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No Village Idiots Here!
Hot Fuzz (Special Edition, 2 DVDs)
Member Name: Ayesha-`
Hot Fuzz (Special Edition, 2 DVDs)
Advantages: Great character mix, good funny film you could see again and again
Disadvantages: It is a certain style of humour that not everyone will share
Please note this is a FILM ONLY review. I did request Hot Fuzz DVD as a product suggestion since I do not wish to review the special edition but this was turned down with the advice to review the film via this link. I know people get funny about this but I can only hope you'll be understanding!
Shaun of the Dead seems to have become my favourite film, one of few DVDs I have actually bought and a film I've seen numerous times. I loved the pairing of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, a friendship that makes them uniquely natural onscreen. When Hot Fuzz came out at the cinema, I could not wait to get out and see it, and I've watched it several times since. The only thing I don't seem to have gotten around to is actually reviewing the film!
Simon Pegg is Nicholas Angel, the most over-competent police officer ever to exist, so good he makes the London Met look bad. As with any problem employee, he is promoted out of the way to a village in the country, Sandford. Reluctantly, he heads off to the village and checks in at the hotel. Before his first day even starts he is out clamping down on petty crimes. At first he thinks his biggest problem would be the lax attitude towards the law taken by locals and the police themselves, particularly with Frost as Danny Butterman, his new partner and son of the Inspector Frank Butterman. Then when some mysterious and unusually horrific deaths start occurring Angel suspects that they are more than just terrible accidents and undertakes to get to the bottom of it all.
I liked the way this story turns our idea of advancement upside down, moving Angel out of the city into a place where we would doubt there could ever be action. Not only do we get our fair share of action in this film, but there are touches of humour along the way. I would not say this film is a laugh-out-loud comedy as the humour is not that strong, but I certainly found it funny throughout.. The mystery element is also quite good, even if it does become quickly rather obvious what is going on, you can enjoy this brilliant Nicholas Angel piecing it together.
There is a great mix of characters as with Shaun of the Dead and in combination . There are some good actors, including Bill Nighy, Timothy Dalton, Bill Bailey and even a brief cameo from Cate Blanchett. In the way we like to imagine villages where everyone knows everyone to be, people all seem to have roles and specific scenes in the film that are about them. I like the variety that this brings and quirks that you might recognise in people you know make it all the more amusing.
A more serious, yet no less funny Simon Pegg plays the meticulous and politically correct Nicholas Angel. Pegg has brilliant comedy timing and always looks very natural. Nick Frost features more in the second half of the film and it would have been nice to have seen more of him in this film. However, his simple but sweet character really brought a nicer tone to the film, whilst he still brings smiles and the odd laugh.
Given that this is a light-hearted film, although it does have a very sinister side to it, I was glad to see that there was a good mix of daylight and dark scenes. On the whole I never felt like I could not see properly what was happening. The more graphic scenes are held just long enough for you to see what has happened and take it in but not too long as to spoil the whole mood of the film. This film is not really designed to be scary, and I do think that more left to the imagination tends to make a film scarier, so somehow the blunt honesty of this film and tendency to just plonk decapitated heads and the like onto the screen in front of you actually comes across as more surprising and amusing than shocking and horrific. The action in the film was never intended to be the same as a big Hollywood action film, but should still surprise. As such it makes the fact this film is set in a village all the more amusing!
The soundtrack is one thing that was a little less exciting in comparison to Shaun of the Dead, but the songs chosen do fit well with the film. It is rather villagey, but there's also a scene where Pegg and Frost are watching DVDs and the music from these films feature.
The 15 rating can be put down to strong language and violence. Although there are not too many violent scenes, the few that feature are very graphic, shown long enough for you to take in the picture and indeed very gory. They are also somehow hilarious, and so a bit of maturity is required to remind us that they would not be funny in real life!
I doubted to begin with that this film could be funnier than Shaun of the Dead, and given that there are lines and scenes that seem to have been recreated from that film on first viewing was a little less impressed. However, the film certainly does not lack originality and what I have found is that after watching it again a couple of times I have enjoyed it more each time. There are scenes that will still make me laugh out loud and even when I do not laugh I still enjoy this film. It definitely helps to like either Nick Frost or Simon Pegg and their style of humour. I would happily recommend buying this DVD although I'm not too sure it would be worth renting unless for a specific evening, like if friends are visiting, because it will come on television again at some point.
Summary: Film only review. An award winning village with a sinister side.