I seem to be on a kick with British comedians' "other" work. Last week I featured some of the highlights from Ricky Gervais' Extras, a show that I will defend to the death as being better than the UK version of The Office. I do realize that this may just be because The Office seems to be the show of choice for hipster cock knockers who are too cool for "broad" comedy. Oh I see, we're all above a nice fart joke, are we? Well I hope you get hit by a car the next time you're riding your retro bicycle through downtown traffic you messenger bag-toting, ironic mustache-sporting Commie asshat. You suck.
Soooo....anyway, this week I'd like to move from British TV to British movies and highlight Hot Fuzz, the second movie directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Their first movie, Shaun of the Dead, is often hailed as one of the best horror-comedies of all time while Hot Fuzz seems to have gone off by the wayside. Now, I do understand the love for Shaun. Usually horror-comedies wind up being abysmal failures, but Wright, Pegg, and Frost manage to pull off the seemingly impossible task of combining scary and funny. However, I'm just going to have to say it: I like Hot Fuzz more than Shaun of the Dead.
There was a period of time when I'd watch Hot Fuzz about once a month with Mrs. Grumpy-to-Be, and it got funnier every time. I think that's what takes it to the next level for me as compared to Shaun of the Dead. I could watch it every day for a week and I'd probably find something new to laugh at that I'd missed the first time.
For example, in a quick but brilliant cameo by Bill Nighy as the head of the London police force, he makes this very subtle snarl after giving his line that I didn't notice until probably my 5th or 6th viewing (I told you I've seen it a lot). Now you may not give a shit about a facial gesture, but this is my blog so nuts to you.
Another thing that Hot Fuzz has over Shaun is a superior villain. In fact, aside from the whole army of zombies thing, Shaun doesn't really have a villain. Hot Fuzz, however, has Simon Skinner:
Skinner is played by everyone's least favorite Bond, Timothy Dalton, but after his turn as Simon Skinner he gets a lifetime pass from me. Actually I don't think I've ever seen anything else he's been in but he's still fucking awesome now. Simon Skinner is one of those villains that is on par with Shooter "I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast" McGavin, where he is such an asshole that by the end of the movie you actually kind of like him. I mean, this is a guy who actually takes the time to come up with a song relevant to the crime he just committed so that he can drive by the crime scene later on and sneer at the police. How can you not love that?
Now, please don't expect Hot Fuzz to change your outlook on life, because then you'll be disappointed and I'll have to read comments about how I don't know shit when it comes to movies. The movie didn't win any Academy Awards, and I doubt that was ever anyone's goal. It's a homage to the violent buddy cop genre made famous by Lethal Weapon, and I think to that end it hits all of the right notes. It's basically a way to waste a couple of hours with a big smile on your face, and I'll always recommend anything that manages to put a smile on my face. So enjoy a montage of a few more clips and then go see the rest of the damn movie. If don't like it, then give it one more try. If you still don't think it's funny, then you're probably one of those aforementioned hipster cock knockers. Never come here again.