2004's Shaun of the Dead was a referential, loose-limbed valentine to the works of zombie maestro George Romero, as well as its very own thing. It was also a solid little commercial performer, pulling in $30 million in theaters and becoming a cult DVD hit on college campuses across the United States. The enjoyably warped minds behind that film — actor-writer Simon Pegg (above right), writer-director Edgar Wright and comic foil Nick Frost — re-team for Hot Fuzz, a comedy that makes appreciable but not quite as brilliant use of buddy-cop genre conventions.
If a lot of Hot Fuzz's best bits are revealed in the trailer, the movie, admirably, still advances an actual story, even if it does eventually veer off into a bizarre, Wicker Man-esque communal conspiracy. Where the film is most comfortable and successful, though, is in more quietly tweaking the personal conventions of the cop genre, as in the scenes of beer and bonhomie that served as Shaun of the Dead’s underpinning. When playing upon these clichés of the gruff, melting-heart mentor and the newly hardened pupil, Hot Fuzz crackles, courtesy of the energy and interplay between Pegg and Frost. For the full review, from FilmStew, click here.