» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

May 17, 2007
Break out your wallets, because I'm going to tell you a little story about a movie you need to see immediately. That means immediately, like right now, before seeing Spider-Man 3 and before it gets relegated to DVD oblivion and is forgotten for eternity. The movie is Hot Fuzz, and it is so hilarious, brilliant, and sharp that you will abruptly move to England and try at once to be BFF with director Edgar Wright.

Wright, with actors Simon Pegg (who also co-wrote the film) and Nick Frost, does for the buddy cop film what the same team's Shaun of the Dead did for zombies. Wright crafts an homage to a film genre that he obviously loves and cherishes while at the same time making sure that the resulting comedy is also a film that can stand up proudly on its own, wearing a stab-proof vest.

Detractors will call it ridiculous, but Hot Fuzz's over-the-top plot (an overachieving London cop gets bundled off to the country because his successes make his superiors - three amazing cameo performances - look bad) is no less fantastical and unrealistic than Bad Boys II or Point Break, films to which the characters repeatedly refer. And realism be damned, anyway. The over-emphasized, over-dramatic style of editing that characterized Shaun of the Dead resurfaces in Wright's new film, in which ordinary events are oversaturated with heavy sound effects and quick cuts. As a result, both the style and the plot of Hot Fuzz illustrate just how funny taking yourself too seriously can be. DVD-addict Danny Butterman (Frost) is disappointed that police work isn't as Will-Smith-Summer-Blockbuster as he thought it would be, and asks Sgt. Nick Angel (Pegg) if city cops get to enforce law in a flashier way ("Ever fired your gun into the air and yelled Auughhhh!!?") At first, Angel is annoyed by this starry-eyed perception of that his life's work is as glamorous as Hollywood believes it to be, but by the end of the film, he's relaxed enough to make a couple puns, brandish a couple firearms, and accept a few stereotypes - if that's what's going to get him some respect. And when someone finally gets to fire their gun in the air and yell "Auughhhh!!", it is clear that Angel has made an impact at last.

The only (and I do mean only) downside to Hot Fuzz is what I am now and for the first time ever in history coining as the:

Baz Luhrmann Effect* (n) a weariness on the part of the viewer caused by a director's persistence in continuing the same unique but exhausting editing, sound, and direction style throughout his films. Related but not synonymous to, the Christopher Guest Effect.

In other words, Wright is in danger of becoming a one-trick pony, but at this point it's still mostly fresh, and it's only towards the end of the film that things feel a little overwhelming and one's mind begins to shut down a little. But only a little. The end revives the story so that the B.L. Effect-produced fatigue fades in the face of:

Danny Butterman: Where's the trolley boy?
Nicholas Angel: In the freezer.
Danny Butterman: Did you say anything like 'cool it'?
Nicholas Angel: Umm, no, not really.
Danny Butterman: Awww, shame.

*It just occurred to me that the very, very awesome and elaborate Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet reference in Hot Fuzz may indicate that similarities are intentional. Don't quote me on this though.

SEE ALSO: www.hotfuzz.com
SEE ALSO: www.jointhefuzz.com

Susan Howson
A staff writer attending graduate school in Richmond, VA, Susan Howson cannot be persuaded to stop talking about movies.

See other articles by Susan Howson.



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