Hot Fuzz Movie Review

Hot Fuzz
Image Source: Focus Features

So, Hot Fuzz turned fifteen years old yesterday. To film fans and casual moviegoers, this movie was met with a more than warm reception with a multitude of positive reviews.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Hot Fuzz is a part of an unofficial trilogy of films known as the Cornetto trilogy, a trilogy of comedy movies made by Edgar Wright that have different genres but all have a cornetto easter egg in there somewhere. This one is the blue Cornetto to represent police and action. Many fans consider it the best and it’s clearly the best for a reason.

This copper-filled comedy has proved a bit of a cult classic. But this begs the question, “is it really so great after all these years?” Or are there elements of it that have aged poorly? Read on to find out. Spoilers below!

Hot Fuzz

Synopsis Of Hot Fuzz

This is the story of Nicholas Angel, a workaholic London police sergeant. When Nicholas is too good at his job he’s transferred to Sanford, a small, sleepy Yorkshire village. While nothing seems unusual at first, he soon finds himself investigating a murder mystery no one else believes in. With only sergeant Danny Butterman by his side, Nicholas must uncover what’s going on beneath the village’s happy exterior. 

For a plot that sounds more like something, you’d see Liam Neeson or Sylvester Stallone in you wouldn’t think it’d be able to pack in as many jokes as it does. This movie does not stop being funny. From the first moment, they cram so many jokes into its two-hour runtime. 


You can’t have a good movie without enjoyable characters. I’m happy to report that Hot Fuzz has them in abundance. Nicholas Angel, played by Simon Pegg, is an amazing character. He’s what every good protagonist should be. He’s got a clear character journey to go on and he makes the ride enjoyable. It’s a pleasure to watch him as an unhappy workaholic to the end where he’s learned to enjoy life and relax every now and again. He’s the serious character who’s dealing with this bizarre new world he isn’t used to. It’s a trope as old as time but it works excellently here.

It wouldn’t be a buddy cop movie without the buddy and that is Danny Butterman, played by Nick Frost. A novice in policing who’s watched far too many action movies. It would have been easy to make him an annoying sidekick but thanks to the amazing writing he avoids being annoying entirely. He’s funny but can bring some more emotionally charged moments when the film needed it.  He plays the exact opposite of Nicholas’ serious police officer.


Simon Pegg and Nick Frost bring their best to these roles and the chemistry comes alive. It’s very believable that these two would become friends. I don’t think it would have worked nearly as well with any other actors.   

Speaking of actors, it has a surprisingly star-studded cast. You know a cast is good if Cate Blanchette and Peter Jackson are the main cameos. The best performance definitely comes from Timothy Dalton as Simon Skinner, the owner of the local Supermarché. He plays the role with a moustache-twirling, charming deviousness. You can’t look away when he’s on-screen. The other actors play it just the right amount over the top. It helps the underlying feeling of unease of the village that the film is going for.

Action Scenes

The action scenes in all of Edgar Wright’s movies are great and the same standard applies here. The part that makes the action especially brilliant is that the entire movie critiques the action/cop movie genre only for them to slowly start including more outlandish action until the final fight scene. The final gunfight between the villagers and the duo is a glorious guns blazing battle in which no one dies. There’s a sword fight, there’s an explosion and there are many, many one-liners. Imagine every cop movie cliche rolled into one perfect scene.

The action is clean and is choreographed well and you can always follow what’s happening. The comedy doesn’t stop when the action begins, in fact, the action helps to highlight the funnier moments. In most action movies you’d expect a fruit cart to block the protagonist’s way, in this, it’s a mother/baby walking group. It’s followed by the brilliant line “You Mothers!”

It’s not just the action scenes that look exciting. Mundane moments are exciting and feel quick. There’s an excellent montage in the beginning when it shows Nicholas travelling to Sandford. It could have been a boring long shot to show his journey. Instead, it’s a rapid-fire edit that shows Nicholas getting further and further away from the city. It’s a nice touch they didn’t have to do but made the film much more visually interesting.

Analysis Of Hot Fuzz

This film has many genius little moments. From the editing to the little sound bites that play during specific moments. Most people don’t really pick up on their first watch. The more you rewatch the more you find.

Also during a rewatch, you will pick up on the dialogue. Almost every phrase used comes back in one way or another and it always has a significant meaning behind it. It’s so clever and really shows how intelligent they were when writing this script. I think my personal favourites are the recurring ‘Greater Good’ motif or the “The Swans escaped”. 

Last but not least is the set design on this film. Maybe it’s because I’m from a sleepy little village too but I really appreciated how everything in this film looked and felt like a small rural village. Not many action films consider where they’ll set their action scenes but Wright takes great care in the setting. It takes what shouldn’t be an exciting location and makes it fun. The true climax of the film takes place in a literal model village. How much more ironic can you get?

Conclusion Of Hot Fuzz

To answer the question from the beginning the answer is yes! Hot Fuzz not only holds up 15 years later but it also seems to get better with age like a fine wine. Even if you’re not a comedy fan please check out this film for everything else. Grab a red or white wine, have a sit-down and give it a watch!

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent

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