©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
Hot Fuzz

Filthy says:
"It ain't so fucking bad."

I don't like cops. That's not really surprising, especially among my friends at the Arvada Tavern. I don't think anyone likes them. Worm's always gets nervous and heads for the john and pretends he's taking the world's longest dump when patrolmen stop by for a burger or basket of stale peanuts. It's strange, though, because if he were trying to go unnoticed he probably shouldn't make those awful grunting noises that can be heard from the street. He says he's a "method" actor. The Harelip has eight warrants that I know of: four for meth possession, two for distribution, one for car theft and one for humping a statue. Currently, my records relatively clean, but that doesn't keep me from getting the willies every time I'm crawling in a gutter at four a.m. and a cop's headlights slowly pull up behind me. It's a free county, pigs, and the gutters are public property. Eazy-E hated the Man, too. And that guy had impeccable taste.

Anyway, I don't like cop movies much because they glorify policeman like they are some sorts of heroes when I know they wouldn't even have a God damn thing to do without criminals to chase. Why should they get all the credit? and what would Arvada's finest be up to if they didn't have me to pull out of bushes and wake up in the middle of the night? How about a movie about me? When do I get my moment in the sun? tomorrow? Next week? You just let me know and I'll put some pants on for it.

Hot Fuzz was going to be a different kind of cop movie, I thought, because it made fun of the genre and all its cliches. Maybe the cops get their heads blown off, or at least the bad guys get away with pissing through the sunroof of a BMW. It's made by the same guys who did Shaun of the Dead, which was all right and only bad in ways I figured they would fix this time out.

It turns out, Hot Fuzz isn't much of a spoof; it's more like a loving twist on the conventions. It's slower than it needs to be for ninety minutes, but the last thirty are fucking awesome. That's when all the shit comes together, like there's some big shit magnet or something.

Simon Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a cop so good at his job that London sends him away to the country so he'll stop making the other city cops look bad. Once is in the sleepy village of Sandford, he meets the complacent, sweets-eating cop force who spend most of their time tracking down swans and stopping vandalism. Pegg is teamed with the police inspector's son, fatty Nick Frost, an incompetent boob and huge fan of buddy action movies. Following convention, Pegg has nothing but contempt for Frost at the beginning, and grows to respect and trust him by the end. At his end, Frost always adores Pegg, because he's a real cop.

Of course, there is a whole seamy underbelly. And I don't mean the Harelip's. Technically, it's not her underbelly that's seamy, it's the moist, thorny forest just below that is. The seamy underbelly I refer to is the Agatha Christie like strong of mysterious deaths in Sandford that the local citizens refuse to think of as murders. Only Pegg suspects that the decapitated lovers weren't crash victims, or that the man whose house was blown to smithereens didn't do it while drunkenly making bacon and beans.

From there, the movie sort of follows a tired path, spending too much time reminding us that Sandford is very quaint and quiet on the outside. Also, that it's full of quirky characters like the tavern owners who let kids booze up, the dorky reporter, the foul-mouthed policewoman, or the twin-like, sour police detectives. A little bit of all that would have gone farther and focused the jokes on fewer people. As it is, a lot of jokes fell flat because I just didn't know who the people were.

The central mystery is too Agatha Christie for anyone's good. First, Pegg must convince the lazy other police that murders have been committed, and then he must figure out who the killer is. I didn't care much either way.

What I did care about was the ending, which combines fucking awesome foot chases, car chases, a loose swan, a man impaled on a miniature chapel, catacombs stuffed with dead bodies, loads of blood and one enormous gunfight in the town square. In the last quarter of the movie it all makes sense why Pegg and Frost wanted to make this movie and what they love about cop movies. They use the conventions, but improve upon them in almost every way. The car chases are tighter, the footchases have better scenery, the swan honks a lot. I figure if two guys from England can make better action sequences than the big budget action movies, then it's just another example of how fucking lazy Hollywood's grassfuckers and assmowers are.

Three Fingers for Hot Fuzz. It ain't perfect, but sure as hell beats the cop movies it's copying. Plus, since the cops are English, they don't scare me nearly as much.



The makers of Kickin' It Old Skool who have populated their ad with made-up quotes by the movie's characters. Man, that smells more like desperation than Axe body spray.

The Reaping is "an outstanding supernatural thriller!"

Filthy's Reading
Graham Greene - The Tenth Man

Listening to
Bill Callahan - Woke on a Whaleheart


Shaun of the Dead