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Hot Fuzz

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I went to see Hot Fuzz friday night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Being a big fan of Shaun of the Dead I expected to enjoy the comedy aspect and the producer's sense of humor. I was surprised however at some of the non-comedic elements of the picture.

First a short synopsis:

Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is the finest cop London has to offer, with an arrest record 400% higher than any other officer on the force. He’s so good, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, Angel’s superiors send him to a place where his talents won’t be quite so embarrassing -- the sleepy and seemingly crime-free village of Sandford.

Once there, he is partnered with the well-meaning but overeager police officer Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). The son of amiable Police Chief Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent), Danny is a huge action movie fan and believes his new big-city partner might just be a real-life "bad boy," and his chance to experience the life of gunfights and car chases he so longs for. Angel is quick to dismiss this as childish fantasy and Danny’s puppy-like enthusiasm only adds to Angel’s growing frustration.

However, as a series of grisly accidents rocks the village, Angel is convinced that Sandford is not what it seems and as the intrigue deepens, Danny’s dreams of explosive, high-octane, car-chasing, gunfighting, all-out action seem more and more like a reality.

It's time for these small-town cops to break out some big-city justice.

First of all Nicholas Angel is a real hero, and unlike some movies that might make fun of the overachieving big city cop, this hero has NO shortcomings and ALL of the comedy comes from his frustration with a world that doesn't have the nerve to be principled. The first scene with his "superiors" sets the tone for the movie, showing Angel utterly baffled at his transfer to an out of the way country village, and when the inspector lets him in on the real reason for his transfer(that they don't want him around making the rest of them look bad) his puzzlement turns to anger and the last ditch effort to rally the support of his peers, which to his disspointment are equally as eager for his transfer as his "superiors" are. This dynamic, of Angel's naivete and puzzlement at the people around him who are content to live in mediocrity, is the underlying motif that sets the stage for the humor, the humor which lets us laugh at the people around Angel, while being desperately on his side, rooting for him all the way.

Spoilers:

When Angel starts putting the peices of the mystery of the town together, he uncovers what seems to be the plot of the local supermarket owner who, like the dirty capitalist he is, is trying to kill all his competitors to gain a monopoly on the town's grocery market. One of the movie's (hopefully unnaccidental)greatest aspects is that when the actual plot is revealed, it makes a wonderful identification of the nature of evil; the residents of the town are killing to undesirables of the town so they can win the "best village award." Angel's astonishment is key in this scene, as a motive like that is totally incomprehensible to him. He naively assumed that there must be some grand scheme at hand, some huge profit driven motive behind everything, then he finds out that they killed a woman because she had an annoying laugh, a man for being a horrible actor, another man for having a mansion which didn't go with the "look of the rest of the village," and a woman for wanting to move away, "If we can't have her, no one can" one of the conspirators says. The utter irrationality of the conspirators and the pettiness of their motive are a wonderful treat and change from the usual characterization of the villain as a misguided seeker of profit. The bad guys are constantly the object of ridicule, and Angel never is. He is the truest protaganist and most heroic I've seen in a comedy (much more than Shaun, who was a loser who stumbled through the nightmare who didn't notice for a good 20 mins of the movie.)

Another bonus is that when asked to give a sermon at sunday service by the priest of the village Angel answers: "No thank you, that might be a bit hypocritical of me."

"Oh, you are an athiest," the priest replies.

Angel doesn't reply in the affirmative, but we get the sense that he is a non-believer at least, and that his integrity and his moral fortitude spring from a respect for the law, and the life it protects.

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I, too, was surprised by the deeper qualities of this movie; I was expecting only a smart parody of the cop-cop movie genre, with a lot of "dumb humor." In fact, there was really no dumb humor at all, because everything in the movie was used as part of the illustration of Angel's character. (That is not to say it wasn't very funny in some parts.)

It was also interesting how the filmmakers simultaneously poked fun at aspects of that genre while expertly employing some of the same movie techniques, creating something of quality: suspense, action, editing, sound effects, all taken seriously and done well.

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I haven't seen this movie yet, but I can't resist sharing my anticipation (I should have a chance to check it out this coming weekend). I loved Shaun of the Dead and I TiVo the BBC series "Spaced Out" (written by and starring Pegg and Frost) whenever it's on.

I think they have that rare brand of humor that can make you laugh hysterically without being the least bit sarcastic, mean-spirited or contemptuous of its subject matter.

And the fact that this has the stamp of approval of respected Objectivists is just gravy :lol:

I'll come back when I've had a chance to see it. Thanks for blacking out the spoilers!

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  • 3 months later...

A little while back in the chatroom, Tenure highly recommended the movie "Hot Fuzz". Tenure's slightly twisted sense of humour appeals to me, so when I saw Hot Fuzz on sale at a local video store I bought a copy of the DVD. I am glad I did as it turned out to be one of the better movies I had seen in a long time!

PC Nick Angel is a London police officer, so superlative that his peers want rid of him because they feel he's making them look bad. The desire to be rid of him extends all the way to the top of his region's management, so he gets posted to somewhere quiet in the country.

Angel is not made out to be superman, but a man who knew what he wanted to be right from the earliest days of his youth and committed himself to it. He is unapologetically passionate about his work. He poured his entire life into being a police officer, planning his education and training all well in advance to get where he wanted to be. He uses reason and evidence to support his assertions and thereby solve crimes. He is, and (other than a few remarks from his girlfriend) is made out to be, a Rand-style hero.

The movie is very funny, especially in the second half. What I found especially appealling was the nature of crime he had to deal with.

The murder spree was instigated by a collective, motivated by collective pride and overt worship of the collective and an ossified way of life. Most of them seemed nice at the start, and even could be slightly sympathised with in their revulsion against some things. I loved how the council members all intoned "The Greater Good", in a manner that both showed their true characters and demolished that mantra by the movie's makers showing it as an excuse for atrocities. They were also shown to be not fiendish evil geniusses but complete nutjobs with unbelievably petty insecurities, spying on anyone and everyone, trying to regulate the townsfolk's lives, all so their precious collective and museum-piece town can get a pat on the head from equally petty busybodies.

I also liked how there was a definite Romanticist element to it. As well as PC Angel, all the major characters were shown as being the way they are and doing what they do because of the choices they made in life.

The outcome depended upon Angel using reason to appeal to the better part within the other police officers to join him in his fight against the council and their own superior officer, and they made their own choices according to their own judgements.

He is rational and superlative. Of course he is going to succeed - thus the promo blurb: they are going to bust your arse!

Thanks, Tenure! I definitely recommend this movie to everyone (over 18).

JJM

Edited by John McVey
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SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOILLLLERS ( Like it matters in a comedy, though )

I also loved the " greater good " mantra put forth by the brainwashed Townspeople. And of course the main character was ousted from his job because he did it " too well ".

But I don't like to over analyze comedies. It was just a funny movie. The guys that made it are always hilarious, and I believe another movie with them is coming out this fall.

EDIT: Indeed. " Run, Fatboy, Run " is coming out in late September.

Edited by TheEgoist
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I invoke thee, oh sages of old, use thy magic and merge these two holy materials into one unified whole! Smelt with time, dust and magic, bring together, what is at present apart!

I call upon thee, Admins and Mods, gods of old, hear my call and do this deed.

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By the power of Greyskull, this was a funny movie :) For anyone that hasn't seen Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is quite gory in few places, but it's still funny to watch. The editing is great too, as someone already mentioned. That alone was enough to crack me up.

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  • 1 month later...

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