Today’s post title comes from one of my new favorite movies. Ewan Spence recommended Hot Fuzz to me way back at SXSW, and few movies have made me laugh so hard. Since I’ve written several posts about my despair over the crap Hollywood insists on producing, the time seemed perfect to highlight a good movie that just happens to be British. (Note: I have a soft spot for British film and humor.)
Hot Fuzz combines several seemingly unconnected themes into one hilarious story. The movie starts with Sgt. Nicholas Angel, an over-achieving police officer with the Metropolitan Police. His arrest record is 400% higher than everyone else, making other officers look bad and resulting in his transfer to Sandford, the safest town in England.
The safest town ends up not particularly safe after a series of four murders mistaken for accidents. Shooting and mayhem ensue. I don’t know how they got any good takes and kept a straight face. I couldn’t quit laughing.
Not everyone will share my enthusiasm for Hot Fuzz. Bloody murders and shoot’em out scenes aside, the thread of humor running throughout the film, combined with a fabulous story, just clicked for me. Who hasn’t wished they could use shopping carts as a battering ram into the meat section?
Hot Fuzz breaks the mold of typical movies and tells a good story. My aggravation with many movies lies in the use of one cataclysmic event after another to move the story along. The action in Hot Fuzz follows a more traditional arc, closer to a mystery or an old Hollywood western. However, this arc actually requires you have a story to tell, so it’s not an option for most of the films floating around.
You may recognize some of the faces in Hot Fuzz from Shaun of the Dead. This earlier film did many of the same things as Hot Fuzz—it turned a particular genre, in this case a zombie film, on its head and told a good story. Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead show that you can make good, funny movies if you want to. For some reason, most Hollywood movie studios choose not to, and I fail to understand why. They’d be better off if they paid attention to Sgt. Angel and noticed that “the little hand says it’s time to rock and roll.” Shake things up and tell me a good story. I promise I’ll watch.