Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Smalltown Affair That's Not Much Cop; the Shaun of the Dead Team Recruit a Starry Comedy Cast for a Police Caper through the West Country That Is Too Flashy by Half

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Smalltown Affair That's Not Much Cop; the Shaun of the Dead Team Recruit a Starry Comedy Cast for a Police Caper through the West Country That Is Too Flashy by Half

Article excerpt

Byline: NICK CURTIS

Hot Fuzz Cert 15, 120 mins **

THIS is funny, charming and quintessentially English, but Hot Fuzz never quite matches up to Shaun of the Dead. For their second film, director Edgar Wright and star Simon Pegg aim to replicate the formula of their 2004 sleeper hit by again cramming a big American genre into a comically small British frame.

But where the first film's tale of zombies in Crouch End was deft and fleet-footed, this transposition of a US-cop movie to dozy Somerset is a bit of a plod. It's stuffed with gags, but also with rather too many knowing cinematic references, and a lot of flashy editing and sound design aimed at covering up faults in the plot.

Prime among these is the fact that the story falls in half. First, Pegg's prissy London supercop Nicholas Angel is shunted off to the West Country because his efficiency is embarrassing his superiors, and must learn to deal with lost swans and fetes worse than death rather than armed drug dealers.

Then there's a great, clunking gear change in the script, in the shape of several gruesome murders, to justify Angel's decision to tool up and kick butt among the parochial busybodies, in the action sequences that are the film's raison d'etre.

Pegg and Wright, who co-wrote the script, clearly started with the idea of a Peckinpah-esque shootout, but with bicycles and vicars and hanging baskets, then worked backwards.

They missed out quite a lot on the way, including the bit about emotionally involving the viewer. One of the reasons Shaun of the Dead worked so well was that the imminent destruction of civilisation by the undead was of secondary importance to Shaun getting his girlfriend back.

Here, Angel has been irretrievably dumped, and with good reason. He's a humourless, emotionally stunted, by-the-book workaholic - a bore, in short. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.