The village of Sandford is just the sort of sleepy, rural hamlet that comes to mind at the mere mention of the words ‘English countryside.’ Everyone knows each another on a first-name basis, the biggest menace to public order is an itinerant ‘living statue’ street performer and ‘Mystery Surrounds Proposed Bipass [sic]’ is front-page news. In short, Sandford is the very picture of bucolic contentment.
Enter Police Constable Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), a humorless, by-the-book supercop who’s transferred to Sandford by his superiors because, as they put it, ‘You’ve been making us all look bad.’
Needless to say, Angel attracts quite a bit of attention. His straight-arrow take on law enforcement makes him a target of ridicule from his peers, rubs the owner of the local pub (and the underage teens within) the wrong way, and earns him no respect from the busy-bodies of the Neighborhood Watch Alliance (a.k.a. the ‘NWA’). Much to Angel’s frustration, little things like shoplifting and drunk driving are dismissed in the name of ‘the greater good,’ while chasing down an errant swan is considered genuine police work. When a series of grisly accidents claim the lives of several villagers, though, it’s clear that there’s more going on in Sandford than meets the eye.
‘Hot Fuzz’ marks Pegg’s and director Edgar Wright’s second cinematic collaboration (not counting their ‘Grindhouse’ trailer ‘Don’t’). Their first, ‘Shaun of the Dead,’ was a wildly successful homage to zombie movies; they discovered their shared enthusiasm for the genre during the production of ‘Spaced,’ the brilliant British sitcom that served as their proving ground.
In some respects, ‘Shaun’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ are conceptual sequels to ‘Spaced.’ Wright’s been refining his directorial style