Netflix Hidden Gems: Hot Fuzz and the clever action-comedy

Chris DiLullo, Managing Editor

2007’s Hot Fuzz is quite possibly one of the most overlooked films of the past decade. Starring Simon Pegg, known as Scotty in the Star Trek franchise, and British comedian Nick Frost, the movie is directed by Edgar Wright, the mind behind 2017’s Baby Driver.

Centered around Nicholas Angel (Pegg), an intense London cop that is relocated to the suburbs after his personality and success clash with his superiors, the film follows his quest alongside his partner Danny Butterman (Frost) to unearth the truth behind a series of mysterious and fatal accidents. The film currently stands at a 91% Fresh critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has a Metacritic score of 81.

After watching the movie’s trailer, you wouldn’t expect it to be a smart, wildly entertaining success; it looks, quite frankly, dumb and generic. The annoying voiceover eliminates any genuine moments of comedy, and it simply looks unappealing.

However, if you look past the trailer and actually watch the film, you would find that Hot Fuzz is brilliant and entertaining. It does everything that it needs to as an action-comedy much better than most while adding in slick storytelling.

Most action-comedies are cut from the same cloth; there’s the crazy villain, the one-liners following a dramatic reveal, the explosive conclusion of the film that ends with the brotherhood of the two main characters. The formula has been tried and tested, but it’s stale at this point.

Hot Fuzz supersedes the method and cleverly plays with the genre’s ingredients. The bombastic scenes that are commonplace within these films are pushed over the top in a wild manner, the brotherhood storyline is played with at the end to create emotion, the loud, crazed villain becomes even more outlandish and fantasy-like. A strong parody, the film makes fun of these typical elements to a high degree.

However, the genius writing ability of Wright and Pegg comes into play when they toe the thin line between parody and genre, as the two develop Hot Fuzz into a strong action-comedy despite the parodical characteristics. There are plenty of moments of comedy and slapstick humor, similar to what you would see in movies like The Other Guys or Rush Hour, and they work perfectly, just as they do in other movies within the category.

The banter between the main characters, ranging from discussions regarding American movies to the sound a swan makes, the dynamic and high-octane scenes, everything we’ve come to see as “normal” for these films can be found. If you’re looking for an entertaining movie similar to 21 Jump Street, this film will not disappoint you.

It won’t likely be the first movie to come up on screen, nor do the odds say that it’s in your queue right now. However, it’s not very often that you can find a movie that’s a great action-comedy and parody at the same time, making Hot Fuzz a must-add to your viewing list. Find Hot Fuzz and other movies like it streaming on Netflix.