Hot Fuzz

A long-overdue rewatch of this splendid action movie spoof, which pulls the same trick as Shaun Of The Dead and the later slight misfire The World’s End, transplanting the kind of genre piece we associate with America to the middle-class English suburbs, where people give more of a shit about well-trimmed grass verges than anything else. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are on top form here, lampooning a kind of fusty, fussy, narrow-minded, detail-obsessed Englishness, creating a village packed with lots of familiar-seeming characters: smug local rich people, blandly-nice publicans, cantankerous old buggers, bumbling coppers and more. Much has been made of its links to the likes of Bad Boys II, Point Break et al – all of which are overtly celebrated and referenced within the film – but it smartly marries it all with material straight from the rural 1970s British horror playbook, peeling back the bucolic layer of countryside bliss to find dark, weird behaviour. Terrific quickfire, mirth-inducing editing by Chris Dickens, too, arguably the man who helped to shape the Wright aesthetic the most, after the director himself and co-writer Pegg. (****)