and uncredited cameos by Cate Blanchett as Simon Pegg's forensics girlfriend (you wouldn't know it was her because half of her face is covered with a mask!) and Peter Jackson as a knife wielding Santa Claus. I still can't help laughing when recalling the always serious Timothy Dalton saying, "Here come the Fuzzzzzzz...." like if it were Shakespeare.