While channel surfing several weekends ago, I happened upon Naked Gun 33 1/3 airing on Comedy Central. I used to love the Naked Gun series, with Leslie Nielsen portraying a bumbling Lieutenant Frank Drebin. It made me recall some of the other "classic" (I use that word subjectively) spoof films of the late 80s and early 90s, like Spaceballs, Hot Shots!, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Okay, so none of these movies are all that great, but I still enjoy them to this day. And it's not just from nostalgia-goggles...the lame, in-your-face comedy cracks me up.
I then thought about the current state of the spoof movie...and it's a bit painful. From the Scary Movie's to Meet the Spartans to Superhero/Date/Epic/Disaster Movie, things have come a long way. In my opinion (and on IMDB & Rotten Tomatoes), most of these movies are unwatchable. But someone's watching them, as they all make millions (and Sci-Fi Movie & Scary Movie 5 are in the works).
It was there, in the midst of that frightening darkness, that I recalled a beacon of hope...a 2007 film called Hot Fuzz. I rewatched it to get the bad taste out of my mouth and was amazed...a modern spoof movie that's witty & funny!
Hot Fuzz, in a nutshell, is a spoof on the "buddy cop" movie (i.e. Rush Hour, Bad Boys) from the guys that created Shaun of the Dead (a romantic comedy, with zombies!). Here's the official plot summary, better than what I could come up with:
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, 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.
This movie is absolutely hysterical! Pegg & Frost always work great together, and Hot Fuzz continues that trend. Their dialogue, characterization, everything is A+! Every "buddy cop" and over-the-top action movie cliche is taken on here. Whether it's the humorously-overdone gore, the hilariously-brilliant plot you won't see coming, the insane gunfight at the end, the FOUR cliffhanger endings, or "firing your gun in the air and yelling 'aaaahhhhh!!!'" (ala Point Break), you will laugh profusely while watching this movie. Unless you have a condition that prevents you from laughing.
Below is a short clip of one of my favorite scenes. If you find yourself laughing, you owe it to yourself to watch the whole movie!
- Library Catalog: Check the availability of Hot Fuzz on DVD. The EVPL has widescreen and fullscreen versions.
- Theatrical Trailer: Check out the theatrical trailer for a glimpse of the humor, guns, & gore.
- User Reviews: The movie has an 8.0/10 rating on IMDB and a 90% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.