When people think of movie trilogies it’s always unanimously the same characters that start in the first film and end with the third. That’s not the case with the Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy also known as the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy by writer/director Edgar Wright. This trilogy of films is more along the lines of an anthology series that has the same writing team in Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg who also stars in the films. Each film see’s the same cast of characters but in different roles that are loosely connected to each other through a series of minor details.
The second film in this trilogy, Hot Fuzz, comes on the heels of the massively successful and side splittingly hilarious apocalyptic comedy Shaun of the Dead. All of the magic Wright and Pegg create in Shaun is captured again here. Lightning literally struck twice with this duo with their wildly original and unique idea. But it isn’t just Simon Pegg and Edgar Write creating this magic, co-lead Nick Frost packs the same amount of punch with his characters that are usually the polar opposite of Pegg.
Hot Fuzz’s main strength, among others, is the satirical approach to the buddy cop drama. Majority of the time, these types of films are heavy, serious and melodramatic while Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright take the more serious tone and make it comedic while being self-aware and not taking itself too seriously. Because of the more comedic nature of Hot Fuzz, Wright is able to inject a steady dose of violence and gore that balances well with the main tone of the film. It’s not the type of blood and gore that a horror film would portray – the amount may be the same, but it’s easier to take in and recognize that it’s not as gross or terrifying.
“If we let you carry on running around town, you’ll continue to be exceptional and we can’t have that. You’ll put us all out of a job.”
Wright’s characters are also flipped from the norm of the buddy cop film. Instead of the “rookie cop partnered up with the old vet on the brink of retirement” that is shot from the point of view of the rookie, the main character Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is the seasoned vet who is too good at his job. Nicholas takes his job way too seriously to the point that it comes off as annoying and arrogant yet Pegg finds a happy medium where his character is actually relatable. As the film progresses much more depth is added to Nicholas then what we are led to believe. I mean he hasn’t even seen Bad Boys 2 or Point Break, come on Nick.
Nicholas’s seriousness makes him inherently funny. We all know that one person who takes their job a little too seriously – Nicholas Angel is that guy. At least he makes it fun to poke fun at that type of person. When Nicholas is promoted to Sergeant, he’s reassigned to the small rural town of Sanford, Gloucestershire where everyone knows everyone, and things are way more relaxed including the police. It is the multiple winner of “Village of the Year”, after all. Nicholas is on the job 24/7 365, when he goes to a pub, his order is cranberry juice while kicking out the underage kids that are allowed to drink in a “safe place”.
Nick’s new partner, PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) is the polar opposite of employee that Nicholas is. He’s lazier and constantly spending his nights in a jail cell due to his inebriation. Pairing these two different types of characters together is genius because they both are able to teach each other things about the job and life that never would have come up if either had never been introduced to each other.
“Is it true that there is a place in a man’s head that, if you shoot it, it will blow up?”
Hot Fuzz borderlines on the romantic comedy genre with how well Simon Pegg and Nick Frost work together. They’re two actors who move, talk and act like one. Much to that credit is due to the fact that they are friendly off screen. Having that type of friendship and partnership outside of the film allows their characters to have such a unique palpable chemistry together.
Add a supporting cast that followed over from Shaun of the Dead in Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Rafe Spall, Julia Deakin and others only adds to the chemistry that translates to the screen.
A lot of the comedy that doesn’t come from Simon Pegg or Nick Frost can be credited to how Wright and cinematographer Jess Hall framed each shot and scene. It almost feels like a Guy Ritchie film with how quick the camera movements are, but the constant fast one takes that are edited together give Hot Fuzz a fun spin to the camera movements. Plus, all the repetition and call backs will keep you guessing when the next one will happen in the film. How many times can we get a shot of the Police headquarters door and the officer working there before it gets annoying? The answer is none. That shot is different every single time and its funny every single time.
It’s these subtle callbacks to Shaun of the Dead that connect these two comedies together. Having both characters perform their “own” stunts while hopping over fences – well the front flip wasn’t Simon but, regardless it’s a way for fans to have the opportunity to explore the previous film. Also, a funny nod as Danny Butterman breaks the fourth wall in a way.
For how large the cast of Hot Fuzz is, everyone has just enough screen time to be seen as effective. With many uncredited cameos including Wright himself, Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson, pointing out how many faces makes the viewing even better. On top of that, the Guy Ritchie-esque plot twist comes out of nowhere that’s set up and presented perfectly. The journey to that point allows the twist to pay off because its unexpected.
Hot Fuzz is another win for Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. You just can’t have one without the others. Filled with big laughs and heartwarming moments to scenes of total destruction, violence and gore, Hot Fuzz has it all. What is a movie if a character doesn’t have a barn full of weapons and a sea mine that may or may not explode? A missed opportunity. 4.6 out of 5.
So, tell me, have you seen Hot Fuzz and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Hot Fuzz is written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg and directed by Edgar Wright is Rated R and has a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Hot Fuzz was released on March 14, 2007 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minutes. Hot Fuzz can be streamed on HBO Max and purchased by online retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, & Google.