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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Despite my general apathy towards zombie movies, I thoroughly enjoyed Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead. It’s blending of horror and comedy with Wright’s kinetic direction made it really work for me. As such (and because it contained much of the same cast and crew), I anticipated his directorial follow-up Hot Fuzz. I finally got around to watching it the other week and the film just left me incredibly cold and disappointed.
Judging from the trailers, I was expecting this film to be somewhat funny. It is listed as a comedy, but there are no real jokes or gags in it. There are a few things that are amusing, but nothing that’s really comes across as a “ha-ha” moment. The thing is it isn’t a case of none of the jokes landing or anything like that. It’s that there really wasn’t anything designed to be intentionally funny.
I think there could be an argument to be made that the situation that the characters find themselves can be outlandish and that the whole movie hinges on that for its humor. That isn’t necessarily a bad approach to take, but a film needs other humorous elements for it to truly work as a straight-up comedy. This movie really isn’t any funnier than your typical episode of Doc Martin.
I take that back. Doc Martin is funnier.
Hot Fuzz has also been called a satire or a parody…of what, I’m not sure. Police work? Small towns? Action films? I don’t see how other than some small elements here and there. The film doesn’t commit to it enough for it to really work.
Maybe the humor is just subjective and I’m not getting it. What about the story? Does that work? No…it really doesn’t. There idea is sound enough, but it’s that, despite Wright’s direction, it plods along at an excruciating pace. And just when you think you are getting to the climax, the film still has another 30 minutes to go. I just wanted it to be done after a while.
Hot Fuzz didn’t work for me. I wanted it to, but none of the pieces really come together in any meaningful way. There were nuggets of good ideas here. And any movie that casts Timothy Dalton is already doing something right. It just doesn’t gel, and that’s disappointing.