Universal Home Video
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy
Extras: Commentary Tracks, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Video Blogs, Featurettes, Documentary and more
When Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg unleashed "Shaun Of The Dead" in 2004 the world was flat out flabbergasted. Hardcore horror and splatter fans were flocking to see a comedy that spoofed every single element and cliché of their favorite genre. The reason it was so effective was that Wright and Pegg knew their métier inside out and were so honest to their roots that you couldn't help but like and laugh at Shaun and his fight against the zombies. Now the two have teamed up for another comedy with the title "Hot Fuzz, " and like "Shaun of the Dead" it hits its mark right in the bullseye. "Hot Fuzz" couldn't be funnier.
Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is a top cop in London. He is the top dog, really, excelling at everything and anything. In fact, he is so good that he makes everyone else on the police force look bad. And that becomes a problem. When one officer continually has a 400% higher success rate than any other one in the district, it simply sheds a bad light on the entire office. And so they decide to get rid of him – by assigning him to a little town in the countryside where nothing is happening ever and where he can do no harm.
Or so his superiors thought. But Angel starts cleaning up this small town from the minute he sets his foot there. From having drinking underage kids removed from the pub to arresting drunkards attempting to drive their car under the influence, he immediately makes a mark.
As he finds out, though, things are a little different in a small village like Sandford. The drunkard was actually his new partner Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), who also happen's to be the police chief's son, the kids were virtually the only paying customers at the pub, and more so, practically everyone keeps telling Angel that things are okay the way they are.
But what about all these mysterious accidents? Accidents? Accidents? Those are cold-blooded murders – just not in the eyes of the people of Sandford. And so Nicholas Angel takes it upon himself to prove to everyone that these supposed accidents are real life murders and by doing so he opens a really big can of worms.
As you can tell from the synopsis, "Hot Fuzz" is once again a comedy that mocks every cliché and stereotype found in a particular genre. This time Wright and Pegg are taking on action cop flicks and murder mysteries, and once again they have it down to the hilt. From "The Wickerman" to "Die Hard" and "Dirty Harry" you will find references, spoofs and undertones from a huge amount of genre films, masterfully assembled, repackaged or sometimes superbly copied for effect. Unlike Quentin Tarantino who mindlessly shoplifts and regurgitates existing material, Wright and Pegg are masters at what they do, understanding exactly what makes things work, how to trigger a response, how to spot a stereotype or memorable moment from a film and to put it to work for them within a funny context. Not since Monty Python's heydays have I seen such keen observance and understanding of genres and the ability to mock it with such unflinching honesty, and with "Never taken a shortcut?" they have already managed to create a running gag of their own after only two films.
Just as impressive as the movie itself is its presentation in high definition on this Blu-Ray version from Universal Home Entertainment. The image is meticulously clean and without a hint of grain or other blemishes. But more importantly, the image has a razor sharp definition with incredible detail. The cold-looking shots of the London offices where Angel learns of his new assignment are incredibly fine in their delineation and reveal edges that are putting the "high" in high definition. But also the rest of the movie is remarkable with its ability to reproduce the movie with incredible richness and detail. Textures are finely reproduced and colors are rich in their hues, bringing out the best of the lush English countryside. Overall, this is a very nice looking transfer that makes the film even more enjoyable to watch.
There are moments when "Hot Fuzz" goes all out and delivers some real action and with a lossless DTS 5.1 HD Master audio track you simply can't go wrong. The dynamic range of the track is impressively reproducing quiet moments every bit as well as the most action packed roaring scenes. With a deep bass extension and clear high ends the frequency response is also without flaws and the track always sounds clear and transparent to bring across every subtle nuance of the mix. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable.
When it comes to the extras, Universal Home Entertainment is also dishing them out by the boatload. There are no less than five commentary tracks on this release, including the previously released track by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, which takes you behind the scenes of the film and gives you a glimpse at the genius at work here. Also included is a track featuring the cast members representing the Sandford police force, while another one features the cast members representing the people of Sandford. They are all very lively and full of little tidbits and nuggets, including the pointing out of cameo appearances and such. A track featuring Edgar Wright and quentin Tarantino is also included, giving me the giggles for the reason alone that Tarantino must feel pretty hapless as he squirms his way through this film, as "Hot Fuzz" is clearly the kind of movie he would like to make but can't. I also find it a cool backhanded compliment by Wright for the same reason.
"We Made Hot Fuzz" is a full length documentary that is included on the release, taking you behind the scenes of the production. But there's another whole bunch of featurettes on the disc, covering stunts, effects, characters, actors, locations and all the other aspects of a movie production.
Next up are video blogs – tons of it, including the VW and iTunes blogs, along with the official production video blogs, detailing many of the smaller occurrences during the shoot of the film/
A nice section of the disc covers plot holes, allowing us to see in story board form what must have happened along the sidelines in certain scenes while we were busy watching the principal cast. All of it in good jest, of course, with a got bit of humor.
"Hot Funk" gives us a look at some scenes from the film where the language had to be toned down for television broadcast – please bear in mind that the film has an "R" rating for very good reason. It is using strong language and more importantly has some incredibly graphic violent scenes.
Also included is "Danny's Notebook: The Other Side," expertly showcased thumb-cinema by Nick Frost, while Storyboard and Photo Galleries round out the disc. To further add to the fun, the release also comes with a number of outtakes and even a selection of deleted scenes. Rounded out with a trivia meter track that you can turn on while viewing the film, this disc has a lot of goodies for you to enjoy.
Regardless however, "Hot Fuzz" is truly hot stuff. It is one of the funniest films of recent memory and it truly conjures up memories of the glorious Monty Python films like "Life Of Brian." Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are two of the hottest candidates for outrageous laughs these days, but not those moronic teenage gross-out kind-of-laughs that aren't even remotely funny. Instead they deliver smart observational humor from movies we love, turning them onto their heads and making us laugh at our own guilty pleasures. Seriously, "Hot Fuzz" is a film you have to see! You simply cannot afford to say you haven't seen this movie when someone asks you. "Hot Fuzz" is pop culture on steroids.