Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 17
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

READY TO FOR ANY ENEMY WHO CROSSES HIS PATH: Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is virtually armed to the teeth and ready to take on the ferocious enemies (real or imagined) which surround him.

Hot Fuzz: New Cop Disrupts Idyllic Village in Parody of Mystery Genre

Kam Williams

With an arrest rate four times that of anyone else on the force, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is London's most highly-decorated cop. But instead of appreciating the efforts of their department's star, his colleagues are upset that all those commendations for bravery only make them look bad. The solution is to reward the overzealous officer with a promotion to sergeant and transfer him to a precinct far away from the city.

Nick's new beat is in Sandford, a picturesque village which looks like a relic of a bygone era. The idyllic oasis has remained crime-free because of the tireless efforts of its Neighborhood Watch Association (NWA).

This self-appointed committee of nitpicking town elders micro-manages every aspect of their fellow citizens' daily life, mandating compliance with regulations which have turned most of the residents into zombies.

Thanks to the NWA's successful regulation of the villages residents' behavior, it's no surprise that the only person to enthusiastically greet Nicholas' arrival is his new partner, Danny (Nick Frost), who also happens to be the son of the chief of police (Jim Broadbent). Danny can only dream of spectacular gunfights and car chases like the heroes of his favorite action films, because a crime hasn't been committed in sleepy Sandford in ages.

Fortunately, it doesn't take Sergeant Angel long to detect that there's something suspicious about the alarming number of accidental deaths in town. And as he starts to scratch below the surface, it becomes readily apparent that the killings are the work of a vigilante taking the law into his or her own hands.

Of course Nick and Danny set out to find who might be behind murders, and they employ an array of gruesome methods to solve the mystery. Hot Fuzz is produced by the same people behind Shaun of the Dead. But instead of parodying horror films they're lampooning the murder mystery genre.

Initially the film gets bogged down by at least a half-hour's worth of dead time needlessly squandered establishing the premise. Still, the ingenious ways in which the film develops makes the wait worthwhile.

Warning, unless you're comfortable with the work of Sam Peckinpah, John Woo and other pornographic bloodletting movies, you will have a hard time appreciating this sick brand of laugh-linked slaughter.

Regardless, co-stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost re-generate the chemistry which made Shaun of the Dead such a cult hit. Their supporting cast is topped by Bill Nighy and Timothy Dalton, with Peter Jackson and Cate Blanchett also appearing in uncredited cameos.

Coarse cockney accents occasionally render the dialogue inscrutable. However, an inability to follow the plot of this high body-count takeoff won't diminish one's enjoyment of the dispassionate killing of humans. Bloody funny bloodletting, if that's your thing.

Very good (3 stars). Rated R for violence, profanity and graphic images. Running time: 121 minutes. Studio: Rogue Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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