Buddy-cop spoof offers some lighthearted fun

    The tired buddy-cop movie genre gets a serious kick in the pants with the new film Hot Fuzz, a comedy from the folks behind 2004’s Shaun of the Dead.

    Simon Pegg plays Sgt. Nicholas Angel, a police officer who is ridiculously good at his job. But Angel’s impressive performance overshadows his superiors in London, so they transfer him to the village of Sandford, a peaceful place with virtually no crime rate. When he arrives in the pastoral setting, he quickly finds himself out of place among the locals and their odd lifestyles. Soon after his arrival, however, a series of mysterious accidents has Angel believing Sandford isn’t all that peaceful. Stumbling through life in the country, he vows to find out the connection between the incidents.

    The movie never takes itself seriously and is outrageously over-the-top, but these elements work to keep the plot going. Pegg combines the anxiety of being a big fish in a small pond with the quirkiness of the townsfolk. Sure, gross stereotyping is at work (the bumbling, good-intentioned sidekick and the sensationalist reporter, for example), but this doesn’t detract from Hot Fuzz’ssmart, comic appeal. There’s lots of wordplay in the dialogue, tons of personality in every character, and loads of repeated, though clever, use of irony. The movie even pokes fun at some of the ridiculous moments in buddy-cop films such as Bad Boys II and Point Break.

    Halfway through, Hot Fuzz gets an adrenaline injection and turns into a fast-paced action movie. Surprisingly enough, this transition makes sense with the rest of the storyline. The action still takes a backseat to the humor and the hard hits on screen do make you laugh more than they make you wince. The ending might be a little contrived, but it still fits within the general absurdity of the film.

    Entertaining and light-hearted, Hot Fuzz is enough to make watching police officers at work exciting. Unless, of course, COPS already does that for you.


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