starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton
screenplay by Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg
directed by Edgar Wright
by Walter Chaw Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost return after the triumph of Shaun of the Dead with the nominal success of Hot Fuzz: the one a dead-on skewering of/homage to the zombie genre, the latter an equally-dead-on skewering of/homage to the buddy-cop genre that leads one to conclude that the zombie genre is infinitely more fulsome a target than the buddy-cop genre. Though it's clearly the product of smart guys who care about the films they lampoon, there's obviously a difference between making a movie that can stand proudly alongside George Romero's body of work and making one that could keep good company with Michael Bay's. (There's a lot of meat to be mined in a clever dissection of the zombie genre, in other words, whereas most action flicks of this type are already self-parodying exercises in excessive hetero-affirmation amidst much piece-fondling and weeping.) What works best about Hot Fuzz isn't its admirable respect for and similarly keen understanding of films like Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man and Richard Rush's fondly-remembered Freebie and the Bean, but that it, like Shaun of the Dead, functions remarkably well as an example of the genre--something of which most parodies (i.e. arbitrary garbage like Shrek) are completely incapable.