Hot Fuzz is the fulfillment of most any movie-glutted provincial adolescent’s study-hall daydreams — basically, to turn their town into the set of an action movie smash-up. Filming in his hometown hamlet, Somerset, Wells, director Edgar Wright must be realizing set pieces that he mentally storyboarded at age 14; a climax where two characters enact a life-and-death grapple over a scale model of the cityscape, destructively wading through real estate like Toho rubber monsters, reinforces the air of preteen fantasy — Bill Watterson’s illustrations of Calvin stomping through the Cleveland suburbs show a kindred sentiment.
Nick Angel (Simon Pegg, Wright’s longtime collaborator and cowriter), a tightly wound cop working London’s toughest beat, shames the rest of the department with his exemplary arrest record, so he’s shipped off to parochial “Sandford,” a perennial competitor for “Village of the Year,” where the police force is generally more interested in their dessert menu than upholding the letter of the law (the set-up is basically On Dangerous Ground played as farce). Teamed with oafish local officer Danny Butterman (Nick Frost, another Wright regular), Angel doesn’t find much excuse for his frontier-style brand of law enforcement, but as he begins to unravel a local conspiracy, the call to bring Michael Bay action to this Agatha Christie backdrop becomes obvious.
Click here to read the rest of Nick Pinkerton’s review of Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz.