Here Comes the Fuzz

The makers of the hit comedy “Shaun of the Dead” are finally returning to the big screen with “Hot Fuzz,” their new action-packed comedy. Already a huge hit in the U.K., having the sixth biggest opening of all time for a comedy, “Hot Fuzz” is sure to please the American masses upon its limited release on April 20.

Nicholas Angel (played by returning actor and screenwriter Simon Pegg) is top cop in all of London. He is proficient in the arts of hand-to-hand combat, armed response, and high speed pursuit. His arrest record is unsurpassed by his comrades in the force; Angel’s arrest record is 400 percent higher than any other officer. In fact, Angel is so good at his job that he is even beginning to make the Metropolitan Chief Inspector look bad. The quick fix: they make him disappear.

Angel is reassigned to the sleepy and scenic village of Sandford in the incredibly rural West Country, statistically the safest village in all of England. He meets his new partner, PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), the morning after he arrests him for public drunkenness.

Butterman is eager to please, talkative, and an avid fan of police action flicks like “Bad Boys” and “Die Hard.” His curiosity of Angel’s high-octane metropolitan police antics quickly irritates Angel. Despite the apparent tedium of his new job, however, the flack jacket-wearing Angel never lets his guard down, even when investigating the case of a missing swan.

Angel’s suspicions of the town’s eerily perfect fa√ßade grow after a series of mysterious “accidental” deaths. Angel suspects a serial killer is lurking in the dark corners of Sandford, but his team is skeptical. There hasn’t been a recorded murder in the town in 20 years, but Angel quickly learns that appearances can be deceiving. As he solves this whodunit, he winds up taking Danny on the riotous and gun-fire filled adventure of his dreams.

Director Edgar Wright and screenwriter Pegg’s second film together is a wonderfully grisly and witty comedy, as good as (if not better than) “Shaun of the Dead.” The quick and clever verbal interplay between characters is ridiculously funny. Wright and Pegg manage to make British comedy comprehendible to American audiences; never is there a moment in the film where the viewer is left clueless.

The odd-couple pairing of Angel and Butterman’s characters never fails to entertain at any point in the story. “Hot Fuzz” also manages to maintain its comical endurance from beginning to end, and does not subscribe to the formulaic comedy movie routine in which the protagonist and plot become incongruently serious compared to the film’s supposed genre.

In addition, the cinematography of “Hot Fuzz” is no doubt one of the contributing factors to the film’s comedic success. All the dramatic slow motion action sequences and dizzying montages (a la the testosterone-driven “Bad Boys”) are aplenty in “Hot Fuzz”; so much so that, at times, dialogue is not even necessary to elicit a giggle.

“Hot Fuzz,” a definite must-see for both action buffs and those looking for a good side-splitting laugh, may just be the best comedy of the year.