Monday, 27 August 2007

DVD: Hot Fuzz

Lowdown: High noon at a middle of nowhere English village run by old folk.
For a film I like, I have surprisingly not a lot to say about Hot Fuzz. Simon Peg and Co., the people behind Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, are back with another sophisticated comedy that will really make you laugh and feel good. But not much more.
This time around, Peg is a London policeman who gets kicked out to the country because he's so good he makes the others look bad. The country, in this case, means a village in the middle of nowhere, England, where nothing has happened for the last few centuries as far as police work is concerned. Or is that the case? When Peg arrives, he immediately stumbles upon major crime all over the place - teenage drinking, graffiti; he also stumbles upon a dysfuntional police force "supported" by a large network of village elders who have formed a neighborhood watch and have a thing or two against human statues. Slowly, Peg digs in the dirt to unravel some hideous crimes, leading us to an hilariously stupid High Noon like ending.
Like its predecessor, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz relies on you the viewer being familiar with movie culture for its jokes to work. And work they do; Hot Fuzz is a very funny film that works mainly through laughing at the seriousness in which the films it mimics take themselves and their political correctness. For example, Hot Fuzz laughs at the films that tell you stories of murders and such atrocities but never show you a drop of blood; in Hot Fuzz, you will swim in blood instead.
Usually, parodies such as Hot Fuzz are accompanied with poor acting, a poor script, and poor production values. None of that applies to Hot Fuzz, though; as we know by now, when Peg & Co. set their minds on a project, they do it well. For actors we have a wide range of top and established English comedy talent, some times in roles so minor it's a waste (timothy Dalton, the ex-Bond, does a stand out performance). For a script we have a witty tale which, if stretched, can have a say or two about the way we regard that which is strange to us. And the production values are up there, if not better, than most of Hollywood's production line productions.
Best scene: The High Noon ending. The lesser words spent describing it the better, though.
Picture quality: Very good! There's just this tiny bit of detail level that is lacking, but that is really nitpicking.
Sound quality: Good and aggressive, but as it has been deliberately made to sound over the top it attracts to much attention to itself. You don't feel like you're there; you're just swamped with sound effects. It serves the filmmakers' goals, but it's not where my preferences lie.
Overall: I like Hot Fuzz and I recommend it. However, no matter how funny and sarcastically good it is, it is not much better than an elaborate Naked Gun in the sense that it does not stand by its own right. I am therefore going to be harsh on it and give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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