Editors' pick

Hot Fuzz

MPAA rating: R
Genre: Comedy, Action/Adventure
The team behind "Shaun of the Dead" delivers its spoof of the cop movie.
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Edward Woodward, Paddy Considine
Director: Edgar Wright
Running time: 2:01
Release: Opened Apr 20, 2007
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Editorial Review

The hilarious zombie satire "Shaun of the Dead" seemed to arrive out of nowhere in 2004, written by actor Simon Pegg and co-written and directed by Edgar Wright, two Brits best known for supporting roles and TV work, respectively.

The team is back with "Hot Fuzz," a takeoff on Hollywood action flicks at their most ludicrously macho, from "Lethal Weapon" to "Bad Boys II." Pegg plays a by-the-book police sergeant named Nicholas Angel, who, after making his London precinct look bad with a superhuman arrest record, is transferred to a sleepy little town called Sandford. There, he is teamed with a dullard named Danny Butterman (Nick Frost, Pegg's opposite number in "Shaun"), who aspires to the florid bloodletting of those aforementioned actioners. When a series of mysterious deaths transpires, he gets his wish. ("Haven't you ever wondered why the crime rate is so low but the accident rate is so high?" Nicholas asks at one point.)

"Hot Fuzz" deploys the same mix of genre conventions, slapstick and old-school British humor that made "Shaun of the Dead" such a dumb-but-good romp. "Hot Fuzz" could easily have lost 20 minutes or so in jittery montages and stylized set pieces. But for viewers in the mood for smart-stupid slapstick, it's a diverting jape.

-- Ann Hornaday (April 20, 2007)

Contains violence, graphic images and profanity.