Hot Fuzz – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Directed by:
Edgar Wright

Cast:
Simon Pegg… Nicholas Angel
Nick Frost… Danny Butterman
Jim Broadbent… Frank Butterman
Timothy Dalton… Simon Skinner

Running Time: 121 Minutes
Release Date: July 31, 2007

The Film

First the trio of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost proved they could make an excellent sitcom with Spaced. Then they proved similarly adept at making a loving homage/parody of the zombie film genre with Shaun of the Dead. The trio tries a similar approach here, attempting to parody the action movie genre and create an enjoyable action film at the same time. Will the third time continue to be the charm? Read on to find out.

Nicholas Angel is the best cop in London. Unfortunately, for him, he’s a little too good at his job; his arrest rate is so high that the other officers are starting to look like chumps. As a result, his superiors promote Angel to the position of Sergeant so they can reassign him to the sleepy village of Sandford.

Initially, Sergeant Angel, with his vigorous application of the law, seems like a poor fit for such a laid-back village, but when a large number of residents begin dying in a series of freak accidents, Angel’s is sure there are sinister forces at work.

If you’re a fan of Shaun of the Dead, you’ll be happy with Hot Fuzz. While the two movies focus on very different genres, the comedy has a similar feel; they both parody their genre, but there’s a real sense that the writers (Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright) love the films they’re parodying, and the result is a movie which not only mocks the genre, but also serves as an effective genre film.

Hot Fuzz is a bit more accessible than Shaun of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead really required a love of zombie movies to get the most out of it; Hot Fuzz, on the other hand, has a much larger and more established series of cliches to fall back on. Even if you haven’t seen some of the specific movies being parodied, a lot of the time the movie pokes fun at the broad cliches which can be found in many action films. Of course, even though Hot Fuzz is more accessible, you’ll probably need at least rudimentary knowledge of the standard action movie cliches to really enjoy it.

The replay value for Hot Fuzz is high as well. There are a of jokes scattered throughout the movie which are basically callbacks to other moments in the film, but in reverse. Unless you’ve seen the movie before, you won’t even realize the line is supposed to be funny. There are also a lot of small, easily missed jokes (often someone or something in the background of a scene), ensuring that there’s always something new to discover.

The only real downside of Hot Fuzz is the length of the final act. It’s in the final act of the movie that we get to see most of the action cliches put to mocking and/or good use, but it goes on just a little too long. Even the movie itself seems to be aware of the fact, as the dialog calls attention to it.

The Video
The video is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen. It’s clear and crisp with no noticeable issues throughout.

The Audio
The audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 and everything sounds fantastic.

The Extras

Commentary with Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg – A pretty solid commentary that covers a lot of ground. The track was obviously recorded with a 2 disc edition in mind however as at various times they encourage you to check out other features on the DVD for more information; a fair amount of the time those features are ones not included on this release.

Fuzz-O-Meter – This text commentary provides quite a lot of information; from where a scene was filmed to pointing out and explaining some of the more obscure references. It spends a little too much time pointing out where things were filmed (we really don’t need to know where they filmed each and every shot), but otherwise it’s solid.

Storyboards – With the storyboards turned on, a Hot Fuzz icon will pop up from time to time when watching the film. Choosing the icon will display the storyboards for the upcoming sequence.

Inadmissible: Deleted Scenes – There are quite a few deleted/extended scenes. Some were deleted because they were a little too heavy on the foreshadowing, others because there were a few too many jokes in a single scene and some just because the movie was running long.

Outtakes – A little over ten minutes of outtakes. As with most outtake reels, it’s mildly funny, but nothing special.

The Man Who Would be Fuzz – A brief (but amusing) scene from the movie with Simon Pegg playing as Michael Caine (as Nick Angel) and Nick Frost as Shaun Connery (as Danny Butterman).

Danny’s Notebook: The Other Side – The animation for the other side of Danny’s notebook.

The Fuzzball Rally: US Tour Piece – A fairly lengthy featurette (25 minutes or so) following Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost around on their US promotional tour. You can tell all three are having a blast here.

Hot Funk – A smattering of scenes from throughout the movie with all of the foul language replaced with more TV friendly words like ‘funk’ and ‘silt.’ Hilarious stuff.

Trailers – The theatrical trailer, two UK TV spots and the director’s cut trailer for Hot Fuzz.

While there’s a solid line-up of extras on the disc, the fact that there’s a two disc special edition (only at Walmart, unless you’re in the UK) and a three disc special edition coming out in a couple months hurts the score a bit.

The Inside Pulse

In a year that has been rather lax for comedies, Hot Fuzz is one of the few stand-outs. If you’re the type of person who really cares about behind the scenes footage, commentaries and other special features, you’re probably going to want to wait a couple months for the three disc special edition. If special features aren’t a big concern to you, pick this one up ASAP.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Hot Fuzz
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

8.5
THE VIDEO

9
THE AUDIO

9
THE EXTRAS

7
REPLAY VALUE

9
OVERALL
8.5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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