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Hot Fuzz


Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Bill Bailey, Paddy Considine, Paul Freeman, Lucy Punch, Billie Whitelaw, Edward Woodward, Olivia Colman

Director: Edgar Wright

Entertaining, inventive and put together with a lot of thought, this is a high-concept comedy from the stars and director of Shaun of the Dead.

London super-cop Nicholas Angel (a poker-faced Pegg) finds that his superiors (cameos from Bill Nighy, Steve Coogan and Martin Freeman) consider him too great a thorn in their sides and have him shipped off the supposedly sleepy village of Sandford.

There can't be many village copshops with a staff of nine but, under police chief Butterman (an overripe Broadbent), they all make fun of the uptight Angel and his city ways. Arresting the town drunk (Frost), Angel finds to his chagrin that the man's not only Butterman's son but a policeman to boot. So, when Angel suspects a series of grisly murders has broken out in the hamlet, it's hardly surprising that his colleagues scoff at his suspicions.

More importantly, there's a swan (which has a key role in the plot) on the loose.

This is intelligent film-making with lots of inter-connecting threads and film cross-references - 'Forget it, Nicholas; it's Sandford' - although the occasional running gag can get overworked. Whether or not you find it hilarious as well, may depend on what you laugh at and how overdrawn you like your comic characters to be.

The climactic bloodbath for example, is a lot of fun, but should it lose touch so completely with reality? A final, more logical explosive moment does, however, provide a better balance to this thinking man's comedy of action violence.

David Quinlan

UK 2007. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour.
116 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 11 Feb 2007