In 2004, British director Edgar Wright giddily took the piss out of the zombie genre with Shaun of the Dead. With his best mates — the Mutt & Jeff-like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost — in front of the camera, Wright’s unlikely hit had an undeniable, let’s-put-on-a-show spirit. It sent up the tired tropes of George Romero’s Dead films, and it added a little heart to a genre better known for eating them than wearing them on its sleeve.
But the thing about being an underdog is you can be one only once. The trio’s encore, Hot Fuzz, chooses a bigger target for its satirical crosshairs and mostly botches the hit. They’re going after the buddy-cop flick, the bloated domain of slo-mo fireballs and latent homosexual yearning found in Bad Boys and Lethal Weapon. Pegg plays an uptight London cop reassigned to a sleepy rural village where he’s paired with roly-poly dim bulb Frost.
There’s a bevy of supporting star turns — an unidentifiable Cate Blanchett, ex-007 Timothy Dalton as a villain straight out of Scooby-Doo — and a few good gags (the duo’s nickname, ?Crockett and Tubby”; a nod to Point Break). But most of the laughs are saved for the DVD commentary, with Wright and Pegg one-upping each other’s jokes and copping to all the films they ripped off (sorry, ?paid homage to”). Other extras include a blooper reel that won’t make Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker lose any sleep. Better luck next time, guys. B-