Not only is Hot Fuzz my favourite of Edgar Wright’s infamous Cornetto Trilogy, I would also argue that it is also the film I have seen the most time. Admittedly, British TV does have a hand in this as it feels as though Hot Fuzz is the go-to film for TV networks where there is nothing else they can broadcast. So not only am I going to be talking about why this is my favourite Pegg, Frost and Wright collaboration, but we will also discover why this film is so rewatchable to many.
Hot Fuzz released in 2007 and tells the story of the top London cop Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) who is transferred to the quaint village of Sandford where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. That is until a series of murders deemed as “accidents” by everyone else takes place and It up to Sergeant Angel and his new in-awe partner Constable Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) to find what links them.
If you’re familiar with the works of Edgar Wright like Spaced or Shaun of the Dead, then you’ll already know that Hot Fuzz will be heavily stylised. This is an action/buddy cop film through and through, you don’t get any bonus points for pointing that out, however, this is one of those films where it actively breaks down a genre, goes through it tropes and puts its own spin on it. One of these tropes is the hyperactive editing that makes a scene feel like a lot is going on. Hot Fuzz takes this trope and applies it to the most mundane part of police work, the filling in of paperwork. Hot Fuzz was actually praised by the real UK Police for its inclusion of paperwork which is something most cop films miss out.
Pegg and Frost continue to be the shining example of on-screen chemistry, I really enjoy the relationship between their characters and they’re responsible for just a few of the thousands of laughable moments in this film. Danny immediately latches on the Sgt. Angel because he is a fan of cop films and he thinks that what he’s seen in those films is what Sgt. Angel has experienced. There’s a moment when Sgt. Angel tells another office that he has been stabbed after joking about it and Danny’s face immediately changes, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of a till “cha-ching”, remarkable sound design.
But you also have to give a lot of credit to the plethora of dramatize village folk living in Sandford. They are the true definition of people living a quaint country life that people who live in the city would find a bit strange. I believe a lot of people will mention how one of their favourite supporting characters is Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton), he owns the local “supermarché” and when the murders start to happen, people will instantly tag him as the murder. Oh, but don’t think the film knows what your thinking because it does, and it will go out of its way to remind you.
But easily my favourite character is Michael (Rory McCann) the child-minded trolly boy at the supermarket. Why is this, because he is my favourite one-worded character because all he says in the film is “yarp” and I’ve probably said yarp more times than I have said yes. You would never believe that one day he’d be swearing and decapitating heads in Game of Thrones.
Furthermore, Hot Fuzz really is a filmmaker’s film because there are films out there do often prioritise one element over the other, sometimes with good reason and sometimes no reason at all. However, in Hot Fuzz, every element of filmmaking is taken seriously, yet executed with joy. The most impressive I think from the perspective of a filmmaker is how the dialogue comes around full circle. There will be something a character says which appears to be an open and closed bit of dialogue, but much later in the film it comes back again, and everyone agrees on how smart it was to do that. Don’t believe me? Ask Aaron A. Aaronson.
Hot Fuzz maybe a laugh out loud comedy, but something that is just as equally genius is that it doesn’t compromise how intense it’s action can be. Because behind the high energy whim, lies some very serious, extremely intense scenes, there is a lot of blood and gore in his film. It has one of the goriest deaths in the film given its contrasted comedic tone. But if gore isn’t your thing and you just want pure action, it has a fantastic shootout finale where you hang onto every moment.
Edgar Wright is British directorial royalty now, he has offered something that the next generation of filmmakers can aspire towards. It’s like Wright, Pegg and Frost discovered a gap in the film market and they’re not only filling it but having fun doing so. I’d argue that Hot Fuzz has the funniest bloopers ever, and listening to the laughter of the people in front of and behind the camera makes me think that this had to be one of the smoothest shoots ever. Hot Fuzz isn’t just the best in the Cornetto Trilogy, but one of the best British films ever made.