Friday, February 02, 2007

Oh, I'm going to HAVE to see this

Hot Fuzz

INDEED, HOT FUZZ IS bigger, more complex and technically more ambitious than Shaun of the Dead. Pegg admits he and Wright felt they had to "step things up a little bit and prove that [Shaun] wasn't just a one-off, and that we could operate in the world of film. So we purposely took on something that was a lot grander, bigger and more sophisticated, certainly in terms of its execution, just to make that passage into being accepted as film-makers definite."

A smart combination of parochial English humour and absurd Jerry Bruckheimer-like pyrotechnics, Hot Fuzz casts Pegg as Nicholas Angel, a London cop so good at his job that he is embarrassing the rest of the force. He is reassigned to sleepy Sandford, in the West Country, where he is teamed up with an unworldly local bobby played by Frost.

They soon find themselves up to their necks in murder, and embroiled in a narrative that becomes deliberately more absurd as it takes its cues from Point Break and Bad Boys 2. Hot Fuzz was the film-makers' way of "creating a tribute to the bad-ass cop films," says Wright. Like the characters in Spaced, they were also living their dreams.

"It's no coincidence that Hot Fuzz is set in the kind of area where I and Simon grew up, because essentially the film is like a boyhood fantasy become real. I grew up in this area [Somerset], and it's a very lovely part of the world but very quiet, and I used to make amateur films as a teenager and invariably they'd be escapist teenage fantasies showing things that didn't happen in my town. With this we really wanted to make a film which on one hand is as British as it could possibly be, whilst on the other hand being as American as it could possibly be."

While the film's conventions are Hollywood-inspired, the casting is British to the core. Like Shaun before it, Hot Fuzz is populated with recognisable faces from almost every recent British comedy series one could think of (see panel), as well as the more serious acting talent of Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall. Iconic old hands such as Edward Woodward, Billie Whitelaw, Anne Reid, Edward Woodward and former James Bond Timothy Dalton play some of the leading local figures, but it is the new generation of comic actors and writers who hold the reins.

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