‘Hot Fuzz’ is one of the great action movies of all time. Seriously.
An Edgar Wright movie is instantly unmistakeable: He folds jokes, ADHD-infused editing, and innumerable loving pastiches into his films. Not a single frame or line of dialogue is frivolous. (And here, it’s easy to guess why he and Marvel Studios broke up long before he was able to realize his vision for Ant-Man.)
Since his film debut in 2004 with the horror-comedy Shaun of the Dead, Wright has helmed just four more films, including his first (and only) adaptation in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and last year’s triumphant quasi-musical Baby Driver. As sublime as his record is so far, his best remains Hot Fuzz, the second film in his “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy. It’s streaming on Netflix right now, and you’d be a fool not to watch (or rewatch).
Hot Fuzz follows Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) of the London Metropolitan Police Service, who is so good at his job that his superiors deem it necessary to relocate him to the English countryside, for fear of his individual accomplishments eclipsing the mission of the force as a whole. Angel is dumped unceremoniously into a small village called Sandford, a seemingly idyllic rural town in which the day-to-day police work mostly involves giving directions to bemused tourists, investigating some illegally-trimmed hedgerows, and chasing down a lost swan from a local farm. Stifled by his cheerfully oblivious Inspector, Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent) and the Inspector’s fuck-up policeman son, Danny (Nick Frost, of course), Angel finds himself a fish out of water in the slow-paced Eden of Sandford.
Until people start dying and don’t stop dying.
Suddenly, the people of Sandford are being dispatched with ruthless and gory efficiency by a mysterious entity in a hooded cloak. We know this, and of course it doesn’t take Angel long to suspect a pattern (we’re told time and time again Sandford hasn’t experienced a recorded murder in 20 years), but the rest of the town’s police force and its inhabitants balk at the idea of a serial killer on the loose, especially with the Village of the Year competition coming up. To that end, Angel forms a close alliance with Danny, a connoisseur of American action movies who one day yearns to “jump through the air while firing two guns and going ‘Aaaaaaaah!'”