Hello everyone. Welcome to the first #moviemonday of 2022.
I am really looking forward to the year ahead because despite everything that is going on, I do have goals that I am steadily striving towards and there are things to look forward to. I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2022.
Let’s dive into today’s #moviemonday discussion.
Today I am talking about Hot Fuzz. The movie was released in 2007 and it was directed by Edgar Wright.
I watched Hot Fuzz for the first time last night and I really enjoyed it. It was completely different to what I was expecting. I laughed a lot, I was fully invested and I thought it would be a fun movie to kick off #moviemondays in 2022.
This is a buddy cop movie and it follows PC Nicholas Angel, an uptight, lonely, stick in the mud police officer who gets sent from London to the rural town of Sandford. At first the movie seems like it will be the classic plot of outsider comes to the small town where everyone knows everyone and he must try to learn to fit in, and this is the case to an extent, but then the movie takes a turn and Nicholas learns that Sandford is not the sleepy village he thinks it is.
The main protagonist is Nicholas Angel. Nicholas is by the book. He is the classic straight man in the buddy cop pairing. He is the serious one. He loves the rulebook. His life is the job, he cannot switch off and this inability to switch off causes him many issues in his personal life. He is lonely, relationships fail, he is not very endearing, and at first he is a really hard character to like because there is nothing wrong with being a person who likes rules, but Nicholas’s holier than thou attitude really rubs people the wrong way, but by the movie’s end Nicholas develops as a character and he became someone I really rooted for. No spoilers here, go watch the movie, but I do love the learning and growing that tends to happen in buddy cop movies.
The other half of the dynamic buddy cop duo is PC Danny Butterman. Danny loves action movies, and he lives for a thrill. He feels he is missing out on “real” policing in his quiet home of Sandford and so he is fascinated by an officer from London. Danny is the only person who really tries to befriend Nicholas and make him feel welcome, and although Nicholas does not appreciate his efforts at first, the two go on to be a brilliant team. Danny teaches Nicholas to lighten up and he helps him realise his life cannot be all about work all the time, and in turn, Nicholas teaches Danny how to stand up for himself. As always, the two characters are very different but they balance each other out. Danny is also my favourite character in this movie. I found him really fun and very endearing.
The really interesting thing about this movie is that I cannot discuss who the antagonist is because doing so would spoil the movie and there will be no spoilers here. The movie features an absolutely brilliant ensemble cast and the actors really captured that small town feel where everyone knows everyone and they have known each other for years. Each character is quirky and unique and throughout the movie I kept guessing who the antagonist would turn out to be.
The movie keeps you invested as there are many twists and turns so it makes for a really engaging watch.
Since I cannot really expand on the other characters too much without giving anything away, I am going to talk about style along with themes because I really enjoyed how this movie was directed and edited.
Themes & Style.
The script for Hot Fuzz was inspired by many different action movies and I think this becomes really obvious as the movie plays out. In a way I would say that this movie is almost like a nod to action movies, because as I said, Danny one of the main protagonists, loves action movies and so his love for action movies leads to a thirst for more action in his small town. Danny makes decisions as if he is in an action movie, he’s even got one liners at the ready because Danny sees himself as the hero in these action movies and there are some brilliant action sequences in this movie.
The style and tone of this movie is really interesting. It is a buddy cop comedy, but at times there is almost a horror movie feel to it, even though it is not a horror movie. This movie was chosen by a really close friend of mine as it is one of his favourites, as is Scream, and while we were watching I said that some elements did remind me a bit of Scream – I won’t spoil the movie but if you have already seen Hot Fuzz and Scream then you will understand what I mean. There are times when this movie feels like a serious crime investigation movie as the crimes in Sandford keep increasing and becoming more violent but no one aside from Nicholas seems overly concerned and then finally, in the last act of this movie, we move into what feels like a full-scale action movie which is really funny and really satisfying because we get to see Danny live out his heroic action movie dreams. Despite all of these shifts in tone, the movie feels very cohesive and at no point does it seem all over the place and this is because the movie does an incredible job of setting things up that have pay off later. There is not a single question left unanswered, there are no loose ends, everything that gets set up in the beginning makes sense at some point later on in the movie so even with the changes in tone, the movie never loses sense.
The movie’s main themes are friendship, the concept of justice, and the concept of individuality vs blending in with a crowd. Nicholas has a really strong sense of right and wrong and he acts when he sees the slightest indiscretion. He is almost arrogant about his sense of right and wrong, he never turns off, he misses personal events, he is never lighthearted, he does not take a joke, and throughout the movie he learns that he can still right wrongs, and he can still be a good police officer but it’s okay to have a laugh and to be friends with your colleagues etc. He struggles to fit in in Sandford and at times it seems like he is the only person who understands that something is wrong and so he decides to stand his ground and investigate even when everyone is scoffing at him. His desire to find the truth further alienates him from the people in his new home but he knows he is doing the right thing, and this is admirable because it is easy to do the right thing when you have support, it is not easy to do the right thing when everyone is mocking you for it. I think this is important because while it is important to have a work/life balance, which is something that Nicholas learns, it is also okay to stay true to your gut when you truly believe in something. You can still be an individual within a community, it is all about finding balance which is what Nicholas and Danny do.
I would say that Hot Fuzz follows a three-act structure. There is the move to Sandford which is act one, and the move to this rural place is what kicks off the plot.
Act two, the main body of the plot is when the crimes or “accidents” begin to happen more regularly and Nicholas becomes more and more convinced that something is wrong.
We then have a twist, which kicks off the third act of the movie which is also when the movie enters full action movie territory and all of the dots begin to connect. The movie is just over two hours long, so it is long, but it is engaging throughout and it is one of those movies where small details, down to just one line that seems just for comedy at the time, becomes important at a later point and I really like movies like that, where seemingly unimportant things all come together perfectly.
Hot Fuzz is brilliantly funny. It is clever. If you like action movies then you will really appreciate the love for action movies that this movie displays. There are a few gory moments that someone more squeamish (me) may need to look away for, but those moments did not hinder my enjoyment of the movie at all. I laughed so much and I was genuinely caught off guard by the plot twists. I would watch it again and I would highly recommend it.
This has been #moviemonday. I hope you enjoyed it. Have you seen Hot Fuzz? What is your favourite action movie? Let me know.