Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hot Fuzz

2007, UK, directed by Edgar Wright

Coming on the heels of the splendid Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, though entertaining, is ultimately something of a disappointment, as it tries to stretch its central joke, that of a hard-charging city supercop thrown into quiet village life, well beyond its useful life. While the opening is amusingly brisk, and the film saves the best for its closing sequences, the middle sags rather badly (a flaw that also bedevils Knocked Up, though the success of both films seems to give the lie to the idea that mainstream movie audiences are attention-deficit). The plot, in that central segment, descends into complete absurdity that's obviously intended as a satire on self-obsessed Little Englanders, desperately clutching at the remains of a bygone (and non-existent) age, but which smacks, instead, of writers throwing random ideas together in the hope that something sticks.

By contrast, the repeated spoofing of American films is much more successful: Edgar Wright is merciless in his dissection of male-bonding actioners, with extended riffs on films like Lethal Weapon (particularly one hilarious rain-soaked sequence), Bad Boys and Point Break (that critically-loved film was pretty self-conscious to begin with, though). It might be that he - and co-writer Simon Pegg - is also trying to make a point about the degree to which American films have coloured the views of even provincial Englishmen, though one could also surmise - particularly given his subsequent plans - that he's simply auditioning for a bigger stage.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States