Monday, February 3, 2014

Movie Review: Hot Fuzz

Back during the summer I became a bit curious about seeing the film The World's End and realized that while I'd seen Shaun of the Dead I hadn't actually seen Hot Fuzz, writer-director Edgar Wright's other really well known film (my mother has no idea how she let that happen). To be clear, yes I know that these films have nothing to do with each other and you can enjoy one without having seen the others, however I knew it was going to be a while before I had a chance to see The World's End so why not watch this one first? I know this would all make a lot more sense if I had gotten to it a few months earlier but I honestly did forget until I caught sight of the DVD at one of the local libraries, probably why I hadn't thought to watch it earlier in the first place.

Hot Fuzz

Nicholas Angel is the top cop in London and his superiors, not happy with how he keeps making them look bad, have him transferred out to a small town in the countryside while promoting him. Sergeant Angel is determined to enforce the small level of discipline on this town that he did in London which causes some clashes at first and then realizes that it might not just be his actions that make the town seem weird....

As someone who has seen some British cop tv shows (I swear I'm going to finish Ashes to Ashes someday) I feel fairly qualified to talk about an English movie that's one-half parody of buddy cop films. In the efforts of full disclosure, my disc did skip a number of times (the downside to borrowing from libraries), including during the big reveal scene but thankfully the plot isn't so complicated that I wasn't able to piece together what was going on even before then. And yet, it wasn't that the film was predictable (well, other than the fact that it was completely the wrong genre for it to have a "quiet little town" setting and not have something happen) but I found a lot of this movie quite boring. I did laugh at a few moments and find some others pretty amusing but it wasn't until the film went into a full-on parody of over-the-top, explosive American action films that I was really laughing. And I will admit that they got pretty creative with their action scenes and they were truly funny, but this didn't happen until the final third of the film.

So why didn't I like the film before? In a nutshell, I just found it a bit dull. While I could see what conventional tropes they were playing with (the characters, the setting, the police and mystery ones) they just weren't being especially funny with them, just a bit absurd since a lot of them were absurd tropes to start with. Sometimes creates a humorous situation all by itself and sometimes it doesn't, normally it works better when it's making something normal appear different and like I said, I already find tropes like "quiet town in the countryside" to be quite suspicious in this day and age. Also, Sergeant Angel. Well no, my problem wasn't with his character, I like the old set-up of "by the book cop and loosey-goosey cop" after all, what I didn't like was that in order to "save" the town he had to completely change how he did things. I much prefer when both of the cops have to change to save the day, although perhaps that was also part of the parody here.....