August 8, 2007

Hot Fuzz (Wright, 2007)

The decision of director Edgar Wright and star/co-writer Simon Pegg to save the most prominent and overt instances of parody for the hilarious climax of Hot Fuzz is revealing of their intentions for the film, and is also the key to understanding the film’s success as a comedy. Of course, Hot Fuzz is a witty, often times laugh out loud funny, comedic primer on action cinema, densely peppered throughout with references to everything from (most blatantly) modern American action films, to Italian Poliziotteschi, to Hong Kong action films. However, it is more than this. The real pleasure of the film, the reason it succeeds in a manner above and beyond films of this ilk, is that the hilarity stems from a true knowledge and appreciation of the action film, but it doesn’t depend on it. Wright and Pegg play with their references intelligently, weaving them seamlessly into a coherent, freestanding narrative, utilizing them not to carry the film, but rather to enrich it. Thus, Hot Fuzz succeeds in its own right and never degenerates into a patchwork assemblage of parody and homage.

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