The second act of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s ‘Blood and Ice-cream’ trilogy, Hot Fuzz stars Pegg as Police Constable Nicholas Angel, a super-cop whose high arrest rate is making his colleagues in the Metropolitan Police look bad, so he’s promoted to sergeant and bundled out of London and off to the West County, to the sleepy village of Sandford, in Gloucester.
Once in Sandford, he’s soon dealing with shoplifters, under-age drinkers, giving lectures to schools and trying to capture an escaped swan. Trapped in the village hotel, with just his Japanese peace lily for company, Angel is desperate for some real police work, and paperwork, to sink his teeth into.
He soon gets more than he bargained for, however, when he finds that Sandford is not as sleepy as it seems, and that the local residents are being bumped off at an alarming rate. All is not well in the village, there’s a murderer about, and as each villager snuffs it in increasingly gruesome and inventive ways, it’s up to Sergeant Angel and his new sidekick, Constable Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) to get to the bottom of it, and between them, they’re going to tear Sandford apart. What follows is almost two hours of gunplay, gore and witty one-liners.
Just like its predecessor, Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz combines comedy with, in this case, the action/thriller genre. Being from the West Country myself, Hot Fuzz appealed to me even more, with its caricature of village life. There were characters here that were worryingly close to people I’ve known.
The chemistry between Pegg and Frost is a good as ever, but it’s in the supporting cast where Fuzz really comes up trumps. It’s like a who’s who of the very best of British cinema and comedy. With the likes of Oscar-winning Jim Broadbent, former James Bond Timothy Dalton and Edward Woodward giving the film a real ensemble feel. Dalton is superb as the sneering supermarket manager Simon Skinner, hamming it up to perfection, while Broadbent’s turn as Inspector Frank Butterman is great too, going from kindly father figure to gun totting maniac come the film’s climax. With Kevin Eldon, Olivia Colman, Adam Buxton and Stephen Merchant, the quality of the casting speaks for itself.
Being a recent film, the transfer to Blu-ray is a fairly straightforward one. The picture looks great, but it’s difficult to say if it’s really markedly improved on the previous DVD release. The 5.1 HD-DTS is, as you’d expect, first rate, with shotguns, explosions and tire screeches all ringing out with exceptional clarity.
The extras are pretty good, with a nice, well put together making of in ‘We Made Hot Fuzz’; there’s extensive deleted scenes and out-takes as well as Edgar Wright’s 1993 short Dead Right, which he credits as being responsible for a lot of the inspiration behind Hot Fuzz.
There’s full video-blogs, shot during the making of the movie, which are pretty cool, and there’s commentaries from Pegg and Wright, the cast of the Sandford Police Service and a commentary from Wright and Quentin Tarantino.
Pegg and Wright always seem to go that extra mile to deliver as much content as possible for the home releases of their films, and Fuzz is no exception. There’s plenty here for their fans and it’s great value for money.
I’m less sure about some of the other options on the Blu-ray, personally. I can’t see the point in being able to bookmark particular scenes. The U Control feature works quite well, allowing you to choose a Fuzz-O-Meter, displaying facts about the film with a pop-up policeman’s notebook, or story-boards of the film, scene-by scene, although it takes up a bit too much of the screen for my liking.
Hot Fuzz is a brilliant film, wonderfully over the top with some superb comedy moments, and some brilliant action sequences coupled with first class references to the films we know and love from the genre.
Hot Fuzz will be released on Blu-ray on October 12.