SVPD Blues

    From the British comedians who brought us “”Shaun of the Dead”” comes a brilliant homage to cop dramas from around the world. Referencing genre landmarks from “”Bad Boys II”” to “”Point Break,”” writers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg don’t miss a single beat – they’ve got a never-resting super-cop, a bumbling sidekick, a village full of old people and the bane of one small town’s existence: a living statue-mime, painted gold, who hangs out at the town square.

    Courtesy of Rogue Films

    But the mundane setting never slows down the action, and, as usual, there are plenty of evils to unearth (with the exception of zombies this time around). Fast-paced camerawork and cornball dialogue transform even the commonplace task of checking into the village’s only hotel into an action-packed thrill; dialogue reverently employs the genre staple of campy one-liners and endless quips; and, of course, the buffs also pay respect to the rest of the cop-drama checklist, with obligatory explosions and six-shooters that never need to be reloaded.

    The intro to “”Hot Fuzz”” is a fantastic montage of the ballooning career of London’s best cop, Sgt. Nicholas Angel (Pegg), whose shining performance in the line of duty has left the rest of the London Police Service in shadow. The breaks are quickly applied to Angel’s soaring career when Bill Nighly (the stepfather in “”Shaun””), as chief inspector, sends him pouting to a dead-end job in Sanford, a small village far from the mean streets of London.

    Once in town, Angel teams up with police corporal Danny Butterman, who Nick Frost plays with all the same chubby buffoonary of his character in “”Shaun.”” Frost may not be exploring his range as an actor, but he still draws a bulk of the laughs. In one especially dichotomy-revealing scene, Angel hurdles a series of backyard fences, leaping into a triple forward flip over the last – which Butterman answers by crashing through the first fence on his face. When Angel whittles away his time in the uneventful town by giving a safety lecture to an elementary school class, Butterman raises his hand in the middle of the presentation and asks in earnest, “”Is it true that there’s a point on a man’s head where if you shoot it, it will blow up?”” Pegg’s performance as the agitated straight man to Frost’s bumbling idiot is a classic mix performed with expert precision.

    The comedic duo has worked together for many years now, notably on the British TV show “”Spaced”” and a few movies – all written by Pegg and Wright – with extremely limited release (Netflix has yet to pick them up), until achieving international success with the genre-bending satire “”Shaun of the Dead.”” Billed as a romantic comedy with zombies, “”Shaun”” was the first intelligent satire since “”Army of Darkness”” – and now, “”Fuzz”” has blown it out of the water. So if you missed “”Shaun”” – either because you’re a prissy wuss, afraid of undead hordes or a loser who thinks laughter is for kids – then at least get out there and enjoy what may be the best damn cop movie ever made.

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