Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Timothy Dalton and a whole of host of other people from Bill Bailey to Edward Woodward who aren't in it much and seem to be there simply to get their name on the box.
Story: Nick Angel (Pegg) is a successful police officer from London who is sent to a new post in a quiet country town. He struggles to come to terms with the laid-back way of life and policing. He gets to know his new partner Danny (Frost). They bond. They watch some action films together. There are some murders. Everything goes Die Hard.
Comments: I didn't find Shaun of the Dead that funny. It had an amusing concept and was relatively entertaining, but wasn't that funny. This is by the same team. Instead of a very British zombie film, it's a very British action film... eventually.
Most of the first two-thirds of the movie is an amiable fish-out-of-water comedy about a city cop on a rural beat. (Translation: Amiable means amusing, not critically-offensive, but not actually that funny). It's OK. Then it turns into an over-the-top homage to Hollywood action films. It could be seen as a parody but it's really less silly than Bad Boys or Miami Vice - the setting of an English market town just makes it obviously silly (and very funny).
The cast is mostly excellent. Timothy Dalton gives the impression of having fallen on hard times but Pegg comfortably manages to be a hard-nosed cop rather than a slightly wet geek for a change. Frost could probably play the comic side-kick in his sleep. Everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves. It would be interesting to know, however, why Steve Coogan and Bill Nighy turned up for their minute or so each. It feels like some kind of bet or the result of a drunken night out with Pegg and Frost. ("Want to be in our new film?" "Yeah, all right, if you can finish this bottle of tequila while standing on your head...")
Like Shaun, Hot Fuzz has a fantastic central idea but not enough supporting gags to sustain it for the entire length of the film. There will be a point half way through where you wonder what all the fuss is about. The build-up to the punchline is eventually worth it, though.
Conclusion: Not quite as slick and funny as it should be, and I have a strange desire to go shopping in Somerfield's...
Great ideas: One.
Not so great ideas: A few.
Gags: Not enough.
Time taken to get going: An age.
Crazy English people: All of them.