Thursday, May 17, 2007

[EU Film Fest] Hot Fuzz

Stop in the Name of the Fuzz!

I will say it out clear and upfront - I love this movie, and without a doubt, a definite contender for my movie of the year. By the filmmakers of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz has everything that makes great entertainment, laced with wry Brit wit, and while it contains plenty of references from their earlier movie, it never bores, and for cinephiles, you're in for one heck of a time identifying the countless of movie references within. If anything, I can't wait to get my hands on their earlier efforts in order not to shortchange myself in missing out on the gems by director Edgar Wright and collaborating writer Simon Pegg.

Hot Fuzz follows a typical buddy-cop genre, except that these two are so much more diverse from each other than the conventional cop movies of late milking the obvious race and cultural differences, beaten to death by the Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour films. Here we have the city versus country policeman officers buddying up, each with work ethics belonging to opposite ends. Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is your no-nonsense, straight laced, focused, top supercop who aces everything in his field of work, apprehending felons who fail to follow the law. And with being the top police officer on the beat, the powers that be deem him to be a threat (in making them look inept), and got him posted from Metropolitan London to the countryside of Sandford.

And Sandford is your typical small lazy town, where nothing much happens, and everyone knows everyone else. If a missing swan is a great deal, then you'll know there's pretty nothing much to sustain our supercop's interest, especially so when the station he's assigned to have officers which are extremely laid back, which makes him get off on the wrong footing with partner PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). Danny's the anti-thesis of Nicholas, and spends much of his days daydreaming what a top city cop would be like, and lives out his dreams through his collection of DVD movies like Bad Boys II and Point Break. But the idyllic life of the country gets interrupted with a series of murders (frequently brushed aside as accidents) just as our friends are about to get chummy, and here's where the fun kicks in at top gear.

There are so many things to like about the movie. The violence is one, though I'm unsure if the commercial release here will keep scenes unscathed by the editing scissors. Featuring some of the most gruesome ways to die, it's a blood splattering fest worthy of any serial killer movie. The movie too rewards the attentive viewer, because while the filmmakers load the movie with plenty of easter eggs, minute details, red herrings and the likes, everything will count for something as they come together on the way to the finale, so keep your eyes wide open and your ears peeled. The dialogue is full of wit, with loads of movie references, direct and indirect, and its run up to the end is one of the most adrenaline pumping in recent times, you can't help but to cheer as you lap up the high octane action. Action fans will not be disappointed.

Some may not like its editing style, which is quick, sudden, loud, and at times repititive, but that's just a minor blip. There are enough positives here to satisfy almost everyone, and one that will definitely bring on a smile by the time the end credits roll. A definite must watch! Don't miss this when it screens commercially!

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