If you’ve seen Shaun of the Dead, you already know more or less exactly what to expect from Hot Fuzz, the new comedy from the same writers, director and stars – just as Shaun was a rollicking send-up of zombie movies, Hot Fuzz is a genial (and surprisingly gory) spoof of buddy cop movies — as well as a particularly British subgenre of horror movies that has to do with conspiracies in small villages. Simon Pegg plays Sergeant Nicholas Angel, a gung-ho London policeman transferred to the countryside by bosses who fear he’s making them look inefficient. (Pegg’s performance is hilarious – wiry and fixed with a perpetually piercing glare, he could be playing a parody of Daniel Craig’s James Bond.) After he uncovers the existence of an apparent serial killer amidst the townspeople, Hot Fuzz targets Bad Boys II for mockery, with double-fisted gunplay and overly dramatic camera angles. The story is shamelessly formulaic and drifts briefly into the same kind of tedium that afflicts the genre movies it apes. But there are stretches of brilliant Brit humor and a few huge laughs – it’s all the better if you can see it with the kind of enthusiastic audience that will cheer wildly as the filmmakers recreate an emotional high point from the 1991 Keanu Reeves movie Point Break. B
A version of this review originally appeared in the White Plains Times.