Hot Fuzz

(Reviewed March 29, 2007, by James Dawson)

The best movie so far this year, even if it does have a terrible title.

Director/co-writer Edgar Wright reteams with star/co-writer Simon Pegg three years after the duo's "Shaun of the Dead" for a very funny and very British comedy about a London police officer who is too good at his job. His efficiency makes his fellow officers and even his superiors look so bad that he is transferred to a remote rural village where nothing ever happens. Until people start turning up dead, that is.

Wright keeps the proceedings perfectly balanced between Pegg's deadpan by-the-book seriousness and the colorful eccentricities of various village idiots. The script is not only consistently clever but perfectly structured, with a plot that starts out quite low-key but builds to successive levels of outrageousness.

Timothy Dalton, as the oily owner of a local supermarket, manages to be both funny and brazenly villainous. Jim Broadbent is the village's top cop, a relentlessly pleasant twit whose dumb-but-good-natured son (Nick Frost) becomes Pegg's partner.

If you're a fan of Guy Ritchie's caper comedies, Monty Python's Flying Circus or the Wright/Pegg/Frost TV series "Spaced," you will love this movie. It actually manages to be even more enjoyable the second time around, when you will be able to pick up lots of clever bits of foreshadowing and character detail you may have missed the first time.

Highly recommended!

Back Row Reviews Grade: A